Friday, 13 June 2014

A Lot of Flak - Sepia Saturday

Back in 1941 when young Gunter approached his local station I doubt that he would have seen a sight like that in this week's prompt.

After all he would catch a train from Berlin-Humboldthain and it probably did not look as peaceful as in 2010.

Berlin - Gesundbrunnen S Bahnhof, Humboldthain
(14 Nov 2010 - Peter Kuley - CC BY-SA 3.0)
Nor would the platforms have been as empty as this.

Berlin-S Bahnhof, Humboldthain 
(9 Oct 2012 - IngolfBLN - CC BY-SA 2.0)
On his way from Müller Strasse to the station he would not have had such a picturesque view of the park as this.

Berlin - Humboldthain Aussichtspunkte Bunker
(Andreas Praefcke - CC By-SA 3.0)
Back in 1941 the Observation Point Bunkers had a more sinister use. They formed one of the three blockhouse towers in Berlin for antiaircraft guns ordered to be built by Hitler in 1940 and used by the Luftwaffe to defend the city against the Allies air raids.

Flak Assistant - Berlin Gesundbrunnen Flak Tower, Humboldthain with two heavy flak guns - 1943
(Norbert Radtke Family Archive - by Henry Radtke)
At he end of the war the tower was partly demolished. Today it is inside Humboldthain Park.

I just wonder whether Gunter was as close as this to the towers when he took his train journeys.

Partly Demolished Flak Towers, Humboldthain
(Unknown date - source; Dario J Lagana, - CC Commons)
Gunter was a young man in 1941 and could travel by train at half fare third class between Berlin - Humboldthain and Berlin - Karow.

Gunter  and his permit for fare reduction 1941
Unfortunately I cannot make out his surname; he lived at Müller Strasse 1 and apparently was a gardener (Kleingärtner).

I hope he survived the war and that the Flak Tower protected him.

All aboard for more trains and train journeys at Sepia-Saturday-232.


violet s said...

The Humboldthain Bahnhof looks sinister to me, especially with its resemblance to those flak towers.

Wendy said...

Looking at the picture of the station today so attractive and quiet, I wonder if it is haunted by its dark past. Do people think about the horror? Or do they just accept that this is a practical use for today? Here in the Southern United States, plantations are open for tours, and that bothers some people who remind us that these plantations were built on the backs of slaves. However, this is our history.

Mike Brubaker said...

Wow, this was a creative and interesting post, Bob. Your supporting photos make a terrific story of Gunter, who appears to be no more that age 16. His surname ends with "kowski" I think which suggests a Polish family name. My effort at translating the other words around "Kleingärtner" makes this out as a special travel document for Gunter to reach a family allotment or "small garden". We can only wonder what hardships he and his family might suffer in the next few years after 1941.

La Nightingail said...

The trees grown up around it make the place less severe looking, & of course the removal of the guns helps greatly as well, but it still appears rather austere.

Jo Featherston said...

I was worried at first that you might be going to write about the infamous Gleis 17 at Grunewald station, which is where the trains departed for the concentration camps. I hope Gunter survived too and didn't end up on Glies 17.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Interesting and thought-provoking post. I really it enjoyed it.

Postcardy said...

I wonder what happened to Gunter. I'm glad I wasn't there during the war.

Little Nell said...

An interesting twist on the theme - very enjoyable.

North County Film Club said...

What a creative post. I'll bet the kids in that town love playing on that old bunker. Better in a park than in a war!
Ladies of the Grove

Lorraine Phelan said...

I enjoyed this creative post Bob.

Anonymous said...

Such contrasting photos - hard to think that they are from the same country. I wonder if Gunter got caught up by the war later on. There;s a faint possibility that he is still alive.

Sharon said...

Well Done Bob. A very enjoyable post.

Lucy said...

I hope he survived as well. He looks so incredibly young in that ID photograph.