Return to Neckarstrasse: Innocence Lost Part 2

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Author: Elsa Elfriede Hopp
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A journey of eight hundred miles completed…

A journey taking six weeks through the ruins of cities, towns and villages, across battlefield strewn with the unburied remains of German soldiers. A perilous crossing between what has now become the Russian eastern zone; those lands and states that were previously a part of Germany; and the area now controlled by our capitalist administrators, the Americans and the British.

But we are home, Mutti, Hans-Dieter, Ralf, Marlene and me, Elsa. We have returned to our apartment in Neckarstrasse, Dusseldorf. Our block of flats miraculously still standing, when hundreds of others around it are in ruins.

Now we must find our feet among these ruins. Find fuel, food and clothing. The everyday essentials are not there and will not appear again normally for another three years. How will we survive? And has our father survived? A soldier on the Eastern Front who we have not heard from in almost two years.

Return to Neckarstrasse, Elsa’s story continues…