As a thank you to you all, here is a video of her I recorded. She was already tired and not as fluid, but I think it's nice to see and hear her talk. I hope you all enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t901cbbjzQw on /r/video


I'm sitting here with my 95 year old german grandmother. Proof.

Some pictures of her: http://imgur.com/a/QIHlo

She is a very active women but had a stroke a few months ago. Now she has difficulties to walk and use her right hand (and she loved to write). Before her story gets lost I thought I document it and an AMA seems like a great way to give young people like me the opprtunity to ask questions. Her experience is very valuable to me, and it would be sad if it just would get lost.

She was born in May 1920, is now 95 years old and lived all her life in a village in the beautiful Black Forest. She went to board school from 6-14y/o and went to a college of housecraft afterwards, where she took afternoon lessons in office work. She learned shorthand and to write with a typewriter. She got her first job with 17 in a law and collection office. At this time she was also active in the Bund deutscher Mädchen (BDM) and in a girl church group. Leaders from the BDM didn't support her role in the church group and wanted that she stops going there, but she refused and was called "stubborn".

From 1939 to 1945 she worked at a company where the wife of the owner and her brother were half jews. But they were the only jews in the village and they didn't get imprisoned, because their company was important for the war. They manufactured fabrics for uniforms. In 1944 she got engaged with her first partner. But he had to go into the war. He was missing for 7 years, until she got notice that he died in the war at christmas eve, when Englishman attacked on the 24th december. Her father was also in the war in 1942 as a medic. He then got captured by Russian soldiers and was in war imprisonment for 3 1/2 years. When he came back he was wearing rags and was extremely underweight from starvation and work.

Her village was occupied by the French, or to be more exact Moroccans. They were not allowed to leave the house, but she did it anyway and almost got shot.

In 1955 she got engaged to my grandfather. His first wife died during the war in Düsseldorf because of bombing. When he was in the war, he was in russian war imprisonment and was later transfered to a French prison. He died in 2000 in a car accident.

If you are looking about a topic to ask, she is very proud of the jobs. She always worked and was not a stay-at-home mom.

07:25:50 EDT | 13:25:50 CEST: we just had lunch. We are now waiting for questions. She skips her after-lunch nap for you all.

09:15:07 EDT | 15:15:07 CEST: My oma has a great time. She wants to answer every question. We will make a short coffee break. We will be back in a few minutes.

10:39:23 EDT | 16:39:23 CEST: My grandmother can't comprehend how 3800 people like to hear about it. And that there are over 1000 comments.

13:01:13 EDT | 19:01:13 CEST: We are eating dinner really quick. We will be right back. Gosh... an AMA is really a lot of work!

15:00:05 EDT | 21:00:05 CEST: We decided to answer some new comments. But she is very tired now. After over 7 hours without her nap, she is very exhausted. We will answer some more questions tomorrow. Please upvote some unanswered questions :)

07:15:31 EDT | 13:15:31 CEST: We will answer some more questions now

08:32:03 EDT | 14:32:03 CEST: Now we have to drink coffee with relatives. We celebrate easter a little bit here. We will probably come back to a few questions later tonight.

Thank you very much for participating. She was very happy today.

Please be respectful.

Oh and by the way, I explained reddit to her as a computer newspaper.

Comments: 4947 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

dylanmurphy971670 karma

While your village was occupied, did you live in a state of fear, or was there an air of acceptance about the situation?

samuirai2886 karma

"When we first heard that they were coming, we fled uphill into the forest. We were scared there, because we didn't know what would happen. But we were told to return and stay at home. So we went back and waited. First we were insecure of what would come, but once the Moroccan soldiers where here and came to each house, they didn't do anything. And they were only looking for jewels and food. This is when we calmed down. Shortly after french soldiers came and they also stayed at each house there. The young french man staying at my place was very polite and nice. he even placed newspaper on the place where he slept to not make it dirty."

gene11131633 karma

At the age of 95, what is your favorite invention? For example my great grandmother once explained about when she first day presliced bread. Thank you so much for doing this AMA.

