In june 1929, luise mader was born luise scheidel in hochstadt, the oldest of three children. She also grew up in the city and experienced the time before the war as well as the war itself and the time after knowingly. On a cloudy saturday afternoon she takes the time over a cup of coffee to tell us a little about those days.
The flower store mader knows probably everyone in hochstadt, but what were your parents exactly from profession?
Luise mader: my father was a grower and farmer, my mother was a tailor. The most sought-after in hochstadt. We had arable land, ten days” work, two cows, pigs and chickens. We were self-sufficient at that time and could live well. The house in which the flower store was located is the house where I was born. My room was the one behind the top balcony.
You experienced the years before the outbreak of the second world war as a child. How was the time before 1939 and how was it with hitler??
It was not so different from the war. It didn’t start in 1939. Where the parish hall is now, that’s where our school was, two classes upstairs, one downstairs. We had normal teachers, but some were already committed to the regime. There was propaganda everywhere. There was a picture of hitler in the classrooms. On his birthday we had to paint a wreath. The hitler pit was commonplace in school.
In the older classes, there were a few nazis, but they didn’t talk about it. But if they didn’t like a teacher, then they foisted something on him that wasn’t true. The main difference was that you didn’t have everything anymore, you had stamps for everything. For clothes, for food. Only not for meat, because we had animals. But we were allowed to slaughter only once a year, one pig. The animals were paid by the wehrmacht. There was only smoked meat. And every sunday three loaves of bread were baked.
Was also sometimes black slaughtered?
We have not black slaughtered, since we were betrayed.
Denunciation was a problem? How did they deal with it?
You stuck together, even if you didn’t trust each other. They all went to church. They were all christian people in the end. People just looked after themselves. You had your work and you were tired in the evening.
Her father was in the party and her father was drafted?
After 1939, what was it like for you?? What did you experience of the war??
We did not get much. We had no radio. There was always a lot to do with the animals and in the fields. But I remember that my father always had to go with the fire department to nurnberg to get supplies. And you just weren’t allowed to talk. You had to be careful. When you’ve got a job, then the people come. You had to be careful.
Were you and your parents afraid??
No, there were not many traces of the war in our area. It must have been worse in the cities. In the country, they were all self-supporters.
Did you know anything about prisoners of war?? Or refugees?
There were russians there. They were housed at the kellerberg and were cared for by hochstadtern. Frenchmen were used in agriculture, but not with us, but on the rough farms. Refugees came later, in 1946. They passed through the village. There were only a few in our class, so there were no problems. We didn’t notice anything else, because they were housed with the farmers.
Were there jewish families in hochstadt??
Not in hochstadt. They were in uehlfeld and in adelsdorf. And in gremsdorf. At the beginning of the war, the synagogue in adelsdorf burned down. And when the jews in gremsdorf left, that’s what we heard. But it was only talked about behind closed doors, the children were not told anything.
There were also bombings here in hochstadt?
Yes, in 1943/44 at the greienmuhle and with us in the vicinity. We had our farm between hochstadt and lonnerstadt, there were five bombs dropped. At the beginning of the forest, the wehrmacht had built a dummy airfield, so that the planes from nurnberg were distracted. A whole piece of woods was roofed over as a hall of illusion. When the planes came, the lights were turned on as a distraction. But the americans only fell for it once and dropped bombs. Into the forest. And in the meadows on the road to lonnerstadt, there were three large bomb craters in the field.
They were directly confronted with an air raid?
Yes, the last week of the war, we went home from school. I was in the vocational school in forchheim. There were no more trains and we walked home on the railroad tracks. The low-flying planes flew over us, but did nothing.
How was it at the end of the war? When the americans came …
I remember it well. That was the 14. April 1945, a saturday. A beautiful sunny spring day. I was all alone in the gartnerei. There were the amis already in half the badgasse and have sheltered. Days before, you could hear the tanks of the amis rolling in from the direction of bamberg. During the day the tanks rolled, at night the germans came through the village. Before the americans came, the wehrmacht controlled everything. They even wanted to blow up the aisch bridge, but the bockl, the fish master, prevented it. There was also this one soldier in hochstadt, a fanatic. When the americans came, he wanted to go to berlin to save hitler. But then he fell.
What did you and your family do?? How did they behave?
My parents packed everything that day and left at 11 o’clock. We went over the hafnersberg because of the tank traps. A few of my schoolmates met us, in full assembly as volkssturm. At 2 p.M. The americans arrived. They climbed up the church tower of the st.The church of st. George was shot, it was all black and broken.
The americans fired two or three salvos against the storm. Everything was black with smoke. They shelled three houses, because the german soldiers were there and fired out. Two in the steinwegstrabe, one in the bamberger strabe. There were still quite a few german soldiers, but then they all left. They were hidden before, came here from etzelskirchen and from the schwedenschanze. My school friend marie came with me all alone, she had her doll carriage with her. Her parents had put a loaf of bread in there.
Where were the parents of the girl?
They were at home. At the cemetery of the heroes and at the engelgarten there were tank barricades. They lived next to a barricade and sent marie away with me. Under the battle, people were running around in the sun chair with white scarves. The germans shot at them. At 4 p.M. We returned because there was no more shooting, it was very quiet. There the battle was over. Then the amis were there. Steel helmets flew over the street and rifles lay in the corners.
Were you not afraid at all? Before the amis or possible hedge protectors?
No. The americans were our liberators. We were glad that it was not the russians. But they were far away in berlin. Marie and I, we each had the end of a white pillow in our hands. Before the amis, there was nothing, and if anything, then only with marks. After that everything was there.
Where were the americans then??
Three amis were at the wachenrother weg with guns. They stood at the open window. Also in the old school, where the amis lived and cooked, but they were always friendly. They were also at the hospital, at the heroes’ cemetery and at the holtmanns’ mansion. And in the civil service building on the kellerberg. They wanted to bunk with us too, but we had no room. So we had our peace.
What was life like with the americans in the village??
For eight days there was a curfew. We were only allowed out for two hours a day. We had a cellar on the kellerberg, the "jagerruh". We were home brewers, we had the good cellar beer. The amis always came and wanted beer. I always had to go downstairs and get beer at 4 p.M. One went along with a candle to shine. They always wanted eggs too. Ham and eggs. But we had no eggs. I still woman … In addition to the aisch bridge, a wooden bridge was also built. The "american bridge.
How did the understanding work?
With hands and feet.
What happened next? And how long did the americans stay?
I don’t really know anymore, but they have been there for a while. After the amis left, things actually continued as before. We had the farm, the nursery. We were constantly busy.
Have your children ever asked what it was like back then??
No. They did not want to know about it. And we had our business and had to work a lot. The conversation was conducted by britta schnake.