Miss Spiteful's War
The New Recruit
Enslaved In Skirts
Ingrid and Fate
The Italian Job
The High-Heeled Contessa
Rolling With Pain
The Spy Who Never Was
Ingrid's First Date
For The Love Of Willi
Dressing For Work
The Colonel And The Nurse
Reinhardt The Rampant
The Bomb Under The Bed
Against The Clock
The Bomb Plot
Gunfight At The OKH
Up Against The Wall
City Under Fire
The End Of The Unit
The Toad Triumphs
Kill Miss Spiteful
Miss Spiteful's Revenge
Last Exit From Berlin
The Name Of The Goddess
The Dominafuhrer 1952
Miss Spiteful's Gold
The Stories of Yvonne Sinclair
The Sacred Feminine
The Story Of T
The Weight Loss
A Caning By Miss Spiteful
Always On The Bare
A Visit To Greenwich
At My Lady's Pleasure
Ball Shackle Story
I Met Claire In A Coffee Shop
Long Weekend Conclusion
Robin's Electrical Torture
Slave To The Cane
The Escape Artist
The Huntress Caning
The Language School
The Worm's View
The Bossy Bank Women
The Dominafuhrer - MISS SPITEFUL'S WAR
Episode 32 - Last Exit From Berlin
“Come on! Get in line! Schnell! Vite! Jildi!” The British Army Corporal, wearing a long leather jerkin over his battle dress, was walking up the queue of Refugees, or Displaced Persons, as we were now known, pushing the column into a single file.
It had taken me over two hours from joining the queue to reach this point. Picking up my battered suitcase, shuffling forward a few steps, putting it down again and then repeating the whole exercise a few minutes later. Fences from the fields on either side of the road had been used to narrow the access to the checkpoint ahead but families and groups bunched together, hence the Corporal’s efforts to get us into one line. Extended picket lines of British and Russian soldiers in the fields were turning back anyone trying to use them to by-pass the checkpoint.
As we inched forward, I could see that everyone had to present their papers to and be questioned by two British Army Sergeants, sitting at a makeshift desk of planks placed across two oil drums. In the field behind was a Russian Army BA64 light armoured car, with it’s turret mounted machine gun trained to the rear and covering a group of thirty or so men in a mixture of civilian clothing or German military uniforms. Some looked Germanic but most were of Slavic or Mongoloid appearance and were sitting cross-legged with their hands on their heads within an enclosure formed from farming trestles and gates. A group of Russian soldiers were chatting, laughing and smoking in a circle beside the armoured car.
On the other side of the road was another temporary compound, this one guarded by British soldiers armed with Sten guns. The internees here were being allowed to stand, move around, sit or lie down. All were of Western European appearance but in the same mixture of clothing as the unfortunates opposite.
As I neared the tables, I sensed around me the same fear and desperation as I felt myself. A continent was on the move with some people just wanting to go home, others seeking a new one because they had lost theirs or were no longer welcome, some were in search of loved ones scattered by the war and some just fleeing retribution. To be going west like me meant that the prime objective was to escape from the occupation zone controlled by the Russians.
I had got home to my little room in the suburb of Tempelhof, changed into my civilian clothes, bundled up everything that had connected me to the SS and the Gestapo and concealed it under the bed. Then I had packed my suitcase with the items that I wanted to keep and anything that I would need for a journey. Despite being a capital offence I, like every other citizen of Berlin, had hoarded food, water, candles, oil lamps and batteries which we now needed as the electricity, gas and water supplies had all failed.
Only the occasional shell or rocket had landed near us so far but, two mornings later, the full artillery barrage fell on the Tempelhof area. Residents took to their basements or the public shelters and our building rocked and trembled at each nearby explosion. The oil lamp flickered and dust fell from the ceiling of our basement shelter as my elderly female neighbours screamed and crouched on the floor. Worst of all was the chilling whoosh and moan of the Katyusha rocket launchers known as ‘Stalin’s Organs’.