samuirai3010 karma

"The most important invention is the washing machine. Any other technologies come second. It's so amazing what kind of technologies got invented."

edit: grammar

Techynot1461 karma

What did she think about the Nazis back then ? What was her opinion about the war? And how do they compare to her thoughts today.

samuirai3278 karma

"I thought that the countries wouldn't like what Hitler does and that war is probably coming. But it happened faster than we thought. I mostly though that everything couldn't be that wrong. But I didn't support the war, because I was scared that many of my friends would be drafted. We were very scared of the war. But nowadays we know what Hitler really intended. And it was horrific. My dad always said that it was bad but I didn't believe him. There was a difference in the generations. We young people supported it and liked it, but many of our parents didn't support it and always said that it's bad. After the war I realised that my dad was right. And I felt extremely bad."

DEDson1347 karma

What do you think is the most amazing thing you have seen humanity achieve in your long life? What do you consider your best personal accomplishment?

samuirai1922 karma

"The technology. Washing Machines, TVs, ..."

"I'm the most proudest of my job. I was very respected and trusted and I was allowed to write the secret contracts in the company."

go_sens708 karma

What job did you do?

samuirai2183 karma

"I was a secretary. I wrote letters they dicated to me with a typrewriter. I also learned stenography to quickly take notes. I had my own desk and my own typewriter."

fiftystorms1142 karma

How aware was your community of the concentration camps?

samuirai2024 karma

"No we didn't know. When my dad had to go to war, we heard of rumours that there were camps for jews in the east. And that we wouldn't believe how bad it was for them there. But when I heard it at first, I didn't believe it. But when a friend of my dad was coming back, he told us how he saw jews in terrible conditions. Especially children that were begging. He even gave them food but they told him, if he does it again, he would get shot. Still during the war we heard more and more stories. But we never heard how bad it really is. I think the first time we really heard of how bad concentration camps were was after the war. The french soldier who was at my house told us, that we will soon learn about a lot more horrific things the germans did."

TheUnamedChild1141 karma

Let me repeat what many have said, thanks for giving us the opportunity to ask questions. My question is, I heard that living in Germany under Hitler was actually not bad. He turned the country around from a crushing depression. Could you shed some light onto this?

samuirai2263 karma

"Yes definitely! Thats how Hitler tricked us. Life was nice. We had no issues with food and work. Before that there were beggars every day at our door asking for a few cents. With hitler everybody had work. And I was very happy about the freeway down to lake constance. Hitler should have left the other countries alone. That was his mistake. He was craving for power."

Wheeeler1061 karma

Thanks for stopping by!

What is your opinion on German patriotism? While I was living in Bayern (2010-2014), my German friends seemed hesitant to show any national pride. Is this a common way of thinking? Perhaps they were being polite in front of their American friend?

samuirai2221 karma

"No. We are not pride. Our history has taken my pride away from Germany. Now it slowly starts to get a bit more open again."

A sidenote from me (grandson 24y/o). Not many people are patriotic. A lot of people are proud of Germany for the good healthcare, free education, etc. But not in a patriotic way. I personally feel some pride for Germany nowadays, but not patriotic, because our history is so bad. I have a small feeling of guilt.

moritzclus1019 karma

Thanks for doing this in first place, and second:

Did anyone in your village really hate the Jews living there, not just because they where supposed to do so?

Greetings from Germany, Bodensee!

samuirai2011 karma

"We had bad opinions about the jews. A lot of prejudices. The people in my village didn't like them much. But we also only had two half jews, which were owners of a very important company. And that's why nobody said anything against them."

I asked her what common views about jews were: "They were too business oriented. They were always about the money. It was nothing about the religion. They were just seen as different people."

sidenote: she had difficulties to remember any particular prejudices. It just seems like they had a bad view, without real reasons.

soyougottoletmeknow925 karma

I'm an Israeli Jew, my grandparents are both holocaust survivors. I've been very patriotic for my first ~25 years in Israel, but as a dad in my thirties I feel disillusioned and cheated by Israel. Every terrible country is terrible in its own way, and comparisons hardly serve the discussion because so much is different, and of course Israel is nowhere like Nazi Germany at the height of the holocaust - but Israel is doing terrible things to my mind. We're not the victim anymore, we're a nuclear superpower controlling a population as big as our own with military might; we told ourselves our imaginary friend gave us our land, and completely ignore the people who were already there.

