Lenchen Orgas née Schwarz (born 1937)
Farewell to Gross Tuchen and a new beginning.
My memories as a child and the telling of my father.
- Translated by Ken Kranhold and Ellen von Brentano, Arizona -
It was a beautiful winter day in February 1945. I played in the yard.
My mother called me for coffee. We had a soldier quartered.
Suddenly the soldier shouted "Lie down, an enemy airplane."
And there were the first bombs. The first went into our manure pile.
There was only clattering. Doors and windows fell out.
The manure was over the whole house.
Thanks to God there were no deaths or injuries.
Behind our grounds at the poorhouse a lot of Wehrmacht cars loaded with
ammunition appeared. We were quartered with the Mattick family.
My parents and the girl from Ukraine went always home to take care for the livestock.
During the night of March 2 we fled. I was 8 years old and got a bag of
candy from a soldier. My father went with the horses and wagon to
Borntuchen. My mother, aunt Therese, my sister Hanni and I drove with a
soldier car to Lauenburg. My father fled with my uncle and family from
Borntuchen by train.
My brother Alfred came to there too. He at the time served as an apprentice
with the post office. Horst Limberg and Alfred went by foot from Bütow to
Gross Tuchen. In Gross Tuchen they didn't meet any relatives and walked to
My relatives and my brother also had a bad time. My brother drove the
Russian bodies for autopsy and burial. Alfred was only 16 years old. In
Lauenburg my sister met many people from Gross Tuchen when shopping. They
told us that our father also is in Lauenburg. The joy was only short. Then
my father had to go to the civil guard (Volkssturm) and again we were left alone.
We were quartered with the family Schwanz. They were nice people. Shortly
after this the Russians captured Lauenburg. We were hidden in the
basement. We were found very quickly. The first words were: "Uhri,
Uhri" [mispronounced German word for "watches"]. My mother also had to suffer a lot.
A Russian held a knife at her throat. We children screamed as loud as possible.
Later she also had to perform clean up work in the ruins and chipping old mortar
from building stones.
In June, we went from Lauenburg back to Gross Tuchen with a self-built hand
carriage. It took us 14 days. We all had blood blisters on our feet.
Arriving in Gross Tuchen we almost didn't recognize our house. Half of the
house was shot by a tank. My mother and brother arranged it so that we
could live in it. The windows were boarded. Suddenly our father also came back
from the prison of war camp. He was very ill. Afterwards he worked with
a Polish barber who lived on the grounds of the W. Schlutt family.
In December 1945 we couldn't bear it anymore and we fled for the second
time. The Poles definitively wanted to keep my brother and father as
workers. Mr. Malottki drove us with his wagon and our luggage to Bütow.
Then everything became dreadful. We had been for days on the train.
In Scheune and in Schneidemühl we were totally robbed. My mother had to give
away her coat, my sister her gloves. My aunt only had a pillow covered in a blanket.
My father had only his bread bag. A Russian or Pole shot out of the window.
My brother steadily was considered to be a partisan. These are still unforgettable days.
My father then had to decide if we would drive on because my mother and aunt
got weaker and weaker. We stopped at a train station in Hohendorf.
Hohendorf is in Vorpommern (later GDR). We had been the whole day on our way
during heavy frost and snow. Towards evening we were taken with other
refugees to the neighbor village and quartered in a hall with straw. Meals
were given from a field kitchen. It was terrible. People died, the
After a few weeks we were quartered at a farm. We had a small room. My
father and brother had to work for the food. We had no light and clock.
In 1948 my father took over a farm. In autumn my mother died.
For all of us these were difficult years.
These are the memories from my childhood.