The defence of Berlin was organised in concentric rings with only strategic strong points or main thorough-fairs defended in depth. Many suburbs saw no fighting at all and the residents were only aware of their conquest when a Commissar, usually a German Communist returning from exile, arrived to replace the Nazi Gauliter. Only on the defence lines and in the city centre was there the desperate house to house fighting and resultant devastation seen on the films of the time.
In our district, the main battleground was for the nearby Tempelhof Airfield and it was two days before the fighting reached our street. Our defenders were a squad of frightened and lightly armed old men and boys under the command of a fat young Feldwebel with bottle-lensed spectacles. We heard the brief burst of gunfire as their resistance was quashed and we waited for our conquerors to find us.
There were short rattles of automatic guns firing and the bangs of grenades until we heard movement above and the creak of boots on the basement stairs. “There’s someone down there.” A voice said in Russian. “I can see a light.”
“Throw a grenade down.” Another one ordered.
“Nyet! Nyet!” I screamed in the same language. “We are not armed. We are only female persons down here.”
Silence followed and then two caped Russian soldiers appeared on the stairs, covering us with their burp guns. An officer with a drawn pistol followed and a swift but efficient search ensued for weapons, watches and jewellery. I had dropped my wristwatch into my brassiere and I was spared its loss. Satisfied that we were no threat, they left, the Officer advising me that no one should venture back upstairs until nightfall. I translated this to my astonished neighbours and we all settled down again.
The next morning, I looked out of my window and saw that the house opposite must have taken a direct hit at the rear. The roof was missing, the door and windows had been blown out and the bodies of a mother and her two children lay on the pavement outside. I leaned out and looked further up the street, past other damaged buildings, to where the remains of the Volkssturm squad were scattered around their primitive barricade. On the main road beyond, I could see an endless stream of Soviet Army vehicles going north towards the city centre. In the distance, I could see the smoke and hear the sounds of battle for the airfield. As I watched, several horse drawn vehicles turned into our street, stopped and the troops began unloading. It was too far away to see if they were setting up a workshop or a supply depot.
I made breakfast for myself on my little paraffin field stove, making a face as I drank the bitter black ersatz coffee. I hated not having any milk, one of the things that I had mentioned to my neighbours as we sheltered in the basement.
As the day went on and the noise of battle seemed undiminished, I listened to the BBC on my little battery radio. An act that would have been punishable by death under the Nazis and heard of the Russian and American Armies meeting at the Elbe and that Berlin was now completely surrounded. I hoped that my friends had successfully made their escape. For myself, I just wanted to survive.
In the afternoon, I saw that my pail of water was empty and decided to take the risk of venturing out on to the streets to search for a broken water main or a fire tank. Just as I was going down the stairs, pail in hand, the front door swung open and a Russian Soldier lurched in.
He was big and broad with flat Mongolian features and an olive skin. He had blood on the front of his tunic and trousers, carried a bloodied sword bayonet in one hand and was dragging a hessian sack with the other. He focused his red-rimmed eyes on me, pointed the tip of his bayonet at my groin and grunted. He swayed slightly on his feet and I realised, as I palmed my wristwatch yet again, that he was very drunk. I put my pail down and beckoned for him to follow me up the stairs. He stumbled up after me, the contents of the sack clanking as it hit each step.
I opened my door and went straight to the bed and turned back to face him, unbuttoning the front of my dress as I did so. I discarded that onto the floor with my watch inside it and then slipped the straps of my petticoat down over my shoulders to be left wearing only my brassiere and knickers. He was standing in the open door, still swaying, with a puzzled frown on his face. With one hand, I pulled down the front of my knickers, covering my SS brand with the other but allowing him to see my male organ. I was letting my pubic hair grow but it was still a light fuzz and I could not let him see that mark on my body. Now he was really confused but he belched, dropped the sack and advanced on me with the bayonet outstretched. I was bracing myself to receive the point through my ribs when he grabbed by the shoulder, spun me round and threw me face down onto the bed.