I often felt there like a decent German in the early 1930s, like a decent white South African in the 1980s. So I left. My small family moved to Europe about two years ago. I'm a decently successful lawyer, did well in Israel and in Europe. My English is splendid, my manners are half-European, my wife and daughter are happy here. But I'm homesick like I can't describe. I miss my friends, I miss my country, I miss my language, I miss the beach. I feel like I've given up and ran away, which is sort of what I did. In my twenties I spent so much time trying to help my country in the army (I was an officer, served eight years), and in hindsight all I did was wrong, or, at least, just didn't help.

I want to go home. Life in Israel is, indeed, reasonably good. The economy is OK if you're upper middle class, Tel-Aviv is such a wonderful city (other than during the biennial war on Gaza, when you suddenly discover how racist very nice people can be). I'll devote half my work to pro-bono cases, I'll send my kids to one of the very few Israel-Arab schools, I'll do what I can to shield them from the fascism and racism encroaching on Israel. But my taxes will still fund the occupation of Gaza.

I desperately want to hear your grandmas advice. What does she think? And, to clarify, I'm not asking her for personal advice, to go back or not. I want to know what does she thinks decent Germans should have done in her times. I understand she didn't know about a lot of things. Had she known, and was able to leave... would she?

EDIT: tried to make things brief; feel free to summarise the background as necessary in order to ask her. And thank you. And tell her, if she cares, that I think nothing bad of her or her generation, certainly not those actively involved in the genocide itself
EDIT2: I guess in Israel I'd be considered extreme-left, parties reflecting my opinions are virtually nonexistent. I guess about 5% of the voting population thinks like me, maybe less. Many Israelis would probably be very angry I dare make even a tenuous comparison between Israel and South Africa, let alone Germany in the thirties. If people care enough, I can do an AMA. EDIT3 (and last): Yay, gold! :) I get all these messages and comments and whatnot, I really want to do reply to everyone and even do an AMA right now, but I can't (real life...). I'll try to pull one off in the coming week or so. I've been a lurker so far and opened a throwaway for this message, it suddenly blew out of proportion. Can someone message me about how should I do it (just post in /r/ama?), what are the best times, how much time to set aside for it, other advice?

samuirai397 karma

Oh wow. This is a heavy topic :( I wish you all the best to you, your family and kids.

"Even if we had known. I would have been too scared. We wouldn't have been able to say anything, because they would have taken you away. Communist people who demonstrated, were taken away. I as an insignificant person feel powerless. You should be careful to not loose your job. Though, I would never have left Germany. That would have been too easy. I wouldn't have been brave enough to do anything"

soyougottoletmeknow125 karma

Thank you, /u/samuirai. Spend a lot of your time with your granny, she saw more in her lifetime than you and me combined.

samuirai264 karma

she added "I never liked to do the 'Hail Hitler' greeting because it's distasteful and preferred to say 'good morning'."

unimatrix_0906 karma

Grüss Gott. How did you hear about the end of the war? What was the reaction where you were?

samuirai2072 karma

"I don't remember where I was when I heard it. But I remember that I was very happy, because I was expecting my fiancee to come back. I thought he was in english imprisonment, and the English released soldiers very early. Unlike the Russians. But he never came back. I waited 7 years for him."

