6. Oktober 1940
In daylight I eye the vicinity. Next to the small castle are the farm buildings where the company is housed. But as the premises are not sufficient, a small barrack is built in the manor park as crew accommodation. The manor village is a small ribbon-built village and lies two hundred metres away in a flat hollow.
It is October. Autumn atmosphere rests over the bare, harvested fields. The trees are stretching their already heavily defoliated branches into the grey sky. Flocks of crows are rowing croakingly through the cold air. Their croaking gets on my nerves. In this godforsaken Galician nest I am now to lie as an occupation soldier for an indefinite period of time. I am overcome by a feeling of boundless desolation.
Besides the inevitable service operations, we pass time as well as possible. A ray of hope is also my acquaintance with Sergeant Max Müller who is from Brandenburg (?) and with whom I am on friendly terms from now on. What's more, the sergeants of the company – there are half a dozen of us – are frequently riding into the surroundings as the horses have to be moved anyway. One afternoon, we are going for another ride overland. On the way back we race across the pastures in a dense group. The ground is a bit wet and soft. Ten metres in front of me a comrade. Suddenly a horseshoe comes loose from his horse's hindquarters and hisses a handwidth past my head. If it had hit, my skull would have been crushed like a clay jug.
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- Photo with kind permission from the Wittig Collection