eyes were glued to this white banner. From all the windows people
were staring. The bearers of the flag of truce continued walking in
the middle of the road in complete silence. All realised that the
last deciding moment had come. They turned the corner. After long
moments of waiting, we heard the droning between the town walls. The
houses were shaking, the streets full of screeching, jarring noises.
With a loud noise, the first tank rumbled into the market place. Our
French war prisoners were sitting on its long barrel. One of them
was holding the banner of free France whilst others were waving
their hats, railing their victorious France. Behind the tank came an
armoured military car on top of which were lying soldiers, pointing
their machine guns, ready for instant action. All wore metal helmets
- only their teeth and the whites of their eyes where white. They
were black. Along the footpath ran French soldiers looking around
attentively, holding guns in their hands. From the armoured car came
a French officer. In seconds he was surrounded. He opened out a
large map and our Frenchmen were giving him instructions. Slowly the
Germans also came out into the streets looking with interest at the
passing tanks. A few greeted the French but the majority, full of
reserve and curiosity, were silently watching the enemy army.
a very short time the town was occupied. The tanks were stationed at
crossroads and near the gates. The soldiers went through streets,
yards and some houses. Occasionally we heard some single shots.
Frenchmen rolled a full wine barrel from somewhere and were drinking
and urging their mates and other foreigners to join in. They felt
they were hosts to the town. Some of the ex-prisoners even had arms.
When the French banner started to wave from the tower of the Town
Hall there was no end of cheering. We were drinking wine offered
from buckets and barrels amidst cheering and toasting to the French
army and the United Nations. In the meantime the French patrols,
informed by our Frenchmen who knew the set-up of the town, flushed
from their different hiding places the German soldiers and the more
prominent citizens who were known as cruel oppressors.
only realised that the war was truly finished for us when we saw the
first group of German prisoners, guarded by the French, where the
soldiers in the uniforms of the Wehrmacht marched along the street
with their hands raised. Then we saw the VIPs led by the Mayor and
our Heim walking with bent heads and being hurried on by the
'Blacks'. Only then did we realise that Germany had fallen. Defeated
in their own country, in the streets of their own town. What an
ironic fate had befallen them. What a joke! They who were so proud
of their master race, they who intended to be the future Aryan
Masters of Europe walked now with their heads bent, driven also like
cattle, pushed and hurried on by the dark-skinned, flat-nosed
Senegalese who maybe were only half tame in Africa but were imported
to Europe to give help and conquer this master race. These men from
Africa walked now smiling and proud. They were pushing ahead the
whites, the whitest of the white masters. They who were once slaves
were now ordering about a white nation in their own land. In the
dark faces the eyes were shining, white teeth between broad lips,
the white turbans accentuating even more the dark bluish skin. I
looked on thinking what a fantastic and ironic situation.
people of Isny had barely time to calm down when the old, lame Hans,
the doorkeeper of the Town Hall, came into the middle of the street
and, according to old Allgau custom, began ringing a bell, calling
to attention the people in the square. In his loud and penetrating
voice old Hans started calling out:
people of Isny have to immediately bring to the Town Mall all their
radios, cameras and all arms in their possession. This order is
signed by the War Commandant of Isny, Captain of the French Army,
Commander of the II Group of the 62nd Regiment of African
was the first order issued by the victors.
the place around the Town Hall was swarming with people. People were
coming from everywhere with their radios, heaping them in the halls
of the Town Hall. Six years before the Germans were taking our
radios away from us in our lands. Now THEY were paying their first
difficulty, I pushed my way through the crowds, going to Marushka to
share the good news with her. At last we had become free people,
members of the United Nations and victors.
morning we returned to Isny. The streets were quite empty. The
neighbours told us that the army had ordered the inhabitants to
leave their houses for the next 48 hours. During this time houses
were searched and some people arrested. The Russian prisoners used
this time to completely loot the factory and the villa of the big
bass. Heim, while in prison, committed suicide, shooting himself
through the mouth with his own revolver. His main henchman, Party
Member Altenbach, the man most hated by all the workers, valued his
own life more. He paid for his love of life in a painful and
degrading way. Some of our labourers who felt a lust for revenge
found him and delivered him into the hands of the 'Blacks' who,
having an odd kind of humour, arranged a mock trial. Altenbach was
tied to a chair with two soldiers guarding him. Every passer-by was
asked if he knew him and, if so, to treat him accordingly. The crowd
consisted mainly of factory labourers so he was beaten and his face
spat upon until his bleeding head was bent. Only then did some spark
of compassion spread through the people and they began to disperse.
They had had their revenge. Altenbach was arrested and we heard
nothing more about him. He was forgotten like one forgets the bad
the first of May, the day of the national-socialistic festival, the
German radio announced the death of Adolf Hitler. He who was
worshipped by many and hated by many had removed himself from the
living but his body was not found. Three different versions were
circulating amongst the people like budding legends. If history is
unable to produce facts, these legends will blossom on the 'tomb'.
The fantasy of the descendants will create either a devil or a
saint. One fact remains - he perished together with his creation.
The Third Reich of the future one thousand years ceased being after
only ten years. The final blow aimed at the heart occurred the next
morning at 15 hours - Berlin had fallen. Above the ruins of the
would-be capital city of the world waved the flag of the United
Nations. The last fortresses fell: Hamburg, Lubeck, Rostock. The
millions-strong army surrendered. The fighting stopped in the south
- in Holland, Denmark and Norway.
machine of the Reichswehr stopped!
the night of the 7th of May to the 8th of May a few gentlemen in
grey uniforms arrived at the headquarters of the Allied forces in
Reims. Field Marshal Jodel, in the name of the Reichswehr, at 2.41
p.m. signed the unconditional surrender of all armed forces on land,
sea and air. Next day all European countries announced the end of
the war as from the historical date of 9th May, 1945, at zero, zero
hours and one minute.
Isny the church bells were ordered to ring but most people could not
understand why the bells were now ringing. For the last ten days the
'Blacks' had been in full control of the township. They liked three
things: gold watches, white women and fattened geese.