Hello this is her grandson, it is her birthday today and I will be reading her the questions and translate her answers. We will answer a few questions today and then tomorrow again at ~noon german time.

After the war she opened up a business selling hearing aid devices and traveled the world.

We are looking forward to your questions!

Edit: Wow this blew up! She is tired now, we will answer more questions tomorrow (german time).

Edit edit: I convinced her to answer a couple more today so here we go.

Another Edit: Ok thats it for today, we will answer a couple more tomorrow.

Yet another Edit: Wow gold thanks! We will answer a couple more now but there is already way more questions than we can get to so I am sorry if your question does not get answered.

She wanted to tell you the following: After reading several questions I noticed that there are too many young people that know way to little about this terrifying war time and that education should put a lot more focus on these events.

As some people have asked for this: Here is a picture of her when she was younger:

Last Edit: Thanks for all the questions, it was very interesting to see the reactions and I want people to think about what was done and what could have been done better. I will pray for all of you!

Comments: 2553 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

o_snap_its_chlamydia1705 karma

We usually hear only about the bad memories of the war, but which is your happiest memory from the war time?

GermanGrandma2828 karma

The bond between doctors and patients and nurses because nobody knew if he would survive another day.

IAmTheBeefCake1080 karma

What was the hardest challenge for you to overcome as a nurse in this insane situation? What was the chief lesson you extracted from the experience?

GermanGrandma2138 karma

After a bombing when the sirens stopped, we knew that lots of patients would come in but we didnt know what kind of injuries would expect us. Then we had to work extremely long and got extremely little sleep and everytime the sirens were going off again and we knew we would have to continue working for many hours. I learned to not give up even when you think this might be your last day and push through no matter what.

ThoseWhoDoVoodoo1041 karma

After the war, how were you treated by people from the Allied countries (US, UK, France, Belgium)? Did you do business with those countries?

GermanGrandma1694 karma

I never did business with them, but in my part if the country the US troops were stationed and they treated us very respectful, however I heard that the UK troops did not treat people as good.

Kratos_The_Spartan1025 karma

How would you say the average German's view of Hitler changed throughout the war? Would you say there was a point where public opinion was turned against him (perhaps by heavy losses on the eastern front)?

GermanGrandma1969 karma

I think the public opinion changed already at the beginning of the war but you were not allowed to express your opinion.

lovecooks902 karma

Was there a specific patients story that left an impact on you?

GermanGrandma1787 karma

After the war there were lots of infections, I had to take care of many childrens and was living with them in an isolated station and when they cried at night I sometimes let them sleep in my bed to comfort them. One of them became very accustomed to me and when she healed she was extemely thankful and said that she would never forget what I have done for her.

Raego689 karma

Did you ever hear from her later in life?

GermanGrandma1241 karma

Yes she visited me sometimes. I went to work at another hospital and she kept visiting me and thanking me for being taken care of so well and said that she is not homesick anymore. After a year or so I did not see her anymore.

rae919863 karma

What was the best experience that you had while traveling the world?

GermanGrandma1393 karma

Getting to know and understand and value other cultures by traveling to their countries. Travelling to china shortly after maos death was the most interesting journey for me.

ChillingRock484 karma

Could you name something you experienced which made China the most interesting journey?

GermanGrandma925 karma

It was interesting that there were special shops for foreigners which could not be visited by the local, i dis not approve but it was interesting nevertheless.

Theinjuredplayer_40815 karma

What's something little you did for each patient for them to know you are caring for them and not treating them as a number?

GermanGrandma1448 karma

Back in my time people were treated different than today, everybody was respected and cared for on a very personal basis. Even in the war we took alot of time for each patient and it wasnt as hectic as today. I feel like the additute changed.

Elyssian698 karma

Happy Birthday from England!

You must have seen a lot of development in society and technology in 95 years- what has been the most surprising for you?

GermanGrandma833 karma

The additute in society changed when so many refugees were coming from the east and we were learning to be welcoming as a society. The refugees were put into ours houses and we had to adapt. The speed of everyday life has accelerated a lot. On the side of technology I cannot name a specific one.

Bad_dota_playa461 karma


GermanGrandma668 karma

(Grandson here) i think this was answered somwhere else. She never approved of the nazi party.

dubgabalter454 karma

As someone who's been/seen so much during the course of life - what advice do you have for the younger generations of today? General life advice, keys to be truly happy, etc.

GermanGrandma1301 karma

Always think positive and keep going no matter how hard the challange when you commit to something. Dont doubt your ability to get it done.

Hvitacristr447 karma

How did your views of war change before, during and after?

GermanGrandma927 karma

I was always against war so my optionion did not change. However before the war I had no idea what war would be like. The war was horrible and after the war we were starving and everything was destroyed.

aatop383 karma

What's the most inspirational thing you've seen during your life?

