V.E. Day — Dorothea von Schwanenfluegel


Laughter Wasn’t Rationed by Dorothea von Schwanenfluegel

Dorothea von Schwanenfluegel was struggling to survive the hideous days in Berlin with her daughter as the end of the war approached. Hitler had already committed suicide in his bunker and General Wilding was about to surrender the city. 

“The next day, General Wilding, the commander of the German troops in Berlin, finally surrendered the entire city to the Soviet army. There was no radio or newspaper, so vans with loudspeakers drove through the streets ordering us to cease all resistance. Suddenly, the shooting and bombing stopped and the unreal silence meant that one ordeal was over for us and another was about to begin. Our nightmare had become a reality. The entire three hundred square miles of what was left of Berlin were now completely under control of the Red Army. The last days of savage house to house fighting and street battles had been a human slaughter, with no prisoners being taken on either side. These final days were hell. Our last remaining and exhausted troops, primarily children and old men, stumbled into imprisonment. We were a city in ruins; almost no house remained intact.”

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