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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Day 69 - Bombs and Destruction on August 23, 1944.

"One day a delegation from the Red Cross came to Buchenwald - there were also others with them too. To us, this was good news, as it was evidence that our courier had reached his target on the outside and had supplied information to others about the camp.  The resistance had become aware of the good news before the delegation had arrived as coded messages had already been deciphered on the radio. 

The S.S. now mounted a "look and search raid", within the camp.  They never found anything to go on - little did they know that there was treason within their own ranks, this was now clearly working to our full advantage.

The delegation's visit was timed perfectly to coincide with an air raid alarm.    This was to enable us to go out as if we were going for cover in the tall pine trees in the woods for protection against the aerial bombardment.  

Everything had been well planned and organized and our purpose was to arrange ourselves into a certain formation so that we could form an easily visible target for the incoming planes.   The target formed was of all importance and so had been organized on a grand scale.

Well after the Red Cross Delegation had left the camp, this exercise was kept up until Memorial Day, on twenty third of August, 1944.  The pressure from the air had been constant so that the S.S. would not be able to relax and keep us inside Gouzloff Werk for too long!

On this lovely day, I was just nicely relaxing and lazily settling down under a nice, thick tree, looking at the foliage on top of me and the very clear sky.  Suddenly, I heard the familiar droning sound of the planes coming on but this was quite different from the usual sound.  The planes were at a much lower altitude and were clearly preparing for full attacking speed - which I now recognized as;  full speed go, let all loose!

They came on steadily in close formation like a holocaust of their own judgement, assuming an almost deadly appearance.  The first wave looked similar to speedy whitish crosses with the bouncing sun rays on their coffin like bodies.  They were dangerously close now, just visible in the openings of the foliage above our heads, causing me to quickly flatten myself beneath the tree I had just been sitting at.

I could see amazement and whitish staring fear in my friend's eyes who was sitting on his haunches and looking upwards to the  sky.  In no time, he was flat next to me and practically on top of me, the only place left.

Now we heard the mass of destructive bombs coming down incessantly, screeching.  If was as if the air above us was torn open.  There was more hissing than whistling.  It was loud and heavy as the bombs exploded on impact around us.  As we were laying flat and lower than anything around most of the noise would be heard better further away from us!

The air wall moved among and mostly above us pressing everything further away downwards and pushing on like a wind of hurricane force - making me press myself as flat as I possibly could against the ground.  I now felt myself being lifted up and down like a feather.

I had just put a twig into my mouth to save my eardrums from the blast - an old soldier's trick.

There were terrible screams coming from all over as bombs had dropped just near to the entrance of the forest.  More and more people now piled onto me for protection as if in a safe haven....."

To be continued ...

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