KiwiNachSchland878 karma

That is so incredibly sad. May I ask what happened to him?

samuirai1552 karma

"He died in the Eifel. The Englishman attacked on the 24th december (at christmas). And the germans were not prepared. That's why I will never visit England. I'm very angry that they attacked at christmas eve. Shortly before the war ended he was home for vacation because he rescued a comrade out of the sea. And a neighbour said to him, that if he always goes on vacation like this, we will never win the war."

mrsmalcolmreynolds726 karma

Do you experience lots of deprivation after the war? If yes, what sorts of things were hard to get? What "inventions" were created to fill shortages?

samuirai1058 karma

"Yes, we god food cards from the city hall, which rationed what we were allowed to buy. But we were able to buy a lot of things on the 'black market'. For example I used to go to a farm and beg for getting more food. The food we were allowed to buy was less and less and wasn't enough. There were no clothes to buy. Only clothes for work was available."

dannaz423613 karma

What was the public opinion of the war at the time? Was there any opposition to the war that you saw?

samuirai1018 karma

"The people around me said that the war is not necessary. And we didn't start the war, but the Englishman did. But we also couldn't stop it, because Hitler did already go too far with the plan to own the world."

QuirkyQbana489 karma

Firstly Thank you for sharing your story with us on reddit! I wish you health and happiness from Brussels. Question:As a young woman in a working environment how were you perceived from the typical stay at home mother type? (During the war and post war era)

samuirai774 karma

"It was very normal. Almost every women had to work during the war. And after the war many women stayed, like I did. Nobody said that I should be a housewife."

cumbert_cumbert215 karma

Who looked after the children while the women and men were otherwise preoccupied?

samuirai380 karma

"In the beginning I had nanny, and later my mom took care of my kids. I also only worked part-time so I was home at lunch."

blackjacksandhookers451 karma

Did your father and the man you married in 1955 ever talk about their experiences on the Eastern Front? Or about things they witnessed there?

samuirai686 karma

"They told about a lot of dead soldiers from the east and west. Most of the people got sent to the eastern front. Also my first fiancee was at the eastern front, but was sent to the Eiffel, where the Englishman attacked. They told me about how crazy cold it was. We used to send them socks and additional clothing. The soldiers who got home for vacations told stories how they almost got killed. And how it was a back and forth."

blackjacksandhookers254 karma

Thanks very much for the reply and for the AMA! Also if it's possible to get another answer to a more sensitive question: did your relatives talk about any atrocities they saw in the east?

Thanks again

samuirai650 karma

"My dad saw how many jews were collected in trucks and thought that it was horrible. When my dad met local people in the east, they didn't had anything against germans. They were wondering why Germany did this. And he told us how nice they were to him."

I asked now a few times about atrocities, but I presume they didn't tell her much about it. Or she would tell me.

She also mentioned that she still has a collection of old letters that her dad sent to her mom during the war. And suggested that we should look for them and read them. Maybe there is something in there.

SwagPurple425 karma

Thank you for sharing! You have been through events that I cannot imagine going through. What kept you level headed and what would be one piece of advice you would give to a male that just turned 21?

samuirai1041 karma

"Beeing political neutral, because it's so difficult to follow and understand. Also being religious helped me. Beeing punctual at work, honest and sincere. This made me happy"

A_solitary_sock416 karma

How were you and you're family affected by post ww1 hyper inflation in Weimar Germany?

samuirai677 karma

"We lived in a home belonging to the company where my mom, dad and I worked. Our family lost everything. My grandfather had a ropery and he earned a lot. He kept a lof of money in a cigar case. He kept this money like a treasure because he wanted to buy a house. And he always hoped that it would be worth anything again."

xboxg4mer234 karma

That's sad. I've read of people losing their entire life savings. Can I ask, if you don't mind, what he felt, thought or said when the new rentenmark came to be and he knew his money would never be worth anything again?

samuirai397 karma

"How he felt, I don't know, I was not there. I only know he always wanted to buy a house, but afterwards he was never able to save enough for a house. At the end he was able to buy 1/2 of a house, but that was not the house he wished for."

Johnny_Tempest337 karma

Black forest. . . I have a question.

Are their hams the greatest hams in the world?

samuirai887 karma

"No. The best ham is from Italy. But the Black Forest ham is great too. We often got ham from Italy, because that one was better."

StretsilWagon319 karma

Do you see any parallels between Europe/Germany pre-World War 2 and the Europe of today?

samuirai785 karma

"No parallels. Very different. The political parties are different. It's just different."

