This was written by my mother in Frankfurt a/Main (Germany) September 26, 1991


He was born November 23, 1901. His mother died in childbirth. At age 18 he joined the military navy. He remained with the navy for 12 years (June 8 1922-1934). First serving on the battleship "Braunschweig" and then (Oct. 1, 1925) on the battleship "Schleswig-Holstein" as Bootssteuerer.

On July 1, 1927 he was promoted to Bootsmannsrnaaten (Petty Officer 3rd Class) and after 2 years promoted to Oberbootsmannsmaaten (Petty Officer 2nd Class). He had responsibility for the jobs as Korporalschaftsfuehrer, Waffenkammer (armory) and Kassenunteroffizier, Lohnungsunteroffizier (Paymaster) and Sportwart. During the war he was on the battleship "Amazone" and on a Vozpostenboot (Minesweeper).

During World War II he served in Russia. When his tour was up he returned to Dinkelscherben, but following a remobalization, he was recalled to Frankfurt, then sent to Emden and eventually assigned to duty in the Mediterranean. He was captured and spent the rest of the war in an American prisoner-of-war camp in Italy.

After his separation from the service he wanted to return to the job he had left in Frankfurt as auditor for the city of Frankfurt. The civil servant, with a "job for life" could not get his job back because he was accused of being a card-carrying member of the 3rd Reich. People from the Sudetenland, who had never gone to war, had taken his job.

He went to work as a bricklayer for 8 years with a miserable paycheck to support his family of a wife and 6 children. He also did salvage work with one of the neighbors collecting scrap metal and earning extra money. Finally in 1954, the city of Frankfurt called him back as an assistant auditor. They had lowered his rank because of the card-carrying member business.

The so called non-card-carrying elite were still in power. He offered his life for his country and their thanks was that he returned home a sick man without a job. The others that did not serve their country had the good positions and the big paychecks. Until the day he died he could never understand why they had done that to him.

The irony of it all was the wreath the city sent for his funeral with the saying: "For 40 Years of Faithful Service". An insult and a mockery for a hunger-retirement.

Henny Schmid

Memories of our father