First and foremost, her grandson will be doing the typing for her. She is not exactly a history buff and she was quite young during it all. You will really be asking her questions about the childhood of someone under Hitler's reign.

Her town was bombed almost every day, which is a good topic to start on.

We're currently on a four hour car ride, if we cut out we hit a rough patch with no cellular data.

Proof: Her playing accordion and singing in German

Further proof:


We're done and made it home safely. It made the car ride quicker. Sorry I couldn't get the last few questions - some were repeats anyway. She needs to relax now. It was great fun.

Comments: 2610 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

TheOnlyBoss1245 karma

How aware was the general population of the concentration camps? I'm sure they knew of them, but did everyone know what was actually going on inside them?

BurgerGuugar1983 karma

"We knew he was taking the Jews but we didn't know what he was doing to them until after the war."

Broncos_Fan1089 karma

How did you view the opposition forces that were bombing you? There have been some horror stories about how some Russian forces acted. Were you hopeful a certain country would get to your town first if you were invaded or did you ever even contemplate that happening?

BurgerGuugar1871 karma

"They talked about them. They cut women's breasts off and raped them. People talked about them, I remember that. That's why we were glad the Americans come to us, and not the Russians."

brownch938 karma

How did life change after the war was over? Were changes immediate or gradual?

BurgerGuugar1650 karma

"Immediately. Like I said we slept on the streets. We were amazed we didn't have to hide from planes and bombs. It was unbelievable and so peaceful. I mean.."

NYKNYJ932 karma

How great was the fear of the Gestapo and being taken away? Were you aware of anyone in your town being taken away for 'questioning' ?

BurgerGuugar1663 karma

"Oh yea I was scared. They was mean. Hitler's right hand. They wore black uniforms. If they come for you, you might as well kill yourself."

Ninjacherry864 karma

What was the general sentiment of the population towards Hitler while she lived there?

BurgerGuugar1639 karma

"The family hated him. I don't know about the rest of them. My brother was different, he thought he was great. He was missing for a week one time. We went to the movies and saw him on the news marching in Berlin with the Hitler's youth. My mother almost died. He didn't come home for a week."

mjstoltz775 karma

Did your family who resented Hitler, feel the need to keep quiet regarding their resentment in fear of repercussions?

BurgerGuugar1327 karma

"Yea, well. You had to say 'Heil Hitler!' Any time someone walks by you know. If someone was mean they would report you.

My mother wouldn't let my brother go to Hitler Youth and she got pink slips. On her third slip she went to jail. She only stayed for one day at a time, my aunt bought her out."

Luffykins664 karma

Did you or your family have any anger toward the Allies?

BurgerGuugar1400 karma

"No. Hell no. My aunt didn't like that I married an American. She wouldn't let us in her house. It was orders. English and Americans. If you keep being mad at people it's what start wars.

We love the Americans. My mother used to wash for them. An American once tried to rape her. We chased him out of the house. That was the end of washing clothes for that son of a bitch."

Remember her grammar isn't perfect. Trying to keep quotes exact.

It's like mixed feelings for them.

WeBeBallin609 karma

Hello :) Did you lose any friends/family of yours, because they didn't coincide with the Nazi beliefs?

BurgerGuugar1161 karma

"Nuh uh. But I lost a lot of family when the allies bombed us. My grandparents. I can't help it, they had to do it."

14thCenturyHood556 karma

Hi there! How much of a presence was all this in your life as a child? How aware were you of what was going on? And one more: what did children do for fun during this time?

BurgerGuugar862 karma

"We did like everybody else... Play games. But we had a curfew. Well, the curfew came after the Americans did.

Me and my brother and a whole gang of guys used to go find the bombs that didn't go off and take the powder in little jars. He had to kick my ass before I could go."

BurgerGuugar558 karma

"I'm aware the bombs were falling, I knew that much. When I was at school I ran my ass home and got in trouble. We were all supposed to be in one cellar. I knew what was going on."

zazo9538 karma

I live in Israel and I always wondered, what do people who lived under the third reich think about us today? ( by us I mean the jewish people)

BurgerGuugar828 karma

"They're regular people, I think. A lot of people don't though."

