The reference to the jubilarian came from florida: "walter schramm, a friend of ours, will die on the 10th anniversary of his death. May 90 years old, wrote heidrun tommasi and sam hamontree to the coburger tageblatt. The overview of schramm’s curriculum vitae they gave aroused curiosity: at the age of 15, the german was captured by the russians and later found work with the american military in bamberg. With the help of an officer, he came to the U.S. In 1953, where he became a helicopter pilot. Two tours of duty in vietnam brought him high honors.
This is how it all began
"Yes, that’s all true", schramm confirmed on request last thursday. His life story, which the rustic war veteran then describes in a personal interview lasting over 90 minutes, was to last for two lifetimes. Born in 1930 in bautzen, saxony, schramm experienced the consequences of the bombing of dresden firsthand as a 14-year-old in 1945. "A shock, so schramm. From school, the young man was assigned to disaster service and suffered from fume poisoning. After the end of the siege of his hometown by the russians, he and many of his peers were integrated into the volkssturm. "At 14, they put us in barracks, trained us on infantry weapons and showed us how to push on tanks", he describes and adds: "today’s youth can’t even imagine that." The atrocities he himself experienced on children were to be increased when, on 19. He was taken prisoner by the russians on april 1945, had to march to sagan in silesia and was interned in the camp there. Even today, he can still hear the screams of the officers who were harassed there by former concentration camp prisoners. "I’m sometimes surprised that all the things I’ve experienced haven’t left me with any lasting damage.", says schramm looking back.
Now it goes to the USA
One reason is probably that as an under 16 year old he is released after half a year. Because he no longer wanted to know anything about the russians – due to the cruelties he had experienced – the young man came to live with a family friend in bamberg in the fall of 1945. His father had already been killed in 1941, his mother had disappeared. It was not until 1947 that he was to meet her again in bitterfeld (saxony-anhalt). The daughter of his host family got schramm a job as a cake helper in the american army. But the young man wanted more: he learned to drive a jeep and rose through the ranks of the fleet, first to assistant, then to interpreter and technical employee. Schramm revealed his dream job to a U.S. Major with whom he became friends: pilot. "There will be no more of them in germany" he gave him the answer.