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Staying Safe

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

      "My mother woke my up at 4 o'clock in the morning," my grandfather started out by saying. My Oma who is my great grandmother told my grandfather to look outside his bedroom window. My grandfather walking over to the window pulled back the curtains and saw from his house about 5 miles away Rotterdam being bombed. Smoke filled the air making it difficult to see beyond. My grandfather than chuckled and said to me that the government told them before the bombing not to worry that if you saw large scale military, it would just be the Dutch army training. Well, the laughter in his voice became greater because he then told me a comment his mother made to him. "Ben, do you really think we could believe that that is the Dutch army training?!" I of course laughed with him because I remember my Oma and she had a comical sense of humor to make you laugh. My grandfather told me it was what he needed at that moment watching his city in flames. My Oma then made my grandfather and his 3 sisters move into their cellar to keep safe. The only connection they had with the outside world was the radio telling them to stay inside. The fighting went on for about 6 hours. The Dutch army then pulled back to the bridges crossing the Musset River. They lived in that cellar though for 4 days. On May 14th, my grandfather and his family walked outside of the cellar. Oh, by the way, my great grandfather died when my grandfather was about 8 from pneumonia. My great grandmother was alone, raising and keeping my grandfather and his sisters by herself. My grandfather than leans into me and told me he has never seen such darkness before in the early afternoon. Walking on the streets of his city, all of his life around him was in flames. People started plundering grocery stores to get food because there either wasn't any or the Germans were stealing them from the Dutch. The Germans than made the Dutch have a curfew which made them stay inside for most of the day, not allowing them to get food for themselves. There was no food or water for 3-4 days. My Oma was on a mission to get food and water. But she wanted to do it the right way without stealing. She took my grandfather and his sisters around to different buildings. She would take them into the bathrooms, take a flower vase, scoop out water from the toilet tank and made them drink it. To get food she would usually bargain with people and ask to share. For the most part it would work, but water to her was the best thing for her children.

           Looking back at my grandfather, I noticed tears forming and running down the side of his cheeks. I couldn't bear to hear much more of what had happened to him and his family. After telling me that he began to stutter and wanted to move onto the next topic. I felt as if i made a mistake. Every time he tells me this part, I feel awkward with him. Though I find it fascinating what his mother did, it is the worst for him to explain.







                                                                                   Endless lines for food










                                         Food Finished Sign (All Gone!) waiting for next shipment










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