NoxInvictus423 karma

Just tell her happy thankgiving and thanks for doing this! Enjoy your day.

BurgerGuugar464 karma

"Thank you."

Salacious-420 karma

What kind of things were you taught about the Japanese as a child?

It seems odd that the government focused so much on racial purity but allied with a country of a completely different race.

BurgerGuugar576 karma

"They never said anything about the Japanese. Not that I remember, anyway. I would remember if they did."

h4r13q1n418 karma

Greetings from Heilbronn!

I found some pictures.

Heilbronn after the war and Heilbronn today

Does your Grandma remeber the swabian dialect? Maybe some familiar quotations that where used in her childhood? Like insults?

You might tell her that the swabians didn't change much, still grumpy, pedantic, overly clean and we still have the "Kehrwoche" just like back then.

BurgerGuugar530 karma

Yes! She hates what she calls "high German." She keeps her house SPOTLESS. And frankly, is quite grumpy. She enjoyed your post.

My mother learned that dialect from her and she is American. Germans are amazed that an American can speak that way.

"Well, shit. I can't think of anything right now. I'm spatula schwabe."

glycolic361 karma

How did you and other Germans feel about Hitlers treatment towards Jews? If this is too sensitive it's ok not to answer

BurgerGuugar705 karma

"We felt sorry for them. My family at least. It's disgusting, Jesus. They showed it on the news when he put them in trains, that mother. Son of a bitch. I don't know if we had Jews in our town or not.."

mostlynein255 karma

Hi. What is your sentiment about the German veterans who were away in war times to other countries? Are they viewed as heroes?

BurgerGuugar379 karma

"I don't know. I can't remember that. The Russians kept them prisoner for ten years. The Americans didn't keep them long.

The German soldiers fed us before the Americans came and had a little shoot out in the town we was staying. That's why we left. That's what we were afraid of."

Xanzibar22241 karma

Did she personally witness any atrocities committed by Hitler or his troops or was she preoccupied with just trying to survive day to day?

BurgerGuugar365 karma

"No. Just like when they showed it on the news."

Look_Alive167 karma

What was the news like? Did it make much mention of the Jews and what was happening to them?

BurgerGuugar323 karma

"Yea, I think so. But it was mostly after the war though that they showed all of it. Trains was stuffed full of Jews. They couldn't breath."

QwertyXYZ1233 karma

What was your personal feelings and yours family's at the end of the war?

where do you live now?

BurgerGuugar718 karma

"We didn't know what it was like staying outside. We slept on the sidewalks. We used to have the curtains closed so no light shined through. A warden would make sure.

We had to have a picture of Hitler's dumb ass in the house. My mother ripped it up, she burned it."

She had to keep windows closed because lights were targets for bombers. She slept on the sidewalk because she felt a surge of freedom.

The picture was put in the oven to burn.

Swhelch229 karma

What was your bigger fear, the Gestapo or the allied bombing?

BurgerGuugar503 karma

"The bombing, I guess. The Gestapo didn't really come to my home town. You could run from them, but not from the bomb."

madillinsane224 karma

  1. Would you say that Hitler got what he deserved?
  2. How was it like living in Germany in the years right after the Nazi regime ended? Was there still a lot of hate towards Jews amongst the people?

Vielen Dank für die Antworten und einen schönen Abend euch beiden

BurgerGuugar503 karma

"Yes he did! Against Jews? No. Not in our family. They're people, they just got different names. A lot of Jews moved to America after the war and got rich. Good for them."

l_AM_NOT_A_COP215 karma

After the war, were you in East or West Germany? What was your attitude towards the other side?

BurgerGuugar413 karma

"West Germany. The East was bad news. They wanted out. I felt sorry for them. They wanted to be on the West side. A lot of people got killed."

Junior5150208 karma

What was the general response from the German citizens when they found out Hitler was dead??

