This is my Story … The Berlin Airlift shaped and helped many lives, and this it did for me and my family as well. I am Tanja ( born in 1977 ) and my brother ( Born in 1966 ) were both the first generation to be born in the USA.
Ive always had a love for family, hearing and listning to the stories growing up. My parents came from Berlin, Germany as a child that was all that I knew. My dad at a young age ( the first time he told me I was 5 and by the age I was 12 I could tell you the story 10 times backwards and forwards and better than he could remember … ) would tell us the war stories of how he was very young at the time of the war ( his two siblings were born 20 years before hand )
his family was bombed out four times during the war and that they had to hide from the Russians in the ” Keller ” there as they went and raided the homes of the people there when they came through the city of Berlin.
He was a stern man and would always tell me how his family had to ” sit on top of my Aunt “.. or Tante Erika. He had two sisters
They had a bed in the shelter in the basement and they would stick her under the mattress and all sit onto of the bed so that they would not find her, as the russians were very brutal and would rape the german children and woman they found. He would tell me of her beauty and that she never really recuperated and walked funny after that, the rest of her left. He would say that he would always go outside and watch the candy flying from the sky or try and get the chocolate but all the bigger kids would push him away and he never got any.
I never understood this until a few years ago when I started researching my own family tree. I did a DNA test for my father and my mother and now this year I did one for my brother. I would ask him to tell me stories about the family and growing up and this he would say over and over again.
I was born in the USA and moved away when I was 12 and the history they taught here in the USA I found out ( when I later returned ) was and is not the same that I was taught growing up in Germany ( attending F.I.S. in Oberusel , it was a british runned school so we were taught what they were taught there and Im sure in the ” British System ” in the UK ) All that I know is I was watching the history channel one day about Hal Halverson and the Berlin Airlift , they showed old footage and stories from others who participated and some of the children who were also affected by the war and remembered…. That day I looked at the TV and said OH ( then said the F word really loud ) lol thats what my dad has been trying to tell me for the past 10 years about standing in the street and trying to get the Candy, but he could never get any! It was now staring right in front of me and that just wanted me to keep on digging on about the family tree and try and contact any other living people who were affected, immigrated and or helped with the Berlin Airlift.