I heard him unbuckle his belt and he belched again, releasing a strong smell of garlic to add to the awful mixture of sweat, alcohol and horse that was already assaulting my senses. His fingers tugged at the elastic on my knickers and despite my efforts to help him he finally ripped them apart with the edge of his bayonet. He grasped my hips and I felt a thick semi- flaccid penis flopping against the crack between my buttocks. The bayonet sawed through the back strap of my brassiere and then one hand groped my naked breast left breast while his other hand held the weapon against my throat.
His penis finally found my sphincter and, after several ineffectual pushes, forced its way in. Even without being fully erect it was big and, with my insides still raw from being assaulted by Von Kreps, I screamed and writhed at the pain from this new invasion. This seemed to stimulate the Russian and I could feel his shaft swell within me. He began pumping to and fro and I braced my self on the bed to hold my hips steady but the pain was getting worse and I rose up involuntarily. The hilt of the bayonet hit my temple and the blade was placed back under my chin until I lay back down again. My screams at each thrust were now interspersed with my sobs but I remained still while my ordeal continued. At last, I felt his penis jerk and a splash of semen inside me as he grunted with satisfaction. He withdrew roughly, causing me to scream again and sink to my knees as the pain shot through my body. When I turned around he was re-buckling his trouser belt and I saw that both of his forearms were covered in wrist-watches. By the time that I had hauled myself to my feet he was starting to get interested in the contents of my room so, keeping my pubic area out of his sight, I dropped the tattered remains of my underwear onto the floor and slipped into my dressing gown. I began talking soothingly to him in Russian, praising his body, his masculinity and his lovemaking while I found my remaining half bottle of Polish Brandy. I poured some of the contents into a glass but he seized the bottle from me and put the neck to his own lips. While he drained it empty I drank what I had managed to put in the glass. He threw the empty bottle down and stood there blinking at me, so I handed him his sack and led him back out of my still open door still telling him in Russian how wonderful he was. I led him down the stairs, pushed him out of the front door and stumbled back to my own room, conscious of the fact that every other resident in the house must have heard my shameful ordeal. I closed my door and collapsed onto my bed, sobbing at the pain and humiliation that I had endured.
Some time later, when I had recovered enough to examine myself, I was not surprised to find blood as well as semen inside my thighs and another purple bruise on my head. Remembering that I had no water to wash and where I had left my pail, I went to recover it from downstairs. Instead, I found it outside my door, full to the brim with water, with two cans of milk alongside it.
The Russian troops came round again the next day, this time with rifles and bayonets and forced everyone out onto the street who looked fit enough to work. We were marched off under guard, joining other columns, until there were nearly two thousand of us, mainly women. We arrived at Tempelhof Airfield, still littered with bodies and the smoking wrecks of aircraft and armoured vehicles, both German and Russian. The orders were simple. Clear up the mess so that the airfield could be reused or be shot!
We started by pushing the wrecked aircraft off the runways and filling in the smaller holes so that the engineers could patch them over. At the end of the day we had fulfilled that task and were allowed to go home but warned to return the next morning. And so we did for the next two weeks but, tired and dirty as we became, we did get fed from Red Army field kitchens. As the survivors from the Berlin garrison arrived at the temporary Prison Camp on the airfield they were put to the heavy work and we women formed chain gangs passing buckets of rubble.
Like many of the women with me I was sexually abused again when a tall red headed guard pulled me into a ruined bunker. I showed him what I had and offered my alternative, meekly accepting what was done to me. At least it was over quickly and was fairly painless. When I got home, feeling used and defiled, I turned my radio on before collapsing onto my bed and heard the announcement of the death of the Fuhrer. Up to a few months before, I would have been devastated and would have mourned for the man that I had so loved and admired. I cared more the next day when Berlin surrendered to the Russians but also relieved that the agony was over and we could start to rebuild our shattered lives.
We were not the only Trummerfrauen working and, each day, as we were marched to work, gangs of Rubble Women were not only clearing the streets and loading trucks from the rubbish heaps but sweeping the roads and pavements afterwards. I realised how lucky I was to have lived in a street of houses as the Russians, believing that the apartment blocks had been fortified against assault, had just flattened many of them with their artillery.
