NOTE: I’m not sure what happened here. I thought I published the following posting in my old blog. It was probably on May 25, 2015. However, it doesn’t look like it made it to the new – WordPress – blog. Did I maybe overlook it when I copied everything over? In any event, here it is again. Better late than never.
In September of 2014 I posted a picture of Karl Wyneken in the Facebook group “World Wide Wynekens” as a prisoner of war after World War I. Karl Wyneken was a young German soldier who spent some years in a French prisoner of war camp. At the time I posted the picture, I mentioned that Karl’s grandson, David, an Englishman, was having Karl’s World War I and World War II diaries translated into English.
David recently sent me the first translated diary, covering the time between April 4, 1945 and June 28, 1950. At the start of the diary, Karl is awaiting the arrival of allied troops in Göttingen, the university town Karl was living in. Karl had lost his job as a teacher because of his anti Nazi sentiments. He was obviously glad that the Nazi regime seemed to be coming to an end, but at the same time he couldn’t imagine that life would be pleasant under the heel of the invading powers.
The Americans, with their impressive tanks, were the first to arrive. Karl and his family were forced to move out of their flat because the liberators needed someplace to house themselves. Karl expected the worst … But read for yourself how things turned out.
I found it very interesting to read Karl’s critical opinions of the Nazi government but also of the Allies. Most of his pessimistic expectations did not come to pass, but that doesn’t mean that he and his family, along with the rest of his beloved German Fatherland, didn’t have rough times to go through. Now, 70 years later, we know how things turned out. But at that time, he had no idea.
As the diary progresses, he writes less and less frequently. His last entry is from 1950 at the outbreak of the Korean War. He saw this as the beginning of the World War III that he had prophesied a number of times earlier in the diary.