Excerpt from My Life in the Third Reich
- Nightmares and Consequences
World War Two True Story by Gisela Cooper
"Back to the guardhouse, and soon it was getting light. In the morning the SS-men and the
officer left for a while, but one man stayed with me to guard me and he had to put my hands
behind my back in chains and pinned a piece of paper on the lapel of my coat, it said,
The guard left when the officer came back. He was carrying a leather whip. He stood me up
against the wall staring at me through his steel rimmed glasses, ordering me to give him
names. I said I don't know any names. (Marian and Karl, nor the two clowns were brought before
me in the night.) I was really glad about this. Now I knew they were not in any danger.
He started waving his whip about to frighten me. He told me about the sabotage which I
had caused through giving the prisoners scraps of paper I had lit on the fire so they could light
their cigarettes with them. Most messages were so bad that I could not send them to the offices
and had thrown them into the bin. Somehow the slave workers managed to decipher them and had
sabotaged the machinery to delay the manufacture of important components of aircraft.
It was then the first time I had heard of it. It was a shock when he told me. I had not
intended deliberately to commit sabotage, but was glad if that had been indeed the result of my
action. It was less than they all deserved.
I thought any time now he would use the whip on me. I kept looking back straight into his eyes.
After a while he gave up.
One SS-man had to take me to the station. There was a snowstorm raging at the time. On the way
there I had to ask the SS-man to wipe my nose several times. He was carrying my briefcase and
told me that he was sorry he could not help me in any way.
Now I knew why the officer did not use the whip. People on the train would have felt sorry for me.
Unpleasant things were always kept well out of sight. In the train I was told we were on our way
to the prison in Halle. I heard later that prisoners were tortured there. It so happened that at
the time of my arrest typhoid had broken out inside that prison."
©1999 Gisela Cooper - All Rights Reserved