I heard on the radio that we had surrendered to General Eisenhower on the 7th of May but the Russians would not accept any peace unless it had been signed in the German Capital, Berlin.
Aircraft were now able to fly in and out of Tempelhof and, two days later, we saw an American Dakota come into land and two Senior British and American Air Force officers alight onto the runway. A Russian Guard of Honour greeted them and I was told that they were Eisenhower’s representatives for the surrender in Marshal Zhukov’s headquarters.
Another American Dakota followed the first one in and this time the German Delegates disembarked. I recognised the leader as Feldmarshal Wilhem Keitel, Chief of Staff of the OKW and a stiff, pompous man with a little grey moustache. Holding his Marshal’s baton in his hand, he ignored the nearby ceremonies as his group was led to convoy of staff cars. When the allied group had also departed we were sent home for the day.
As I climbed the stairs to my room, one of my elderly female neighbours came out of hers and called to me. “Fraulein Hartemann! Two Russian Officers came today. They said that they were looking for the Gestapo Officer who dressed as a woman.”
My blood ran cold and I gripped the stair rail for support.
“I told them that no such person lived here but they said that they would come back.”
I blinked in surprise. Why had she told a lie for me?
“I don’t care who you are or what you have done but, twice you have saved us. Once, to your own cost. It is the least that we can do for you but you must leave as soon as you can.”
I thanked her and climbed the stairs wearily. The time had come for me to move on before I ended up in a SMERSH interrogation cell.
Just after midnight, the sky lit up and everything shook as the victorious Russian Army fired all it’s weapons to celebrate the end of the war. I was too busy re-packing my suitcase to look out of the window.
I slipped out of the house before dawn, with my suitcase with one hand and carrying my bundled past over my shoulder. By using my knowledge of Russian, keeping my eyes and ears open and asking seemingly innocent questions, I had plotted a roundabout escape route that would not leave a trail to the west. I went east, around Tempelhof Airfield and crossed the Landwehr Kanal to the River Spree. There, the bundle that contained everything that pertained to Johannes or Ingrid Hartemann, including uniforms, documents, photographs and identity discs and tags, was cast into the dark waters. It was as Halina Jablowski, a Polish worker from Lodz, that I picked up my suitcase and resumed walking.
It took me two days to go around Berlin, sleeping in ruined houses and abandoned buildings, avoiding any Russian uniforms and mixing with civilian crowds when I could. As I have said before, Europe was the move and I counted on be taken for just another Displaced Person on the road.
When I reached the River Havel, I walked north to the lakes and forests around Lake Muritz. From there, my route lay west to Lubeck, Hamburg and Bremen. There, I would be in the part of Germany that I had grown up in and knew well. Also, I would be more likely to find Americans. There were plenty to the west and south of Berlin but I had been told that the Russians were closely examining travellers in those directions.
I quickly settled into a routine, finding shelter for the night, however primitive and, in the morning searching for water, so that I could wash and shave closely. I would then use one of my dwindling supplies of hormone injections and, with a cigarette, have a dry cold breakfast from my travelling rations. Like everyone else on the road, I also foraged for food, shamelessly searching dead bodies, looting abandoned buildings and vehicles and stealing raw crops from the Farmers’ fields. Someone had usually got there before me but I did find an egg in a hedge and a smashed German truck in a wood provided some sausage, biscuits and a packet of cigarettes.
Another attempt was made to have sex with me by two Russian Soldiers who pulled me out of a stream of refugees and tried to drag me to their truck at the roadside. I had had enough and lashed out with my feet and fists, kicking one between the legs and smashing the other on the nose. The first collapsed to the ground and the other reeled blindly away, much to the amusement of their watching comrades. Their laughter increased when I screamed in Russian, “Can’t you leave me alone? It’s bad enough that the Germans despoiled Poland without the Russians doing it as well!”