I mentioned russia and ukraine and she responds: "Our chancellor is very cautious now. We should send humanitarian help, but never intrude another country."

Blahblahblah2063303 karma

Do you have any tips on how to keep staying physically active throughout the years?

samuirai578 karma

"Every morning me and my husband did gymnastics. Even at my old age I did some exercises each morning. We also went hiking each sunday."

exhaledeeply129 karma

It is so sad that after everything that happened in her and her husband's life -- wars, poverty, etc., that her husband would die in a car accident. That is so sad to me; I would feel so cheated. I am sorry for her loss.

samuirai168 karma

The worst thing about it is, that he died because an old women on the other side of the road had a heart attack and crashed into him. She survived it.

jaimystery286 karma

Did you ever traveled outside of Germany?

Where you surprised to learn about the concentration camps?

samuirai535 karma

  1. "When I was younger we visited Austria. But we never visited France or England. And I was also very angry at the Englishman for the dead of my fiancee at christmas eve."

  2. "Yes. My dad told me some stories about it. But they were only rumours and I didn't believe him. And afterwards I was shocked that it was true and even worse. When he came back after war imprisonment he said, that we couldn't believe how horrific it was." (his dad didn't support the nazis and was very angry when he had to go to war.)

vjosiah264 karma

Do you feel people (and soldiers) in the village were more hostile/scared when you were under German rule, or when occupied by the French?

samuirai494 karma

"We were scared of the SS. When you would have said something, they would have taken you. Nobody liked them. In our village, we knew the people in the SS, and they knew us (small village). So we felt safer. In our house we had a young French soldier, and he was very polite."

AcuteAppendagitis253 karma

Did you travel outside Germany after the war? If so, how were you treated by people from the countries around you?

Do you feel your country was treated fairly in the years after WWII?

samuirai562 karma

"I travelled to the place where my fiancee died. A soldier who found his tag showed me the place where they found him. I also travelled to Switzerland, Austria and France. Nobody treated me differently. They were all very nice."

"We irrelevant people had no problems after the war. People who were Nazis had problems. But we didn't. It was all pretty normal for us."

enigmaticblue226 karma

This is the most fascinating AMA I have ever read. Thank you for doing this OP and Grandmother. My question is - Do you ever think about how the world would be different if Germany won the war and how do you think the world would be today if that was true?

samuirai240 karma

"If we would win, we would have had Hitler for ever. Hitler was feared and if we had won, he would just get started. Hitler would have gone crazy with this power. It would have gone worse."

thetalosprinciple162 karma

How did Germany's views of Hitler change over time? How was he viewed before he rose to power? After he was Chancellor of Germany? During and after the war?

samuirai349 karma

"We were enthusiastic at the beginning. Because everything changes radically. Life was great. I kind of supported his plan of making a 'healthy nation'. For example told us that the disabled people would be brought in nice houses, were not allowed to marry, but otherwise they were taken care of in a good way. To make the population healthier. Over time this view changed, when we heard more and more stories and rumors how he treated disabled people and of working camps, we started to not be as supportive anymore. Even before the end of the war we realised that Hitler is bad and is to blame for everything."

eladamrine161 karma

How does Germany view German participants (your first partner and your father) in the war, today? Are they swept under the carpet or are they celebrated or somewhere inbetween?

Thanks! Bless you!

samuirai377 karma

"We never celebrated soldiers. We were never proud of the war. But they were also not viewed as guilty or bad, because they were forced to fight."

I asked, what is your reaction or feeling if somebody tells you "I fought in the WW2". She says: "Then I know that he was forced to fight. And if he wouldn't have gone, he would have gotten punished."

"During the war, when our soldiers visited us, we were a bit proud of them. Only when we slowly realised that we were loosing the war, the opinion changed. We wanted to have our men back. And our cities were destroyed. There was no prestige for being a soldier."

BoxBopChallenge154 karma

As a teenager during the rise of the Third Reich, were you exposed to a lot of the propaganda, such as "Triumph of the Will"? If so, did the propaganda succeed in giving your friends and peers pride in their country and the ideals of the Reich? I'm curious to see how effective it was.

Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

samuirai218 karma

"I don't think that I have seen this. We didn't have a cinema or TV. And we never saw any propaganda movies. When we watched something they were regular movies. We listened to a radio sometimes. But there was not much propaganda as far as I can remember. Even at the Jungmädel, we were just a village. And it was never really political. We usually just had activities like singing."

selggu154 karma

Surprised it's all ww2 questions. I have a more modern question. How did you feel when the Berlin wall fell? Did your village party?

samuirai197 karma

"We were very happy. We didn't celebrate big. But we were very happy. I remember very well when the wall got build. That was horrible."

animus1983151 karma

What village? My Oma is 94 and grew up in Ludwigshafen. Moved to Australian in the 1950's. I was almost sure from the title it could have been my Oma :)

samuirai38 karma

Ludwigshafen is quite a distance. I hope you and your oma are doing well.

one2one2v2145 karma

What was it like to live in a village occupied by the Moroccans?

Did your father suffer from PTSD or did you know anyone who had "issues" after the war?

samuirai307 karma

"The Moroccans were only there a few days before the French came. The French soldiers sent Maroccans ahead incase the germans would be hostile. They were looking for jewels and food. And we heard about stories that they raped a few women, but not in our village. So we hid a lot of young girls. We also didn't speak the same language. So we had to communicate with hand signs."

aerial1981139 karma

What does she think of the Hitler Youth movement, and how they used the public schools to brainwash the children into joining it?

samuirai282 karma

"I was out of school when this started. I only know they had to say 'Hail Hitler' in the morning and at the end. We were very excited about the BDM. It was so much fun. The economy was improved so much through Hitler, that I thought groups were great. From time to time we had some political presentations, and my dad was very angry at me for going there. But most of the time we sang traditional volkslieder - we never really sang nazi songs. We danced. We dressed nicely and marched - like on this picture. There were a lot of fun activities for us."

wjbc137 karma

What does your Grandmother think of the movie, The Sound of Music? My mother-in-law is ethnic German and she watches it until the wedding, then turns it off.

What kind of jobs has she held and what was it like being a woman in the workforce in Germany? Did she encounter discrimination?

My mother was a teacher, and an extremely competent one. My mother-in-law started with nothing as an immigrant from Europe, and worked her way up from bank teller to president of a bank. Both were born in the 1920s. I have a theory that the female nurses, secretaries, and teachers of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s were extremely competent because those were accepted professions for women. Women who would be CEOs today were nurses, secretaries, or teachers back then. What does she think of that theory?

samuirai208 karma

She doesn't know the movie.

She was a secretary. "But I never called myself a secretary. Because I didn't want to brag. I called myself 'Kaufmännische Angestelltin' (~commercial accounting)."

No discrimination. It was pretty normal to work as a women.

Esenem134 karma

A lot of these questions have focused on the WW2 period, so I would like to ask; Do you have any experiences or stories you would like to share from the 50's/60's/70's?

samuirai225 karma

"The business I worked closed after the war. Because it was a cloth mill. We would have needed to upgrade to new machinery, but there was no money. But I found a job at an attorney office for about 2 years. After that I got a job at a small company, which is now very big. But I was not a secretary anymore. I was working in sales. I stayed there until I old-age pension. January 1955 I married. I had one dead birth in the 4th month. But then I got my first daughter 1956 and my second daughter in 1957. I reserved a property for a house for two years. But I haven't had the money to build a house yet. So when they told me I either have to build a house or give up the property, I decided to marry. And my husband also wanted to build the house then."

recommendable126 karma

How did you meet your husband in 1955 and could you share a happy memory about your engagement?

samuirai438 karma

"I decided to go to a dance party in the next village. My good friend didn't come with me, so I meet up with other friends. It was dark in the living room where we met. And I thought there is a friend of mine sitting there, and I poked him with my umbrella. But then it turned out that it was another man. I was sooo embarrassed. But it was fine and we decided to go all together to the dance party. A friend joked that I will marry him, I said that would be ridiculous. But I lost that bet and married him 6 months later."