BurgerGuugar340 karma

"A lot of people still don't believe it. That he poisoned himself. I don't know what they think. I really don't know."

eccentricrealist187 karma

What were summer days like for young, "Aryan" kids in the Third Reich?

BurgerGuugar322 karma

"We went swimming. I think we didn't do much of anything though. I wanted to stay near my mother in case the sirens went off."

Her town was bombed a lot because they were near some factories. The lights of town were mistaken as the factory.

mjstoltz174 karma

After the end of the war, did the consensus backing of Hitler eventually erode after the exposure of the concentration camps, or did people attempt to back his logic for all his horrid actions?

BurgerGuugar285 karma

"My brother was never involved with Hitler after that. Just that one time him and his friends hitchhiked to Berlin."

She only really knows her family and friends opinions. That's the closest to an answer I could get.

JuxtaTerrestrial168 karma

What is your favorite color?

BurgerGuugar413 karma

"Red pink raspberry."

Noxiqoid160 karma

Were there any rebellion groups to fight back the army? If so, were there any successes?

BurgerGuugar228 karma

"Not that I know of. Not in my town."

low_budget149 karma

Do you have any funny stories about something that happened during the war? What went on when you were in the air raid shelters? I would be interested to hear funny memories about daily life back then...

BurgerGuugar327 karma

"We went out to the rubble and got the bombs out that didn't explode to get the powder out. Me, dumbass here, I lit the powder for them. It blew out windows and some people had splinters in their legs from it. My eyebrows burned out and top of my hair. My mother made me go to school anyway. She came running when she heard it go off saying 'I knew she was one of them!' We laugh about it today."

She's referring to going out and defusing bombs and lighting gunpowder with her brother and his gang of boys. Earlier she mentioned that.

low_budget86 karma

Thanks.... Walking around without eyebrows is kinda funny. How about the bomb shelters? Was it at all fun down there? Or were you just terrified the whole time? What were the neighbors like?

BurgerGuugar191 karma

"Well, we had a home built one. Ours almost broke one time from rain, we saw the moon. Big enough for five kids and my mother and my aunt. It was not fun, but it was alright. We were scared it was going to fall in. We didn't have wood support.

We had to fight for the shelter after the war. Some guys from across the river tried to take them for their own thing. My brother almost lost his sight to slingshots."

It was just childish turf wars for those wondering what she is talking about.

hammeeham123 karma

How do you feel about government, and how much control should politicians have over the average citizen?

BurgerGuugar452 karma

"I don't know. None. Let them be themselves. That's why America is freedom, shit."

Epicman93120 karma

What did your family, friends and neighbours think of Hitler before his aryan-propaganda came into the picture?

BurgerGuugar232 karma

"I was too young for that."

snaredrummer95110 karma

Did your brother change his views after the war?

BurgerGuugar319 karma

"Oh yea. He growed up some too, you know. He was just trying to be one if those guys. Big shots. His friends could talk him into anything. Young and dumb."

HeyNowImACockStar110 karma

My Grandmother who lived on the German side of the Nieder/Deutsch border and was probably a bit older than you in the war always said "Hitler was good to the old folk" would you agree with that? Also another question for both you and your grandson: Are you proud to be German?

BurgerGuugar229 karma

"No. Hell no!"

Furthermore, she says..

"I'm American, not German."

She's lived here much longer. Same for me. I was only born in Germany, so I identify as American.

mielamor92 karma

Does she miss anything about Germany? Does she know anyone who supported Hitlet?

BurgerGuugar218 karma

"No not any more. Not since my parents died. Things have changed there. I've been in this country longer, why should I miss Germany?"

She lives in the US.

lavothas86 karma

So many questions... so many

Most of your childhood took place during the war, and your adolescent after what was the biggest struggle for you personally as a young girl at the end of the war?

Were you in east or west Germany? and how did your family adapt to the allied forces occupying your region of Germany (Russian or other)?

Why did your family leave Germany? and if you were in East Germany, how did you get out?

