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“At these moments, I speculated whether I could flee to my home with my uncle. However, I knew that people in the ghettos were deported, some for forced labour, some for extermination. Finally I discussed this situation with Hermann. He agreed that I should give his home address as my own, so that I could receive a parcel of decent clothes, laundry and a few hundred Marks.

Unbelievably, a parcel arrived and Hermann hid it for me in his workshop. My friend Meier Rosenthal was working as Kalfaktor (boiler man) directly under Senior Meister Homuth. He undertook to obtain work passes with Czechoslovakian names. However, there was one issue upon which Hermann himself could not advise us. He did not know of any secure town or place where we could stay if we escaped.

He tried during his free weekends in Breslau to make contact with people who might be able to help us but all he could find were Mischling (people who were partly Jewish) and because their own future was so precarious they could not offer any kind of refuge. Quite apart from this, Hermann’s home was close to the border with Switzerland so he was unfamiliar with Silesia. Our work site was a massive munitions factory, so our only hope of escape was that the Allies would bomb it one day. With luck, we might be able to flee with our Czech identities in the resulting chaos.”


Breslau in 1940 [] Meister Hermann visited Breslau at weekends to try and arrange an escape plan for Ernst.

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