GermanGrandma781 karma

My christian believe has inspired me most.

anavsc91380 karma

Happy birthday! What do you think of technologycal advances in current medicine, in terms of patient well-being?

GermanGrandma906 karma

I think patients are much better off today due to the technologies but they are no longer treated as personal and individual as in my time.

GentlePurpleGiant340 karma

What was the hardest decision you had to make as a nurse, in WWII?

Thank you for doing the AMA!

GermanGrandma848 karma

Everytime the sirens and everybody was going into the bunkers we had to decide if we would keep helping the patients or go into the bunker ourselfes. We usually kept working.

Abraxein321 karma

What flavor is the cake? Happy birthday too, be my valentine?

GermanGrandma513 karma

walnut ;)

SgtSweetShot313 karma

Given the time, did you support Hitler while working as a nurse in the war? Just curious cuz it wasn't uncommon to think highly of him back then.

GermanGrandma743 karma

I hated hitler and so many people had to die only because he was completely crazy.

Nhampton94281 karma

Could you give us tips for the key to your longevity ?

GermanGrandma847 karma

By staying active all the time, you have to keep moving and using your brain through reading and thinking. Always do something and don't adapt to a very comfortable lifestyle.

Asabiru278 karma

During the war there was a lot of rationing, what did you miss the most?

GermanGrandma826 karma

During the war it was not so bad, the worst part was after the war when when we sometimes had to eat rotten food and pick worms out of the food. Some of the doctors would collapse during operation due to a lack of food.

SEQU0IA238 karma

What's something about the war that most people wouldn't know?

GermanGrandma986 karma

The full scale of the horror and that nobody is worth anything in a war. Everybody wants to win but everybody ends up loosing. The fear that exsists because nobody knows what will happen is impossible to grasp if you have never been in a war.

0xDAB237 karma

Hey! My grandfather was a radio operator in a US bomber during the invasion. His plane got shot to hell, along with him in it. The only reason he got out alive is because his pilot gave him his parachute because he could not keep the plane stable enough to get out himself. Anyway, my grandfather landed in Germany as was takin in as a German POW, riddled with both shrapnel and bullets .

To this day, my grandma credits German nurses with his survival and ability return home after the war. He died of complications related to his wound when my father was three, but him and my grandma had three children and were able to start her family. If it were not for German nurses, my grandmother reminds me, I would not be here today. I always credit both my grandmother and the German POW system for their respect. I just want to say thank you but my [required] question is, did you see the people you were treating as the 'enemy' and if not, how did you relate to the people who were dropping shells all over your homeland?

GermanGrandma38 karma

I did see them as a whole as enemies because they wanted to destroy germany, but the individuals were not enemies to me. They had to fulfill their duty and I do not think that they enjoyed dropping shells all over us. We treated war prisoners just like germans and never felt any personal grudge towards them.

Johnnyiiii225 karma

What was the worst injury you've ever seen?

GermanGrandma442 karma

Hard to say, many patients were brought in with missing legs and dying but I dont have a specific case in mind.

USMCTCPEO223 karma

Have you ever met an Allied soldier that participated in the war? If so how did the interaction go?

Did you ever treat any allied personnel?

GermanGrandma418 karma

Yes we treated many occupied forces (US troops). They were nice and they tried to learn german and when that wouldnt work we tried to communicate with hands and feet. They were very courteos.

Darkomicron193 karma

Did you treat soldiers from both sides? Where were you when the war ended, how did it end for you?

GermanGrandma415 karma

We had to treat the war prisoners and we treated them just like germans.

Stra2caster187 karma

What was your opinion on the Nuremberg laws? Did things change quickly once the laws were abolished? Also, Happy Birthday from Canada!

GermanGrandma268 karma

I was always against it. It took a long for jews to return to their home in germany after the war so the effect was not immediate.

NappeExo153 karma

Have you ever been inside a concentration camp? What did you see?

GermanGrandma161 karma

No I have never been to one

redishot2151 karma

Hello germanGrandma and OP! Thanks for doing this AMA. I've a couple questions for you:

At what point in the time leading up to the war did you know there would be a war?

Did you ever expect the war would become WWII?

Was there ever a time you thought of fleeing Germany/ Europe?

How did you end up meeting your husband?

GermanGrandma275 karma

1: When Hitler shaped the people for the war through his speaking. He was a talented speaker and could fascinate the people through his speeches.

2: We did not expect this in the beginning but we realized as it kept on getting worse.

3: Never

4: In an ice cream parlor

usernametakenfucku133 karma

What was the reaction when the fuhrer took his own life? Thank you.

GermanGrandma382 karma

We heard it through the radio in the hospital and we all started crying tears of happiness and were relieved. It brought us hope to start cleaning up the mess that the war had brought upon us.

