Martha Gellhorn: from DAS DEUTSCHES VOLK

Martha Ellis Gellhorn (8 November 1908 – 15 February 1998)


April 1945

“No one is a Nazi. No one ever was. There may have been some Nazis in the next village, and as a matter of fact, that town about twenty kilometres away was a veritable hotbed of Nazidom. To tell you the truth, confidentially there were a lot of Communists here. We were always known as very red. Oh, the Jews? Well, there weren’t really any Jews in this neighbourhood. Two maybe, maybe six. They were taken away. I hid a Jew for six weeks. I hid a Jew for eight weeks. (I hid a Jew, he hid a Jew, all God’s chillum hid Jews.) We have nothing against the Jews; we always got on well with them. We have waited for the Americans a long time. You came and liberated us. The Nazis are Schweinhünde. The Wehrmacht wants to give up but they do not know how. No, I have no relatives in the Army. Nor I. No, I was never in the Army. I worked on the land. I worked in the factory. That boy wasn’t in the Army either; he was sick. We have had enough of this government. Ah, how we have suffered. The bombs. We lived in the cellars for weeks. We refused to be driven across the Rhine when the SS came to evacuate us. Why should we go? We welcome the Americans. We do not fear them; we have no reason to fear them. We have done nothing wrong; we are not Nazis. …”

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