Interview with my Grandmother (Oma ) about her WW2 expirience, By Louis Port. 29 Apr 2015

 

Q1. How old were you during the war?

“Seven when the war started in 1940 and 12 when the war ended in 1945.”

Q2. Was anybody hurt or killed that you know?

“Yes young men in the village who refused to work for the Germans. They usually went into hiding and when found they were shot.”

Q3. Can you tell me a little bit about growing up in the war ?

“I was quite young but what I clearly remember is that after 8 o’clock at night nobody was allowed on the streets anymore. There was no light outside of the houses everything had to be dark. If a little bit of light was visible the Germans would bang on your door and sometimes we saw the German bombers flying over so low that you could see the pilot in the cockpit.

Q4.What was it like having a occupied country and how did you communicate with the Germans?

“We were very scared of the Germans and the Dutch people who chose the German side. We saw them as traitors and we went to school with their children so you had to be careful of what you said. I was too young to speak German so they usually just shouted.”

Q5.What foods did you eat/ were you hungry?

“Everybody was hungry and a lot of people ate flower bulbs. All the food was fake and tasted disgusting (coffee and tea were made of peas and beans.) It was also difficult to cook because there was no fuel. We went looking for coal by the railway line. My dad chopped a tree at the middle of the night but the Germans took it.

Q6.How much rationing was there and if there was how did it work?

Everything was rationed we got a ration card every month and when the food was gone it was gone.

Q7.How were you treated in your village by the German soldiers?

We were scared of the soldiers and they stole a lot of the :bikes horses etc.

Q8.Can you tell me a little bit about Grands experience in the war?

Granddad turned 18 in 1943 so he had to work for the Germans but because he did not want to do that he also went into hiding in the attic of his own house with a young Jewish girl whom my great grand parents were hiding as well. They were lucky they never got caught.

Q9.Was normal life the same as if the Germans weren’t there?

My great granddad went on a old bike with tyres made of garden hose to work he was a wood worker and we just went to school. In the evenings my great granddad listened to radio O.R.A.N.G.E  which was illegal so it was turned down really softly it gave news about the war and about the Dutch queen and government who were in London. We lived in fear and I remember there were big worries for my mom and dad.

Q10.How was the country when the Germans were kicked out?

It was full of joy and we were very happy when the English (we called them the Tommys) kicked them out.