Margaret (Gretl) May Rein and her brother Leonhard May were born in Velimirovac, an area of Croatia and Slovenia which was in the former Yugoslavia. Leonhard was born in 1940 and Margaret in 1941. Their journey west began in this western part of the Osijek-Barnaja County, near the town of Nasice. Their father, Emanuel, as a German speaker, volunteered with the German army after serving in the Serbian army. They journeyed west by wagon with their mother and grandparents to the town of Pecs in Hungary, through Silesia and Seifersdorff, then south to Hirschberg, staying in the homes of farmers along the way. Once they reached Austria, the family was able to stay until the end of the war in Enns and Wartberg with assistance from The Church of the Brethren. They eventually immigrated, settling in the town of Creston, Ohio. Leonhard May was a business owner and president of the German Central at the time of this interview.
May Rein, Gretl (interviewee); May, Leonhard (interviewee)
Franklin, Bill (interviewer)
Cleveland German-American Oral History Project
"Gretl May Rein and Leonhard May interview, 05 May 2021" (2021). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 195007.
Bill Franklin [00:00:00] Already today is Wednesday, May the 5th, 2021. My name is William Franklin and I'm here today interviewing Gretl Rine and Leonard May, so we could start with you from your family background and where you came from, where you were born.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:00:24] OK, doing OK. My name is Margaret May was me. I was born in May 20th, 1941, in Velimirovac Yugoslavia. It was Yugoslavia then. It is now Croatia.
Bill Franklin [00:00:43] And how do you spell that town V
Gretl (Margaret) [00:00:46] or W you know v v e l i m i r o v a c and
Leonhard [00:00:55] w yeah.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:00:56] W in German it's w but yeah. Yeah. I think in all our papers it's a V you know. Yeah. Yugoslavia. And like I said, it is in Croatia. It was also in the region of Slavonia. You know which Slavonia s l a. Oh yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:01:19] Right. And so you were pretty young when the war broke out.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:01:24] Yes. Well it was born in forty one. Yeah. The war was on already in Europe. My dad was gone and I'm the second oldest of then but ended up to be seven children. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:01:40] And what's your dad drafted was the first one that's.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:01:46] Do you want to answer that Dad.
Leonhard [00:01:49] You know, the situation was at the time, you know, when the Hitler movement was going on, it was like triumphalism. You know, it was. And our dad was in favor because it's going to be no more crime. There's going to be just all honest people and whatnot, you know? So he volunteered, you know, when when the Germans came in into Yugoslavia, OK, and he you know, because they spoke German and they they were dead. German schools. They had German churches, they the German village, you know, so but they in the village, they did have also Hungarians enough, you know, to Croatians. OK, so but as a whole they were all Germans, OK? And I spoke German and the and the Hungarians, they spoke just as good German as the Germans did, you know. But they were of Hungarian or Croatian descent. OK, and so Dad, he he volunteered but he was first he was in the Serbian army, OK, that was a draft. OK, right. And that was in the late thirties. OK, and then later on when he came out of it, when the Germans invaded, you know, there was no Serbian army, OK, so that's when he volunteered and joined the German army, OK? And then he was gone from, uh, well, she came home one time and didn't come back. We didn't see him till after the war was over. OK, and luckily, whatever unit he was in, he survived, OK? Nothing happened to him is to the whole OK, he was never injured, OK?
Leonhard [00:03:39] And you know it sometimes I'd like to know more about it. You know, where he was, what he was doing, you know. Exactly. And but you know that we get too soon old. Too late. Smart, OK? And he did it. And now you go back and you say, boy, I wish, I wish, I wish, you know, and unfortunately didn't happen.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:04:02] And it was also a prisoner of war an American prisoner of war. And then he was released.
Leonhard [00:04:08] Yes.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:04:09] Quick, you know.
Mark Cole [00:04:10] What was his name? What were your parents names?
Gretl (Margaret) [00:04:12] Emmanuel. Emmanuel E, M like Emmanuel in the church, you know, and Catharina, May
Bill Franklin [00:04:21] And your mom had no contact with your dad either?
Leonhard [00:04:24] Well, yes. Oh, they always had contact. Yes, they always had contact. You know, the, uh, the German Red Cross did the Postal Service was like a wonder of wonder works, OK, because we got all the all the letters, we got all the telegrams. We, you know, a very excellent communication from those days. You know, when you think about it, OK, but you want to say, in effect,.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:04:51] Well, he was he came home then what? Forty...,.