Clever-Hans133 karma

I imagine nobody would feel properly prepared or trained to provide wartime healthcare. In what ways did you innovate, or come up with novel solutions to unexpected problems?

GermanGrandma215 karma

We had to improvise a lot. Sometimes more than 20 people came in at a time and we had to pause whatever we were doing and always choose the most important task which was a challange. (Not really the answer you wanted i suppose sry)

Reckoner87114 karma

Why is there a rug on your wall?

GermanGrandma812 karma

Because it looks nice

ZanetheMan112 karma

Was it harder to care for children than it was adults?

GermanGrandma248 karma

The children were really affectionate so no.

Domers_110 karma

How was life before the war? What was it like growing up in 1920's Germany?

GermanGrandma189 karma

It was comfortable and peaceful, we had to work a lot but everything was progressing at a slow and steady pace. The hectic came after the war. There were very few cars, so we used bikes a lot or the farmers let us ride on the coach (not sure about the translation here).

Woolybugger00106 karma

Do you remember any specific patients you treated and have you stayed in touch with anyone you treated?? Thank you - You're an angel amongst us!

GermanGrandma193 karma

The patients we treated often came to visit us and thank us. Sometimes they brought cake and presents

UrgentPineapple94 karma

At what point after the war did you feel like Germany had finally recovered? I'm interested to know just how much damage a war of that scale could do to a country and it's people.

GermanGrandma222 karma

The americans took all our industry (except VW which they viewed as not important) but around 1948 we had the currency reform and thats when things started to get better. The americans were afraid that we would turn to the russians for help and then constructed the marshall plan which really helped the german industry get back on their feet. I would say germany started to really recover around 1952.

-Antiheld-94 karma

Guten Tag, wie haben Sie die Stärke gefunden diesen Job zu Kriegszeiten auszuhalten und dabei einen klaren Kopf zu bewahren?

(Roughly translated :) Good day to you, how have you found the strength to endure that job during wartime, all the while keeping your cool?

GermanGrandma276 karma

I am a firm believer in christ which gave me strength and felt like it was my duty to keep going. I never regretted my commitment.

vxx91 karma

How do you think about the current refugee situation, and the right wing using it as their tool to win more ground using propaganda?

GermanGrandma332 karma

That is a big problem and I think we have to take in those refugees. They are people just like us and we have the moral duty to help them. The right wing is stupid and disregards that they could be in the same situation at some point.

long_wang_big_balls87 karma

How did you cope, mentally? Did you treat a lot of cases of PTSD or Shell Shock?

GermanGrandma172 karma

1: Through my religion and because we had to 2: No

Snarky_Slytherin77 karma

What was your scariest moment in the war?

GermanGrandma179 karma

The worst fear I felt was when we found out that the jews were put into concentration camps, thats when we knew what would expected us in the future and thats when we thought the war was going to destroy everything.

lintyelm73 karma

Im curious, what made her get into the business of selling hearing aids? Also, did she sympathize with the Nazi party or was she against it?

GermanGrandma146 karma

I started the business with my husband. He was working at a company and they came in contact with deaf children. There werent really many means to help them at the time, we then recognized this as a business opportunity and started a business.

Barjuden71 karma

Given the circumstances of the war and the Nazi government at the time, what was it like to listen to Hitler speak?

GermanGrandma149 karma

I never listened to him intentionally, we always turned off the radio when he spoke. However he had a terrifying power over the people through his speeches.

its_only_pauly71 karma

As a Sikh I would love to ask you if you came across any Sikhs during this time (WW2). And if so what impression did they leave on you?

GermanGrandma75 karma

No I never met any.

madethisaccttocallua53 karma

Thank you for your service to your country and your people. I certainly don't support the government of Germany at that time, or its policies, but you were just trying to take care of the people in your country who were hurt, and I think that's worthy of admiration and praise.

I hope you don't feel bad, thinking so much about your time in war, on your birthday. I hope you have a happy birthday, a good meal and maybe a schnapps!

Do you have any advice for a young American these days?

GermanGrandma159 karma

The most important thing in my opinion is the believe in jesus christ. It gives you the power to get through any struggle.

Verinio31 karma

Can you post a picture of you when you were young?

GermanGrandma44 karma

Grandson here: I uploaded one, check the post

I_Should_Be_Cleaning28 karma

What is your favorite go to recipe for dinner?

Also, what kind of cake is that?

GermanGrandma54 karma

My favorite recipe? I have lots, but mostly I enjoy making cake. (its walnut cake)

DeepFriedHummus13 karma

Did the nurses at the time support the Nazis (asking if back then they supported them, not now) or did they just serve because they were forced to or because they did not like the Nazis but wanted to help their countrymen? (

GermanGrandma23 karma

No, they were totally against them. They worked to help others and they were never forced to work. You would be a bad nurse if you were forced to be one against your will.