der Führer sähe …
Von der Hitlerjugend in
die Fänge Filbingers.
Ein deutsch-schlesisches Kriegsdrama
Acabus Verlag, Hamburg 2016.
In einem Gespräch mit Susanne Tenzler-Heuser beschreibt Jacqueline Roussety die Hintergründe zum Buch und ihre Sicht zu Parallelen zur
www.lesering.de - Interview mit Susanne Tenzler-Heuser
“Wenn das der Führer sähe”…
From a Hitler-Youth. In the claws of Filbinger
A German-Silesian war drama
Acabus Verlag, Hamburg 2016.
Jacqueline Roussety describes in her scholarly-literary documentary novel "If the Führer Seed ..." in unsparing frankness, how fascism affected the family structures in Silesia during the apocalyptic war.
Jacqueline Roussety met Johanna Gröger for the first time in Berlin ten years ago, Gröger was from Silesia, after countless discussions for many months with her, Roussety has started to pen down her story. Johanna Gröger was fascinated in a strange way after meeting Roussety and she desperately wanted to tell her story, a story of her brother, who died an unjust death in the "nationally awakened Germany". Gröger was born in 1928 and at the age of 84 she wanted to share her personal story, poignantly she expressed her feeling and her story to Roussety, it was so touching that Roussety’s heart is filled with respect, how this old woman fought for the dignity of her brother, who, died in the apocalyptic war in a pointless manner. Not only soldiers, but so many men and women and children in civilian clothes had suffered the same fate during that war.
Walter Gröger: a fate so exemplary
Walter Gröger was executed in March 1945 and it was clear that Dr. Hans Karl Filbinger was significantly responsible for his death. But why? Who was this Walter Gröger, who was only 22 years old, who had a past with no future. Roussety could not get images of Walter Gröger out of her mind. She was wrapped up in thoughts and she started writing the story page after page. Roussety has researched and spent almost ten years collecting hundreds of copies, clippings and interviews for this book.
"Walter was an armed soldier from a battalion of 30,000 soldiers, who were condemned for desertion, out of which about 20,000 judgments were executed and imposed by German judges against those young men, the soldiers were certainly in a hopeless situation and they have decided against this hopeless war. ... In contrast, a man who was 93 years old, always lived well, always had enough money, was active in the policy without interruption - even after he had had to resign. The CVs of Walter Gröger (1922 – 1945) and Dr. Hans Karl Filbinger (1913 – 2007) could not be more different. Their meeting in March 1945 resulted in a "political affair" for some, for others it meant an early, unjust death from today's point of view. "
Mohrau: Silesian life in the 30s
Walter Gröger grew up in the Silesian Mohrau. Johanna Gröger, an old lady, a sister, she said "We had paid a huge price for the National Socialism, however many others who were able to stay in their towns and villages, despite the war." It is said that about fourteen million Germans have fled or been expelled from the former eastern territories, most of them were women and children. This migration led to chaos. So many children were separated from their mothers, desperate Parents were searching their lost ones, hoping to find the child who had been lost in the turmoil of flight. The fled people were finally reached to their newly assigned barracks, but it was like an empty shell. No familiar faces, no sense of home, nothing to do with the past. They lived for a long time in barracks even after the war got over. They were treated like an antisocial pack and not a few were played badly in the School. Very few teachers were particularly pedagogical with the children. They were nothing, they had nothing and they were teased, humiliated, expelled from the new German society, their struggle continues to build everything again. Everyone was trying to sustain his own life because no one wanted to see the misery of the other.
“I no longer had a home, I felt vulnerable. How often do these sentences come to my mind: 'I dream, I rested again in front of my father's house and gazed happily down into the old valley. The air blowing/fluttering/playing through the lime trees, the spring leaves and flower flakes fell over my chest and my head. When I woke up, the moon shimmers on the edge of the forest, in the hues of pale glow, a strange land flickers around me and as I see around, the flakes become ice, the area was white from the snow of my hair.”
In the book "When the Leader Sees That", Mohrau comes to life again. It is about everyday life in the 30s, Silesian customs, seasons - the first automobile. You can literally see it, the farm where the Gröger family lived - along with the pig called Fritz, a cow and three goats, and a small horde of chickens. “At the end of the twenties the peasants, particularly, were in a bad mood in Silesia and some people thought of selling their little things and going to one of the distant metropolises. But there, it was said, prevailed the great unemployment, which hit above all the middle and poorer stratum of society. So people stayed with their bit of hope, they were waiting, and in the case of quite a few, hope gradually dissolved, until they were struck by the horror of their faces. "
Meticulously, Roussety traces the years between 1932 and 1945. Here she has focused on the effects of National Socialist ideologies, especially on children and adolescents. "We were one again. Father curiously read all the articles, and Mother listened to the exuberant voices on the radio reporting national pride. This rush of victory stuck a little. However, there was not much time left to indulge in this joy. Everyone had to roll up their sleeves and spit in their hands. Mother got ready to help her parents, who had two small fields to manage. "
The beginning of the end
Walter Gröger voluntarily went to war: This greed for adventure and heroism grabbed him, but soon the period of euphoria changes to disillusionment, he was disillusioned with the war. The family realized that the young man having a miserable time in the Navy and he is being traumatized. As similar as sailors, they were harassed, and especially Walter, he was permanently punished because he defends himself. He wakes up, terrified, covered in sweat during the night. At that time, Walter already knows that he will be sent to the "Scharnhorst" - the great German warship. His childhood dream has become a nightmare. In 1943, the mother and the sisters celebrated Christmas without father and brother again. As always, Anna invites her friends and neighbors on 25th December for her birthday. Everyone was sitting in front of the radio, awaiting for the news. Everyone has lost their euphoria, the tension increases from the messages after one another. In the meantime, there is hardly a family left, that did not lose their son, brother or father in war. On 26th December, the radio announces the loss of "Scharnhorst", the big German dream, was just lost. The "Scharnhorst" sunk after a battle with a security vessels of the Allied convoy JW 55 B in the Arctic Ocean. Among the 1,600 crew members, only 32 were recovered. The family, back in Mohrau hopes that their only son and brother will be alive. However, Anna Gröger does not hear any single positive news in radio, but from a neighbor whose husband holds a high rank in the Wehrmacht. Anna has to be silent, must accept the condolences; inwardly she hopes for a miracle. This emotional wave of emotions can hardly be put into words. A few days later, however, the family gets the official death message with a picture: In February 1944, when the mother surrendered to her fate, a letter from Walter arrives, surprisingly, from the Wehrmacht prison. He had not returned to his ship after a Christmas party ...
He is then sought for desertion, arrested and later shot.
Filbinger's sentences, with which he subsequently tried to justify his actions, are still shattering: "I have no bad conscience. On the contrary. I have a good conscience. "And" What was right then cannot be wrong today. "
In a conversation with Susanne Tenzler-Heuser, Jacqueline Roussety describes the background of the book and her views on parallels to the present.