"We went to the city hall and asked for an extension on the property we had until we were married. they agreed. And I was very happy."

JackalBear40 karma

This is such a wonderful story, I hope something similar happens to me. Thanks for doing this ama, I just spent a week in Berlin and I've never been out of the US before. I've always liked Germany and I do now more than ever. Your country is beautiful and the people are so kind in Germany.

Edit: missing words

weezernz57 karma

Get an umbrella and get poking!

samuirai111 karma

You should get a yellow umbrella!

JustSomeBear117 karma

How was your experience with soldiers who had to stay in Germany after the war (in order to do hours to be able to return home)? I've heard some very nice things and very bad things about them.

samuirai176 karma

"There were no soldiers staying after the occupation. We were a small village. There were military barracks, but I know nothing about it."

hitlershomie109 karma

Out of the 95 no doubt about awesome years you've lived, what memory sticks out the most? Edit: please disregard name. Totally not his homie.

samuirai158 karma

"My amours." (laughing loud)

White_ghost98 karma

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! I have a few myself:

  • When did you realize the war was turning quickly against Germany? And how did you feel?

  • What was your reaction when you heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor?

  • What was it like when you heard of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

  • How did your village react when they realized the war was over?

Thanks so much!

samuirai154 karma

  1. "over a year before the end of the war we started to know. We heard more rumours and stories from soldiers that were visiting."

  2. "I have heard of Pearl Harbor, but I don't know anything about it. We have only heard of it marginally."

  3. "ohhhhh... horrific. I was scared. That something like this even exists. And I hope that this will never ever happen again. Even in a war. They know if they use it it will destroy everything."

  4. We were happy

mudpole93 karma

What makes your ham so special?

samuirai165 karma

"less fat, and more meat."

jujihai73 karma

Thanks for doing this! Did your husband talk about the way the Russians treated him in the prison camp?

samuirai120 karma

"It was horrible. Not enough food. Always wearing the same cloths. If they didn't follow they got hurt. They didn't tell much. Russian prison camps were worse than english or french prison camps."

whiteboys68 karma

What do you think of the world today? What are your thoughts of the United States?

samuirai174 karma

  1. very loudly: "The world is crazy! It was more peaceful back then. Humans are much more aggressive nowadays."

  2. "'Everything comes from america'. America is excessive. In the past I would have liked to go to america but today I think it's exaggerated now."

allstarrunner56 karma

What was your reaction when you found out Hitler had killed himself? Thanks

samuirai233 karma


marley8856 karma

What was your perception of the British and Americans during the war?

Thanks for this interesting AMA!

samuirai130 karma

"I was not very well versed. I didn't know much about them. I felt like the english soldiers were more 'soldier' than the americans. The american soldiers are so wishy-washy. I don't really know."

tunczykzbiedronki56 karma


samuirai89 karma

short clarification ''It's Germany starts II World War' < do you mean "Germany started the two world wars"?

Berg_Man55 karma

When and how did you realize that Germany had lost the war? Were newspapers being honest in 1944 and 1945 about the country's situation?

samuirai94 karma

"The newspaper didn't write about that Germany was losing the war. They were not allowed to. We knew about it from the soldiers that were on vacation and from rumours."

edit: spelling


how much did the views in the post war years truly reflect the reality of the war - did Germans try to bury the past - what was living under the occupied allies like in comparison?

samuirai96 karma

"No. We were glad when Hitler was gone. We were very sad that Germany was so destroyed. But we also destroyed a lot. They were honest about it. For example the newspaper wrote that we were guilty of the war."

SicTransitEtc53 karma

What was your favorite part about growing up in a village in the Black Forest? Has the village become a bigger city or is it similar today to the way it was when you were a girl?

samuirai74 karma

"It didn't change much. A lot of people moved away and a lot of people moved in. A lot of old jobs went away, like the tannery, which the village was very famous for. We have some more industry, but the character of the village is still the same."

ben_meir53 karma

Do you notice an increase in anti-Semitisim currently in Germany?

samuirai104 karma

"I don't know. I don't know any jews. We didn't have a jewish community in our village and nowhere around us."

