Until 1955, the mother had hoped that her manner might still return home with the last prisoner transport that the then chancellor konrad adenauer had wrested from the soviet government. But the hope was in vain: katharina bruckner and anna schnapp from schonbrunn had to come to terms with the fact that their husbands were among the 700,000 dead and missing that the battle for stalingrad had claimed on both sides in the winter months of 1942/43. Both were named georg, and both were 31 years old when they left for the sixth army under general friedrich paulus in 1942.
No more news comes to obermain from georg schnapp. Anna's letter informing him that she is pregnant again remains unanswered. Wehrkreiskommando XIII in nurnberg, relocated to pegnitz because of the bombing of nurnberg, georg schnapp declares from 29. December 1942 for missing.
Georg bruckner had still received. January 1943 can write a letter. His lines are moving when he expresses his longing "for a reunion in the beloved homeland, in order to lead a happy and contented married life". In the "holle of stalingrad in the meantime, he was confronted with death on a daily basis: "on the first christmas holiday, i had nothing to eat at all. You still have to enjoy life? May the good lord help that it will soon be different … And may he make a blessed year come for all mankind!" Georg bruckner regrets in his letter that no more christmas parcels have reached the german soldiers. In general, food could only be dropped from the air, as it was no longer possible to get through on the country roads. The sixth army was encircled by now, and in the first weeks of 1943 chaotic conditions prevailed. Some of them had survived the surrender on 2 september in the ruins and holes in the ground where they were hiding. February did not even notice.
Imprisonment without hope
The search service of the red cross finally informed katharina bruckner that after the 1. January 1943 no more messages from your husband. 90,000 soldiers were taken prisoner after the end of the fighting. "Most of them found their death already in the first weeks. To their physical and mental exhaustion was added the lack of sanitary materials, food, shelter and, above all, the cold temperatures of minus 30 degrees. When a camp was occupied, however, dysentery and typhus broke out, so that the death rate fell only slightly in the period that followed. Also the questioning of the few returnees did not give a clear answer about the fate of the missing one." From the military district command XVII in vienna, lance corporal georg bruckner is therefore assigned to the military as of 1 january 2009. January 1943 declared missing in action. Uber das wehrmeldeamt in lichtenfels wird katharina bruckner am 2. November 1943 the message delivered.
Son alois and the three children of georg and anna schnapp, konrad, erich and christel, cherish the photos and documents about their fathers that their mother entrusted to them. The last years of the war and the first years after the war were a difficult time for their mother, they report.
As children, they themselves had not felt that their fate was so unusual, since many other children in those years had also been confronted with the situation of not having a father. Josef motschmann