Leonhard [00:04:55] 43. OK, about 42. 42. OK.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:04:58] Yeah because, yeah because, our brother was born in 43.
Leonhard [00:05:00] But, you know, after that, he was not allowed to come back. He could have, but at that time, the partizans, you know, they were looking for him, OK, because at that time there was they were looking for all the Germans, the Germans that that ran over OK. And they were if they would have caught him, they would have killed him, you know, and even though he had, you know, my dad, he was a very honorable guy. He served his duty and in the Serbian army. OK, but there was always some some conflict, you know, because they they just did not like the ethnic Germans living there. OK, but, you know, they were that, you know, they came there in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, OK? And cultivated the land out of nothing. I mean, that was bare land. And they started, you know, from zero. So they said the first generation was the north, which was the hardship,
Gretl (Margaret) [00:06:03] Death even.
Leonhard [00:06:03] The death, the death first and then the hardship and then the third. And the third thing was the the finally was the bread. OK, and yeah, I'm not sure if that's translatable OK, but the first step
Gretl (Margaret) [00:06:18] to make it. Yeah, I was the first one, many of them died, the second ones, you know, they worked very hard and a third generation then were able.
Bill Franklin [00:06:26] Reap the benifits.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:06:27] Yeah. Yes.
Leonhard [00:06:28] And you know, this was under the time at the time under the Austrian, you know, that there was no Yugoslavia, OK? Yugoslavia was created after the First World War. OK, 1922, I believe. OK, so my dad, he was actually not born in Yugoslavia. He was born our mom and our mom and dad were born in Austria. So that's what that, you know, that stretched the whole, you know, a big area all the way down to Italy, you know, in parts of Spain that belonged to Austria. OK, and so there was no there was no Slovenia. There was no Croatia. There was no Serbia. There was no Bosnia. There was that was all Austria. OK.
Bill Franklin [00:07:09] That was the Hapsburg Empire, right?
Leonhard [00:07:11] Yes. Yes. The Hapsburg Empire. Yeah. And that ended after the First World War. OK, and then in 1922, they created Yugoslavia, which means South Slavic, you know, South Slavia, OK. And but that never worked because they were of different nationalities, different religions, different beliefs, you know, so that there was always fires burning, you know, and it's the best time was when Austria, Hungary controlled the whole thing, OK? And after that it didn't work anymore. And then in nineteen ninety nine was it nineteen eighty nine in the nineties. OK, it fell apart. Yugoslavia split up then you know that the Balkan war OK. And since then it, you know they, they were fighting and to this day they're still fighting. OK, but the Germans, they, they did you know, they cultivated the land and you know they had to leave our grandfather. He was a very well-to-do person. He was he had a farm. He had a blacksmith shop. And he he was he was also a deacon at the church, OK? And he was the butcher of the village. OK, the people that didn't didn't quite weren't as good as him. They all knew how to butcher. But he was a supreme butcher, you know, he was an excellent blacksmith, a very proud man. And he had butchering was his his love. You know, he he really was good then. I still remember as a as a a child, you know, it's amazing how how you how far you can think back. And, you know, our we had an uncle, my dad's brother, who died 1942. And I can still remember when they closed the coffin, you know, when he died and nailed the coffin shot, you know, and so I was maybe close to three, you know, because I was in, like, September, October. OK.
Mark Cole [00:09:19] When is your birth date?
Leonhard [00:09:20] My my birthday is January 7th, 1940, and
Bill Franklin [00:09:29] Was your uncle killed in the war with?
Leonhard [00:09:30] No, no. He he was also a volunteer, but he was not in the army. He was a civilian. You know, he went to Germany from there and he did when the bombings were going on in Germany, he was in the wintertime extinguishing fires and he caught pneumonia, you know, and died. And then he came back to what was then Yugoslavia. OK, and and. He died then at home, and I can still remember that, OK, but my ah, my friend, my dad's side, he was my dad was the middle one. The uncle that that died. He was the oldest and his sister was the youngest. So he was the middle guy, OK. And he was a professional blacksmith. And I know that he still had books when he went to the German army where he went to a school for further advanced training in blacksmithing. OK, and I still have them today, you know. And you know, many times he says, you know, how advanced they used to be already, you know, in comparison to down there in Yugoslavia at the time, you know, because they were a small village. OK, I would I don't know how many families we were. I would say maybe two or three hundred, you know, at best. OK, but, you know, each each each home maybe had four or five people in that. OK, so I'm talking of people, OK, the homes were very, very primitively constructed. You know, they they were made out of out of clay. You know, they they they kind of made forms and mixed them with with straw and clay. But they once they hardened, they became like a brick, you know, they and that was an innovative and inexpensive way of building homes at the time. OK.
