Eyewitness Report, 24 April 2021

After our call: “Search for witnesses “, we were contacted by Siegfried S., born in 1928, born in Gotha.

As a pupil of the secondary school, he belonged to the “Deutsches Jungvolk” by age and was Fähnleinführer in the “Bann 95”.

Every holiday he and his classmates were committed to the war effort. So he and a classmate arrived as a 17-year-old in February 1945 to work at the Walpersberg. Housed in a barrack, probably in the Zwabitztal, they received a straw bed and 2 wool blankets. He remembers very well the sizzling cold and that the iron stove in the middle of the barracks always had to be heated by a boy with wood and coals, even through the night.

He recalls their days were marked by hard work. The wake-up call for everyone sounded at 6 a.m. To wash we went to another barrack, which was not heated. Meanwhile, a boy fetched coffee from the kitchen in large tin cans before the commands “step out”, “coming on” sounded and we went on foot with a hoe and shovel on the runway. Work was carried out until noon and the order “Get to the food reception” promised a break. In the kitchen barracks, everyone in a tableware was usually given peeled potatoes, gravy, meat and vegetables. Not all of them found space to eat inside the barracks, which is why many stood outside in the cold and tried to quickly eat their meal in the shelter of the barracks, pressed against the wall. The work ended in the evening when it was already dark.

“I remember once we got into the underground tunnels. The reason was probably an alarm, which obliged us HJ to visit the tunnels immediately. Here we saw many “foreign workers”, one spoke of a “miracle weapon”, a “Heinkel jet fighter” which was made here. I was deeply shocked by the appearance of the people, I had not seen anything like it. I never forgot the sight.

After 10 days of work on the runway, we were asked who would be willing to provide courier services. I volunteered for the mission. My first tasj took me with the Reichsbahn to Wroclaw-Hundsfeld to Rheinmetall-Borsig. From there I accompany the transport of 5 large boxes alone to Walpersberg. Several times overloaded I arrived in Kahla with only 4 boxes left. I saw myself in the concentration camp, but no one was interested in the missing box. My second mission took me to Berlin, which started with an aerial alarm near the station and I fled with many others into an air raid shelter, where at some point my cap was stolen from my head. However, the transport escort went back smoothly and I was finally allowed to return home after 3 days.