BurgerGuugar185 karma

"I can't even remember. We were out of town... I was still in school. My dad couldn't find any work. He had to empty garbage cans. My mother and brother stole a wagon and we rode to my Aunt's house. We slept in a cellar on potatoes."

Basically, economic hardships was all she was saying.

"West Germany. I left because I fell in love with grandpa."

He was a GI. Not in WWII. They met while he was stationed there after the war.

talico82 karma

I have been told that people who lived through this period have a very hard time feeling patriotic, or anything similar to it, because it reminds them too much of life under the third reich. In your experience have you found that to be true?

BurgerGuugar145 karma

"No. I like that here."

Anglaceandwhiskey81 karma

There is a lot of joking and making light of Hitler and the third Reich on the internet. How do you feel.about this?

BurgerGuugar307 karma

"I think they can do whatever they want to, I guess. Whatever turns them on."

CustomerNoService73 karma

My Opa grew up in Berlin, and his father was a survivor of Stalingrad. He gets, very mad when people in our country (Canada) refer to all the soldiers as Nazis. Do as well get annoyed at this when people referred to all German Soldiers as Nazis in this day and age or do you agree with them?

BurgerGuugar115 karma

"No. When I watch movies I am happy the Germans get shot. They'd even call my dad a Nazi, but it was orders."

I asked if she would be mad if someone called her Dad a Nazi and she said no. I'm not sure why.

Nero9270 karma

What do you feel is the largest occurance during that period in Germany that we today lack appreciation or even perhaps acknowledgement of?

BurgerGuugar203 karma

"I don't know. We had beer tents. Every fall we had wine fests, beer fests."

l_AM_NOT_A_COP67 karma

Where were you when Germany surrendered and what were your/your families thoughts and feelings?

BurgerGuugar137 karma

"I was outside the town. My aunt said a plane was there and then we came to town. My brother said 'the Amies are coming!' We were glad the war was over and Daddy would come back home."

mrSangatang58 karma

I know that the citizens that lived closed to concentration camps didn't say anything about the smell of death or the fact truck-loads of people were going in and no-one came out, at least alive anyway. How did you feel about those citizen's decision to stay quiet?

BurgerGuugar181 karma

"They were just trying to survive. A lot of people didn't know about it."

Roggenroll54 karma

Her town was bombed almost every day

Which town are we talking about here?

BurgerGuugar92 karma


cruztec48 karma

How difficult was it to join the SS? or fly in the Luftwaffe?

BurgerGuugar95 karma

"I don't know. My dad was shooting in the war. He got captured by the Americans in the end. Every now and then he'd lead the band when they were marching."

indeeds45 karma

Have YOU ever seen Universal Soldier?

BurgerGuugar189 karma

"Yea, I seen that. I think what's his name.. That French movie star. Van dam. That's a crazy movie."

She likes action movies.

Silvadream43 karma

Did you have to sign up for any nazi youth groups? If so, what was it like?

BurgerGuugar79 karma

"No. I wasn't old enough. You had to be 12, I think."

peevee7836 karma


BurgerGuugar90 karma

"Heilbronn. Just my home town. I really don't care to go back."

Theironchef27 karma

How were many of the Wehrmacht soldiers treated in Germany when they returned after the war ended? And what did you think of them?

BurgerGuugar63 karma

Her father was one.

"They didn't talk about Hitler. My dad went to jail for 6 months when he came home for fighting with the Nazi's and because he led the marching band."

Macgregorfb21 karma

Did you notice a difference in your town, between the Nazi's being in charge of Germany and the eventual Allied takeover of Germany?

BurgerGuugar52 karma

"Yea. It was peaceful, I think. They had two barracks out there in my town."

nekthar16 karma

From 1929 onwards, the Nazi party gained significant power. Generally, what did people in your community think about the Nazi party before Hitler became chancellor in 1933?

BurgerGuugar29 karma

She wasn't born yet. Big social changes pre war she doesn't understand. Sorry!