TheBeachWhale42 karma

Thanks so much for doing this! How did you almost get shot? What did you leave the house for? Would you mind telling the story? Thankyou so much!

samuirai72 karma

"During the occupations when the french soldiers arrived, nobody was allowed to leave the house. I really liked the neighbours women who was sick. So I thought, she is alone, and I could go over to her house and keep her company. I thought I could quietly/quickly run over there. Just when I wanted to enter the house, a bullet hit the ground next to me. I was very scared and didn't want to go back home. And my mom didn't know that I went to our neighbour. Half an hour later I ran back. But there were some people who left their houses and got shot. My mom was very very angry."

Antnik4542 karma

Whilst your village was under occupation during World War 2, was there a certain consensus about how people viewed other countries as enemies? In other words, did you and your community see the Allied Forces as a real threat to you before the end of the war?

samuirai74 karma

"We didn't see them as enemies. This young french soldier who stayed with us was so nice. I never had a enemy stereotype against people from another country. I was glad when the war was over."

scooping_kiwis36 karma

As a 95-year-old, what are your top 5 activities you believe everyone should do at least once?

samuirai66 karma

"join friends for activities; find a good partner and marry; find a man with a good job, who can sustain a family; and children"

maximusprime735 karma

How do you feel about people who don't believe the Holocaust was real?

samuirai102 karma

"That's so stupid. So stupid."

rsdude033 karma

Please tell us what advice you would give to young people today about living life to it's fullest and overcoming adversity?

samuirai94 karma

"Listen. I want to tell you something. I also had those problems. I lost people. Just pull together, life goes on!"

FrenchLama32 karma

Hi ! I'm a ( polite ) French young man. Thank you and your grandma for doing his AMA ! Stories are great.
Does your grandma have any advice about German girls ?

samuirai131 karma

"It makes me so angry when we make a date and he arrives 30-60min late. This also happened to my husband on our first date. I was very very angry about that. So angry that when another man sat next to me, I went to drink coffee with him."

Tobikaj31 karma

What pops into your mind when you hear the word "Denmark"?

samuirai61 karma

"The forenames are so nice."

tenminuteslate29 karma

Which was the best decade and why?

samuirai45 karma

"When I was young. So from 20-28y/o."

cringebotjustice26 karma

What has been the greatest surprises in your life?

samuirai40 karma

"When my dad came home after the war when he got released from war imprisonment. I was so happy."

Capt_Kilgore23 karma

I can't believe you are still answering questions! Thank you so much. I hope more people in your generation can do these interviews. So my question is: What do you think of your grandson? What do you dream of for him and Germany?

samuirai44 karma

Haha, thats awkward to ask...

"I wish that you are happy. And that you have a good job. And if something is not possible, don't chase it."

Lindsaybrohan43023 karma

I'm coming into this late so my apologies if this has already been asked. There have been lots of movies made about WWII and a number made about the Holocaust. Do you ever watch these films or do you just avoid them all together? If you have/do, do you think the portrayals have been accurate or well done?

samuirai50 karma

"I'm careful. I don't like to watch them. I don't want to see war."

Reffter23 karma

What was your reaction when you saw a computer for the first time?

samuirai82 karma

"I'm very angry at computers. Since they exist family life is destroyed. Everything is centered around your computers."

oops :D

prillin10122 karma

Did you live in East or West Germany during the Cold War? How diffrent was Cold War Germany?

samuirai47 karma

She is from the Black Forest, so West Germany.

"We were a bit scared if war would start again. But I also didn't really understand what 'cold war' meant."

markaflias20 karma

Did you eat knödel back in the days ?

Thx.for doing this and keep on going.

samuirai28 karma

"Yeah of course."

bearse2 karma

Your grandfather who was imprisoned in Russia, what nation did he fight for in the war?

samuirai13 karma

We are germans