Interview recorded:Walsrode, Germany
Please introduce yourself and tell us how your hometown was like.
[My name is] Christa Maischak, [I was] born on 5th January 1934 in Breslau, Silesia, Lower Silesia. It was a village near Breslau called Reichwald. I do not know how many kilometers we had to walk to school by foot, but for sure it was six or seven. My home was beautiful when I was a child. Then the war broke out. When Breslau was being bombed, we used to say: “Look, Christmas trees are falling from the skies”. Then they told us to flee. We packed everything, loaded it on a cart and then went off. Old and young pepole were on the cart and the others had to walk on their own. It was winter when we went off. I just know that we walked to Sudentengau, which is today Czech Republic.
What did you find when you came back home?
We came back home to Silesia, to Reichwald. When we reached our house, other people had already been there, everything was messy. They put up the beds, everything was sticky and destroyed and there were feathers everywhere. It looked horrible. But my mother had hidden my father’s leather boots under the cupboard. They were still there. Then we cleaned everything up. There was one man whom we called “Russian German” or the like, he could speak Polish and Russian. He helped us a lot. Then the Polish threw us out.
Where did you and your family go to?
We came to Benefeld. There was a camp. All people had to go there. I do not know for how long we lived there. Then a truck came and the people were seperated. We had to go to Stellichte. We came to an estate. We called it “the castle”. I do not know with how many people we lived there. There was a doctor, a dentist, ourselves and the Steiner Family. Everyone had to share just one restroom, you can imagine what it was like. Then they told us that there was one last train going to Westenholz, so we took it. That is how it was, child. It was not so easy.