On December 23, 1944, Bondorf fell back into American hands after heavy fighting. The Germans withdrew to Bauschleiden and the surrounding area.

A small number of civilians who had not fled sat in the cellars, among them some Germans. At the entrance to the village, in the direction of Bondorf, the German soldiers had taken position in trenches and behind houses. The impact of the shells was still bearable in Bauschleiden at least momentarily.



On December 24, 1944, in the afternoon, panic swept through the German soldiers. The American fighter planes had discovered them despite their white camouflage (snow). The Germans were pursued by these agile planes right into the houses. With their machine guns on board, they hit with amazing accuracy. A volley penetrated through our bedroom window, for example, and missed my father's head by only inches. Up to 20 men stormed into our house and sought refuge behind the thick old walls.

Then an unexpected appearance of American tanks. Where today the American monument stands at the entrance of the village, op der Lennchen (name of the field at the entrance to Bondorf) was once a heap of rubble (owner Meyers Batty, farmer from Bauschleiden, father of Emil Meyers, 10 rue Romaine), about 3-4 ares and about 2 meters high. Behind this hill, the tanks took position. One even ventured to a distance of almost 20 m and took cover behind the straw barn above our house. One last look and we boys too ran into the cellar and hardly dared to move.

Inside the house itself, the Germans lay behind the gaps and windows, ready to attack with bazookas in their hands. An hour of dead silence or peace before the storm?

Then suddenly a start of the heavy tank engines and a chain noise that almost made us freeze. Everyone thought that now it would start. But no shot was fired. The roar gradually became quieter. The steel colossuses withdrew in the direction of Bondorf. One could feel a hardly comprehensible sigh of relief, both on our side and on the side of the "Preisen" (Luxembourgish word for "Prussians").

After this shock, Tata Ditt (Deviscour Marguerite, wife of Gremling Albert, mother of Gremling Josy and sister of my father Deviscour Nicolas), her son Josy (since he did not like to go alone) and I moved into the cellar of the Strotz house, an Hechen (Daubenfeld-Strotz Margot house, 9 rue Romaine). It was located in the middle of the village and was considered relatively safe.

In the Strotz house, where we were given accommodation, there was a relatively large "arched" cellar of about 10 m long and 4 m wide and great height. Three other families had found shelter there: Family Feyereisen-Dauphin "Tocken", Family Diederich-Wagner "Wagenesch" and Family Raach "Paschtöesch".

When the American artillery stopped firing, the courageous neighbor Raach Pauline (wife of Raach Anton, neighbor of Daubenfeld-Strotz today Krieps-Promme 12 rue Romaine), who lived on the other side of the street, quickly crossed the street and returned several hours later with freshly baked bread (5-6 pieces). Milk, eggs and potatoes were also available. Almost every house had its own well. Carbide lamps or candles provided the necessary light. Great self-sufficiency, which would be an additional catastrophe today.

Around Christmas the drumfire reached its peak. The American artillery continuously fired on Bauschleiden from Bilsdorf. Hardly a house was spared, especially the south side of the village was hit the hardest.

During these days 7 houses burned down in Bauschleiden, 8 additional houses were completely destroyed and many others were severely damaged. The roaring of the trapped animals in the stables, such as in Dicksen (Poncin René, 4 rue Romaine), which burned or died from injuries there, was still ringing in my ears weeks later.

Please continue reading Part 3 here ->


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