Finckenstein - January 1945
Monday the 1st of January 1945. We had high tea in the other room and a dance in the evening. The Christmas/ New year didn’t go down so well as in previous years. Everyone was getting very despondent and low in spirits. We didn’t seem to have the heart to do things so much and tempers were getting frayed. The best of friends would have their differences and finish up fighting. I had my share, the same as everybody else, but it didn’t make any difference to our friendships afterwards. It did relieve the tension that had built up, though.
In January we were stacking wood and threshing. The snow was very thick and in places you could only see the tops of the trees. The snow was very hard and you could walk on the top quite easily. Half of the men were constantly clearing areas but I didn’t get to do much of that.
On Friday the 19th we were loading hay in the barns when a guard came running out and spoke to our guard. They told us to drop everything and stop what we were doing. They then marched us back to the billet. On the way we saw the civilians loading all their belongings onto wagons and it looked as if they were all pulling out. When we got to the billet we were told to pack all we could carry, the rest would have to be left behind. They told us that we would be moving out in the morning because the Russians were advancing and we had to be clear of the area. The guards didn’t look very happy but we were in high spirits and glad that the Russians were coming.