Bill Franklin [00:11:42] They probably didn't have indoor plumbing.
Leonhard [00:11:45] No, no, no. They had all outhouses, you know, and they but they all had like a summer kitchen, which they cooked outside in the summertime. In the wintertime, they pulled inside and also very, very practical ways of of living, OK, that sometimes today I think back I said, you know, I remember that a smoke house, you know, where are they when they butchered the pigs that we only you know, we I just like pigs. I was not for anything else. I didn't like beef. I like pork. I grew up with n chicken, OK? And, you know, our grandparents, they were very efficient. And the other side of the family, the grandfather, he was a carpenter, highly efficient guy, you know, and he was also drafted into the army. He was you know, they were building bridges that they blew up, you know, steel bridges. And they built them out of wood, too, you know, and they were civil servants, you know, civil, civil. They were not in the army, OK? They were just civil workers, OK? And my mom's my mom's our mom's side. They had there was my mom's oldest sister. She died before I was born, OK, in 1939. Then my mom was the second oldest. Then there was uncle no uncle until she was the third. So there were three girls first and then there was four boys, OK,
Gretl (Margaret) [00:13:32] There was yeah George.
Leonhard [00:13:32] And they that the oldest son, he was killed down in Yugoslavia because he was also drafted in the German army. OK, they were very it was not a like a force. They were volunteers, just like our dad was OK. And they they joined, you know, like I was drafted here. You know, my dad was over there at first in the Serbian army, then the German army. But the uncles, they they joined and they got involved in the fighting, OK? And he he was killed. And that was at the end of the war. Nineteen, 1944, OK. I did almost at the end of forty four into forty five. OK, but in any case we, we had to when, when we, when we fled Yugoslavia, I took off with my grandparents from my dad's side and because our our grandfather was a blacksmith from the village. So I can still remember the German officer, he was an SS officer, was a tall guy with his uniform. And, you know, as a kid, you admired those things. He didn't you know, you had no fear. You had no knowledge in. You just stood in awe and admired everything, you know, but I remember when he came and told our grandfather that he said, Mr. May, you're going to have to pack up because you're going to have to flee. The Russians are coming and you may have to and you may not come back. And I remember him when he said you need to take all your belongings as many as you can. So they loaded up the wagons, horse and wagons, just like going out west, you know, the same way. And my grandfather, he built a brand new wagon and he did all the hardware himself, you know, from the wagons. And we loaded up in those days. They they had you know, they were very efficient, OK? He was a blacksmith and the butcher. So they they they killed a pig, some chicken, you know, and they kind of put it and they didn't have no refrigerator, obviously, but they they knew it's going to be a long trip wherever they may be going. And so they put everything in in a vat and then put the hot grease over it. You know, they melted that the pork fat and kind of covered it, you know, and that that kind of preservatives, you know, so you could every day you could take some meat out and some some bad fat, you know, and cook something, you know, make some take some bread. They did, of course, they baked and did everything themselves. That didn't have to at that time with no grocery stores are very, very resourceful. Yes. Yes, very resourceful. And so, you know, I drove with them. So we went up to Hungary.
Bill Franklin [00:16:38] So you just headed west?
Leonhard [00:16:39] We headed the northwest.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:16:41] Northwest yeah
Leonhard [00:16:41] Northwest. Yes.
Bill Franklin [00:16:43] Did you have a destination?
Leonhard [00:16:43] No, no. Wherever we were directed OK? At that time that the Red Cross. Now on my mom's side,
Gretl (Margaret) [00:16:50] Where I was on the wagon. Yeah, I was on that wagon and that was my mother, my my my maternal grandparents. But they didn't have a wagon and horses. So they they they hired somebody to take us to that destination that was across the river. And then we were supposed to be getting on trains. And that's what I did with my mom and my brother and my grandparents. And then Leonard joined us over there because, well, he was homesick for his mom. And, you know, well, you were little kids, you know, Iffley. So anyhow, we were on trains. So I just wanted to say that, you know, they were they had their own wagon. And my other grandfather had they had to hire somebody to drive them.
