27. Juni 1946
27 June. We are mainly working on the bridge construction. Today we worked 1/2 hour longer because we started 10 minutes later in the morning. If there are 3 days a month without work, you don't get paid for the whole month. The Russian camp doctor certifies 60% of all sick people healthy and fit for work. Among them were people who had been written off sick the same day because of thick oedematous legs and open wounds. A Pole arrives. He has been drafted to Russia and does not even know for how long.
A work group goes on hunger strike. The Russian threatens to shoot him. The Russian camp commanders fear hunger strikes because such incidents have to be reported to Moscow within 3 days. They definitely don't want that, because they don't want to attract attention up there. So they try to suppress such actions with brutal means. The only thing that helps against this is to stay tough if you want to get your way. But it's a big risk, because the Russian has no great hesitations of shooting.
27 June 46. In the port of Riga, ships from Germany are moored again with sewing machines, pianos and furniture. Some of the furniture is in a wooden crate that is simply nailed to the furniture. A spring fountain system is also there, but it is unusable because it was broken when it was torn out. The things stand in the rain in the harbour for days.
When we arrived at this camp, the Antifa had already been told about the timeserver Mahnkopf (see [[1946/April/19/en|19 April 46). Thereupon the local Antifa renounced the collaboration of comrade Mahnkopf. He was now assigned to a work detail and went along to bridge construction. This bridge across the Daugava is a railway bridge, an iron construction that was destroyed in the war. The pillars on the east bank have collapsed and the bridge is lying at an angle in the water. We are supposed to raise it again. The end of the bridge is pumped up millimetre by millimetre with long-lever oil pumps and provisionally supported by placing railway sleepers underneath. At the same time, repairs are being made to the iron structure, high above the river. Comrade Mahnkopf also works up there between the iron struts of the bridge, and one day he suddenly fell off the bridge into the river. But he got off lightly, because the water is no longer cold. Perhaps the shock was quite salutary for him. And the letter he received from his wife may also have made him think. She asked him what meanness he had actually had the cheek to do towards his comrades, and if he continued like this, he wouldn't have to come back to her. She had heard about his informer services through a comrade from Hamburg who had been released from the Salaspils camp as a sick man. He had visited her and told her about the machinations of her neat husband.
One day the Russian explained that the winter clothes should be handed in now and stored during the summer. In autumn they would be given out again. The Swedes are reluctant to part with their things, because they have wonderful thick, white sailor jumpers with colourful knitting patterns. But everything is neatly wrapped up. Each parcel is labelled with a cardboard sign with the name of the owner. A few weeks later we are suddenly moved to another camp. The jumpers, well stored, remain in the old camp. The sly Ivan had of course known about the impending transfer and had then come up with the idea of "storage".
The Red Army has four sets of rations: For enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, officers and generals. According to the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war receive the corresponding rations of the rear units of the country of detention. This time the Russian complies and one evening in the community hall he serves us the better rations to which we, as officers, are entitled. And while we are eating inside, outside in the dark he leads the enlisted men past the windows and says: "Look at how your gentlemen officers are dining while you are getting simpler rations!" A clever combination of obligations with Class Struggle propaganda!
Political training evening. The Antifa guy explains that officers are completely alienated from the people, that we are fed by nurses instead of mothers, and other such nonsense. It is simply unbelievable how much frightening stupidity and ignorance still flourishes in our people. This Antifa bovine still believes that we officers all come from higher nobility. He is thunderstruck when we explain to him that most of us are sons of civil servants, clerks, craftsmen and even workers. And this stupid guy was a sergeant in the German Wehrmacht! After all, we couldn't win the war with people like that. Now Hans Sölheim, in his civilian profession a clerk at AEG, is in his element. With cynical sarcasm, he pours scorn and derision on this antifa jerk who wants to school us. He never appeared again. And the Landser outside, who followed the discussion through the windows, had their fun.
After months of not getting any fish, we now get 330 g daily. Many get diarrhoea. Cause unexplained.
Transports and major relocations of prisoners of war.
Not received any Red Cross cards for 5 months. Many prisoners have still not received a single Red Cross card. 14 months after the end of the war, the Soviets do not give prisoners of war the opportunity to notify their relatives!
Since the first news of released prisoners of war arrived from the West, our Antifa bigwigs have become quieter and even friendlier. The homeland is not as red as they thought.
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