Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Human contacts in Munich, pp. 96-97 PDF (439.2 KB)
The Peace Statue-one of the beautiful monuments of Munich- had a curious story: At the beginning of the American bombing, a wing from the Bird of Peace was shot off. The people of Munich rightly regarded this as a bad omen. Visited the gauleiter's house (undamaged) where Mussolini stayed in Munich. An ammunition dump we passed on the outskirts of the city had accidentally exploded only a few days before, and 30 soldiers were killed. The interpreter who accompanied the escorting American officer told us that he is half Jewish and, because of this, has suffered ex- treme privations during the war living underground. During a daylight bombing raid he happened to be in the fields. The pilot of an American fighter plane apparently spied him and came down, apparently to machine-gun him. Knowing that he could not find shelter, he stood up and waved a white handkerchief. The pilot did not shoot. Instead he circled and dropped a small thing out of the plane. It was a pack of cigarettes. In the late afternoon, walking about the city in the rain, we saw sad-faced people combing the rubble of bombed buildings, hunting for the bodies of loved ones or for personal effects. The population of 830,000 had been reduced to about 600,000. Human Contacts in Munich Thursday, August 16 Awakened at 6 a.m. after a long night's sleep and, looking from my hotel window, I saw two Nazi soldiers with their packs on their backs coming from the railroad station, having just returned home. They paused here and there in amazement and dejection, examining the piles of rubble. Our flight to Naples, scheduled for today, was cancelled because 96
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