Mark Cole [00:17:32] Where did you catch the train?
Gretl (Margaret) [00:17:33] In Funfkirchen.
Leonhard [00:17:36] Funfkirchen, which is today.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:17:41] Pecs, p, e, c, s, thats in Hungary.
Bill Franklin [00:17:41] P, e.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:17:41] P, e, c, s Pecs. And it was called Funfkirchen. Yeah.
Bill Franklin [00:17:52] And you don't know what branch of service your father was in do you know what he did in the war?
Leonhard [00:17:58] He was ah.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:17:59] Waffen SS
Leonhard [00:18:01] Waffen SS. OK? Yeah,.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:18:04] But then he was ah-.
Leonhard [00:18:05] There was also different different division. He actually-
Gretl (Margaret) [00:18:08] Was um-.
Leonhard [00:18:09] He had a, he had a good position because he never was in any fighting. OK. So.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:18:14] But he was with a with a unit that had horses, you know,.
Leonhard [00:18:17] They called it Berittene (mounted unit), you know, which was a they were actually parade horses, you know, and stuff, you know, for, you know, they thought eventually it's going to be a winning situation, you know, so which never happens. OK, yeah. So he you know, we were very fortunate. And, you know, that that the sad thing was that my dad's cousins, they came and my grandmother's brothers and sisters all came to America in the eighteen hundreds and the last one came in nineteen eighty five. So it was a lot of times father against son and brother against brother or cousin against cousins. You know, that was the situation
Bill Franklin [00:19:01] It's like the Civil War here.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:19:02] Yeah, Human nature is the same all over isn't it.
Bill Franklin [00:19:08] Yes, yeah. So you were what four and five when the war was.
Leonhard [00:19:14] Yes, I was. When the war was over I was five and a half, you know, and well here's what happened. We, we were then directed, you know, because they put everybody in certain, you know, they had to make room for all the refugees because, you know, we had refugees coming. You know, the Germans lived in Russia. They lived in Hungary. They lived in Romania. They lived in the Czech Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia didn't exist before the First World War either. You know, that was created after the First World War from Poland, you know, from Russia, from like from Latvia and all the northern things. So they they all came then back to to Germany because they were German. So they as soon as they, you know, all the Germans were pulled back in, all the ethnic Germans. And so they they came. So we were we were coming up through Vienna and through Prague and then going up what is what is now chelation Australasia Solatia, which belongs now to Poland. OK, at that time it was German, but after the reperation they had to give one third of Germany that went to Poland OK. We were we were quartered in there finally. And uh, but first we came to a small farm, a big farm, and we were quartered in there. And those farmers that took us in, I still remember that to this day we were in a corner building of the farmhouse, you know, and those people were so gracious, you know, with the war and everything going on, the floor was like a Nudelbrett.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:20:55] A board where you make noodles on.
Leonhard [00:20:57] Where you made them make noodles, you know, I mean, scrubbed clean. They had a potbelly stove in there that beds in there. And they were very gracious people, you know, and we stayed there. Little did the farmers know that soon they would have to flee to OK. And so then we went south again.
Bill Franklin [00:21:21] Do you know the name of that village, that you were in?
Leonhard [00:21:21] That yes, that was called Seifersdorf thought that was S e i f e r d o r f. Do you have it all this s s e i
Gretl (Margaret) [00:21:41] F, e, r, s, d. The f is in there before the D Seifersdorf.
Leonhard [00:21:45] Seifersdorf. Yeah. And then we we state that, oh, my mom, she she you know, because we were on a farm and this was in a remote out in the countryside. So Mom, she wanted to go to her parents, you know, and so they, they took us in and our grandparents stayed in a hotel that as refugees, you know, they made room in all in all the dining, the dining rooms, they were converted into bedrooms. You know, they put up beds, you know, and so on. And that was all done by the German Red Cross. You know, it's amazing how that worked, you know? And so we stayed there in the hotel and they they had a canteen, you know, where they fed the refugees and so on. And one evening, my our mom, her sisters and their cousins, they were all very close knit family, OK, all their cousins and so on. They went to the movie theater. And I was we were in a hotel and our grandfathers there. And all of a sudden the postman came and had this thing on there. He pulled out a telegram and gave it to the grandfather. That's my mom's side. And they should he had to sign it, you know, and he wrote it and he screamed, you know, and I remember that so, so vividly. Like in any case, I found out that the oldest son was killed, OK, so that the telegram end of the Postal Service, even with all the death and destruction, it still worked very, you know, very good record keepers. You know, that that worked very, very efficient. OK, so we we found out that this guy was was killed, you know, so, uh, otherwise it would have been, you know, who knows if we would have ever found it, but it worked. OK, and then from there, when we found out that the Russians were coming in, we were directed to go down south, OK? And then we went down south. What, you know, at that time to Austria and Germany was what they called a right. That was one country, OK, Hitler came from Austria, OK? So that was one country. And so we came down there, you know, trying to get away from the from the Russians, OK? And so we we traveled all the way down from the town where we stayed was called Hirschberg, OK, where we stayed. That was in the hotel. OK, that was Hirschberg. OK, that was spelled h i r s c h b e r g like berg. OK, Hirschberg OK.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:24:50] What is it called now. Because you know what it's called now right?
