The Odyssey of Fahnenjunker Wenger
Part Two - Conclusion
From the Seelow Heights—April 1945
Back Home to Leoben, Austria—July 1945
By Willy Wenger
An officer-candidate in the German Luftwaffe, Willy Wenger was only 18 in 1945 when his “odyssey” began. He is now 86. His older brother Leopold Wenger was awarded the Knight’s Cross, Germany's highest military decoration.
Translation and Introduction by Wilhelm Kriessmann
Editing by Carolyn Yeager
copyright 2013 Wilhelm Wenger
From April 20th onward - the final days of the Reich - 18 year old Willy Wenger was involved in the Battle for Berlin. His story continues right after receiving his first wound as he covered for German civilians trapped inside the cellar of a house. As he attempted a peek out the front door to check conditions, a Russian grenade exploded close to it. A grenade fragment struck his hand, bringing forth profuse bleeding.
For the time being we escaped hell; it was insanity what we tried to accomplish near the Sparre Platz next to a waterfront. (I still carry the grenade fragment in the ball of my left hand. I feel it only when I hit something accidentally.) We marched back to the Maikaefer barracks.
The long row of barracks on Chausseestrassee as it appeared in 1910.
I was sent to a first aid station to get properly bandaged and to receive a tetanus shot. Marching on, I was informed that it was the famous Hotel Adlon on the Unter den Linden, close to the Brandenburg Gate, where I could get help. With ruins and wreckage all around, I tried first to cross the wide Unter den Linden avenue – impossible with continual rocket fire from the Stalin Organ batteries. So I found the subway entrance and finally entered the Adlon, my first encounter with my future profession.