thanks for your comments and thoughts all of you, glad you enjoyed it too.
Im now translating his memoirs - which is a bigger project, but Id like my daughters to be able to read them too. Im really glad he was able to put them down and that I had time to discuss them with him, of course theres still lots of questions that I will never be able to ask
for instance at age 3 he was kidnapped by a well dressed couple as his mother left him in front of a shop and they finally left him at the railway station since he was bawling his head off.. his dad who drove an oxcart for the brewery - and made deliveries to pubs and hotels (or rather the oxen did as they knew the route by heart and stopped at the right places while the kegs of beer were unloaded..well the Czechs drove on the left side then but when the Germans came in the changed all the traffic to the right - which was fine for trucks, buses and automobiles but not oxen - they kept on going back to the left side of the road - until grandad handed over the reins to a German soldier who kept yelling at him to get them out of the intersection - and walked away from his job..
or how he managed to sneak a few "LOOTZKY STRICKEHH" (lucky strike) cigarettes (that his dad sent home while working in Berlin as forced labor) and trade one for a fountain pen and the other two for a blacksmith to turn his dads only hammer into a tomahawk!
or watching the Germans flee at the end of the war, and hauling all the things they left behind - like a flare pistol and a whole box of Nazi insignia and medals which would probably be worth a bunch now but his dad only threw it out...
or finding a German car that ran out of gas, underneath which there was a suitcase - in his excitement he pulled it out and opened it to find a lovingly bundled dead baby with a note written in German.
or watching the casualties of an American air raid on the Tabor railway yards where several cars of Hungarian refugees, men women and children were killed since they were unable to flee from the locked cars..
its a lifetime away now, but how different our lives are
its cheaper for us to throw away stuff than repair it.. and to think that someone turned them in for listening to foreign broadcasts during the war. The German police came and investigated them - they didnt even have electricity much less radio..
Or to look at the turning points of ones life and how one small thing could make a difference.. my grandad on my moms side was also in Berlin in 1944 and he chose not to go to a shelter during an air raid because he was in the middle of cooking some potatoes and was afraid someone else would eat them.. The air raid shelter was hit and many people were killed. I only found out years later that this grandfather was recognized for his bravery and awarded some extra pension as he was able to bring food to people in a prison camp as he was a postman.