Leonhard [00:24:54] Yeah it's called now. It's a it's a matter of fact I put the weather map in here, you know, and I uh. Yeah. Jelenia Gora, you know it's it's a Polish name now, OK, they changed it, OK, but at that time it was called Hirschberg and it was a I. I says I always want to go back. It was a very beautiful because it's the first time I seen a town where we went to the to the meat market, to the butchery, you know, and then, uh, my grandfather says, now look, this is this is how the German the kind of toilet they have and Hitler, he says, have flush toilets, you know, water, toilets. And, you know, because we went there to the butchery and that's the first time I seen something like that, you know, and then, of course, in the hotel, they had all those toilets. You know, we never we never you know, we were not used to stuff like that. So there's a lot of we went through a lot of experience during the war and see a lot of it. But, you know, one thing I have to say, we were never afraid of anything of some of the bombing in all the sirens. You know, when we traveled with the trains and, you know, the sirens came on, they stopped the trains and the people fled and on and kind of ran out of the trains to kind of hide as kids. We didn't know danger, you know, with all our mom was protecting us, you know. So, you know, that's how we were thinking, OK,.
Bill Franklin [00:26:17] She must have been a pretty cool headed woman. She probably.
Leonhard [00:26:20] Oh, yeah. Well, she.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:26:22] Well she was yeah. I'm surprised she did as well. She had three little kids, but her parents were also near, you know. And that help.
Leonhard [00:26:29] Yeah. That helped a lot. Yeah.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:26:31] Because she was not the one that would take. And do you think she was more like, OK, I'm with you guys? You know, that's kind of where she was. And, you know, some of the travel, you know, like when we when we as we fled, as I remember him a year and a half younger than Leonard. So I was, of course, younger. So I experienced I remember being put someplace in a corner like this here. And we carried out some of the stuff in bundles or suitcases, and that's how we slept and we rested. That's what I remember. Yeah, but I always felt as a child, very safe because they were grandparents and we were together and it was almost cuddling into those nice bundles. That's all my memory is, you know, and and also that we were overnighted sometimes in a barn, you know, where they put the straw down for us to lay down, because when you were in a train sitting for hours and nights and stuff, and then then they had a bowl to wash up and served as something hot to drink and some memory that I have, which like I was very young, but, you know.
Bill Franklin [00:27:32] Right.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:27:33] I have that memory. So anyhow, I wanted to add that, you know, was some of the stops were tough and, yeah.
Leonhard [00:27:40] You know, I, I should have prepared myself and had a little script, you know, so you kind of start from beginning to all the way up and then down. OK, I still remember the incident, my grandmother and grandfather that from my dad's side when we traveled in the wagon, OK, we had all the food to comfort, you know, and it was kind of exciting, you know, then we went to the first, you know, after we we left from from our birth place, OK? And we drove maybe 20 kilometers. Then we had to cross a river. OK, and
Bill Franklin [00:28:21] do you remember which river that was?