CDBaller15 karma

What is your most memorable experience from your childhood?

BurgerGuugar56 karma

"Whenever my Daddy come home from war for vacation for a week or two. Fasching. My uncle taking me and my sisters to dances."

Gettin_Hooked14 karma

My grandmother lived in Belgium during this time and says that there is still some tension around Germans and the countries they occupied. How does she feel about this? Does she feel it's unfair prejudice since she wasnt a hitler supporter?

BurgerGuugar23 karma

"Yea because the bad ones are gone, I think. They're sposed' to."

spazzvogel10 karma

I'd like to ask if you had any family in the United States or another country that seemed distant from the conflict? What were the thoughts of said family on both sides of things in regards to Hitlers rise to power and destruction of such a beautiful place.

Personally I've got most of my Germanic side here in the States and only but a few distant cousins excluding my Mennonite oma (but she went between both countries) in Germany during that time, so I don't have a great grasp on what peoples views were.

BurgerGuugar29 karma

"Nuh uh. Nope."

Her family is full German. She is the first to move.

Strupo9 karma

After the war, what was the general sentiment of the German people. How did they go about their daily lives knowing that their country had just performed the worst atrocity in modern times?

BurgerGuugar33 karma

"There's nothing we could of done about it."

LudicrousGibs7 karma

THANK YOU for doing this AMA.

I don't even know what I want to ask. I just know a worthwhile post when I see one.

Bless you.

Ninja edit: Actually, sure, I do have a question. My grandfather was a Prussian Infantry officer in WWI, and he wrote a book in 1934 about his wartime experiences:

In Maske durch den Fernen Osten by Johann Weltegast (pseudonym).

Apparently it sold moderately well and was well-regarded for a couple of decades or so. Have you heard of or read this book?

BurgerGuugar12 karma

"No. Huh.."

Keep in mind she was quite young. Also dropped out of school in 8th grade.

oss12156 karma

what was the general population attitude about the russians during the war ?

BurgerGuugar12 karma

Answered earlier, but I'll summarize. Basically they were thought of as scary savages by my Grandmother and her town.

tinos1443 karma

Where you like a little bad ass and sabotage Hitler's Army in any way? Like slash tires or something? Maybe I'm just stupid…

BurgerGuugar13 karma

Laughter "Hell no!"

She was a bad ass, though.

arati_fingers2 karma

Did you notice people , especially police or Gov officials, teachers ect having trouble with the moral idea's Hilter put forth.

perhaps stories or people resigning , or speaking out for peace or tolerance or equality. if so how where they treated what was the penalty.

did people in general somehow not know wrong from right on a cultural level?

BurgerGuugar2 karma

"No. We had to stand up together at school saying heil Hitler."

Hedonistic_Nihilist2 karma

Im a little curious about the brother you have mentioned. Do you know if he was a jew hater before the Nazis took power? Or did he change due to propaganda? Did he live through the war, and if so, how did he turn out?

BurgerGuugar3 karma

"He wasn't a Jew hater. He just followed the guys. He turned out alright. He worked in a Mercedes factory."

sonarsun1 karma

Did your family have guns? Did you hide them or were they forcefully taken? If you did have guns why didn't anyone fight back with them?

BurgerGuugar13 karma


JMG363651 karma

As an American I have a question. Reading through this thread I see that you live in the USA now. Do you feel America is headed into a possible Dictatorship? Not necessarily like the Nazi's but with the NSA doing all the things their doing with things like spying on our citizens as well as other countries citizens. Thank both of you for your time.

BurgerGuugar5 karma

"I don't know. I don't know about that. I don't know what they have in mind. I have no idea."

26FemaleSydney1 karma

Do you have any Jewish friends now that you are in America?

BurgerGuugar1 karma

"No. I don't think we have any Jews here."

WhiskerInAJar-4 karma

Do you feel that the current culture and political state in America is similar to that of Germany's during Hitler's rise to power and reign?

BurgerGuugar11 karma

"No. I don't think so."