Leonhard [00:28:23] That was the Drava. OK, the Drau.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:28:27] The Drau yeah, d, r. a, v, a
Leonhard [00:28:30] Now in Croatian what they call Drava but the Germans called it all Drau, Ok. D, r, a, u, and equally would be Drava that would.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:28:42] D, r, a, v, a. D, r, a, v, a. Drava
Leonhard [00:28:45] You know, we don't speak Croatian, okay. So we just know certain things. But as we as we got closer, they had like a ferry to go across. And I remember we went on there and it was all controlled by the German soldiers and as we went on there, my grandmother says there's a German soldier standing right now. Is this the thing. The wagons were here, here, OK? And my grandfather, because he was a tra-that the leader. OK, so his was the first one, OK? And the other one was sitting here and my grandmother says that river is too big and I'm afraid, you know, so she my grandfather asked the German soldier to put a rope across or a chain across, you know. Well it was a rope so he put a rope across. Then she was a little bit more relaxed. OK, but I remember I remember that distinctly. You know, grandfather says, I know my horses. You know, they're not going to jump. You thought they're going to jump into the river. You know, they were the first first wagon, you know, and and so they put once they got over there and they got to the edge of the river and it was a primitive, primitive setup at that time. And it just had some boards laying it. The thing where the ferry came up, touch touched the ground, you know, and then the horses, they took off with the wagons and up up to the hill.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:30:08] Embankment, yeah.
Leonhard [00:30:10] Then we moved on. And that was then in Hungary. And then we were in Hungary
Gretl (Margaret) [00:30:15] That's where we were and Funfkirchen and in Pecs
Leonhard [00:30:17] Funfkirchen. You know, that was that town. Yeah.
Mark Cole [00:30:20] So when the war ended, did you end up going to a displaced persons camp or.
Leonhard [00:30:26] No.
Mark Cole [00:30:26] How did you make the-?
Leonhard [00:30:27] You know something, we here's what happened. Like I said, the the the mail and the communication. No telephones, but it worked so well that we were directed in all kinds, you know, so they they knew where we were, where we were from and so on. So we we came to the town in Austria. Finally we came back to Czechoslovakia. OK, well, and then into, uh, into Austria, a city called Enns, e double n s. e, n, n, s. And once we got to Enns.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:31:14] Yeah. in Austria.
Leonhard [00:31:15] Our grandfather. He already came with his horse and buggy all the way from Yugoslavia, Hungary into Austria, Vienna. And there was not so many streets and roads in those days. They were they just started building built the autobahn, but that was not finished yet. Then it was in. In sections, you know, from from Salzburg all the way to Vienna, but we came the old route like we used to go Route three to Columbus, right while they there. So we came the old route and they came from Vienna all the way down. And then my grandmother got ill.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:31:51] In Enns. That's why they stopped.
Leonhard [00:31:53] That's why he stopped. And he while he stopped at a blacksmith's shop because he checked if the wagons were OK, if the horses needed the horseshoeing and so on. And then the owner of the business came and seen what he was doing. He says, hey, I need a guy like you. You know, he says, well, if you have someplace to live, you know that he's I can arrange that, you know, so but our grandmother was put in the hospital there, you know, so he stayed there and the rest of the wagons, wagon train went on, you know, where they were directed, you know, but since my grandfather, he says, you guys go on, we'll stay here.
Bill Franklin [00:32:37] And how long was he there?
Leonhard [00:32:38] We stayed there. Then he came there in 1944 before 40, before the war was over.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:32:47] It must arrived in 45, early, because we left Yugoslavia
Leonhard [00:32:51] in 44 because we left
Gretl (Margaret) [00:32:54] Well we left October 44. But I think we were on the way. I thought after Christmas we were still in Schlesien (Silesia) [00:32:58]. [0.0s]
Leonhard [00:32:59] We were we were.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:33:00] He was there earlier.
Leonhard [00:33:01] But he was he was there already and a the before 45.
Gretl (Margaret) [00:33:06] OK.
Leonhard [00:33:07] And we came in this town Enns is the oldest town in Austria. Okay. And so this is how we ended up and you know, we spoke German, we didn't speak any other language, you know. But you know, the Germans have so many different dialects, OK. And which is still but the writing is still in High German, you know, everybody knows how, you know. So we all communicate the same way. OK, and I always thought the Germans were the only ones that had the dialect, you know, but later on in life, I noticed that everybody had a dialect, you know, but that's how we came down there. And then we ah. But that's where the grandparents were. But we we came down with a train down and we went and west of Enns. West, south, southwest of ends, we were reported in by some farmer, OK? And we lived there also in in the farm houses. They're huge in Austria. You know, they're like a quadrant and they have a living quarter. And for the chicken and sheep and for the geese, for the chicken and geese. And for the sheep and cows and horses and the farm equipment and very, very innovative, you know, for but for many centuries. And anyway, we we stayed there till the war was over when the Americans came, OK? And we stayed there probably till May of 45. OK, in a town called Wartberg. OK, w
Gretl (Margaret) [00:34:55] W a r t b e r g.
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