Farsleben / Stade
When a train stopped in Farsleben on April 12, 1945, the world stood still briefly. Inside were 2,500 Jews who spent a day in fear until freed from the Americans. The Farslebener Gisela Misch could see the train from her home and helped with. In the process, she met a man who could not forget her time of her life. And she received a small gift, an angel that accompanied her for decades.

Her story told the today 92-year-old two members of the Wolmirstedter club “stranded train”. Anette Pilz, museum director in Wolmirstedt, and Karin Petersen, a teacher at Wolmirstedter Gymnasium, visited the contemporary witness in their present home town of Stade (Lower Saxony) and let them tell what happened over 70 years ago – and she remembers, as if the days of horror are just beginning been yesterday.

A talisman to say goodbye

When the concentration camp train that was traveling from the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen to Theresienstadt stopped at the end of the garden in Farsleben, Gisela Miesch lived with her parents and 13 people under one roof. They were refugees who were quartered with them. The train – Miesch speaks of “cattle cars” – was noticed, she went to look. In it sat emaciated people begging for food. But the armed patrol discouraged the 19-year-old.

It was only later that they learned who was on the train. On April 13, the Nazi patrol disappeared, the American troops liberated the people on the train. The rescued were distributed in the village. Gisela Miesch also took care of the Jews and helped in a kitchen.

She stood alone at the saucepan when she addressed a young man. The Greek Nissim Mizrachi, from her until today called “Mimi”, had lost his father during transport. He had died of typhus in Farsleben. He was to lose his mother a short time later in Hillersleben. He spoke German, English and French and had studied medicine in Greece for several semesters. Gisela Miesch made friends with the young Greek, “although one was a stranger,” as the eyewitness describes.

Memories of every little detail

After a few days, Mimi told her to pack her bags and come to the West. But the Farslebener [could not]: “I lost two brothers in the war, I could not leave my parents alone with house and yard.” Mimi gave her his talisman, an angel made of hard wax and a photo of himself in his hometown Athens was recorded. On the back is written: “Always in your heart”.

These are the two things that Gisela Miesch has saved over the years. Every year, the little angel was hanging by the Christmas tree. Each year, the worn wax reminded her of the days of April 1945. Every year the uncertainty of how Mimi spent his life.

Their paths never brought the two together again. She never did any research, never wrote, but never forgot him. And someday, a few years ago, the guardian angel left her. When she moved to the retirement home, he was lost and with him, the picture.

When the eyewitness talks about Mimi today, her face is painfully distorted. She remembers every detail, knows the times and addresses of those days. The memories have burned themselves into the memory of the then 19-year-olds. “History will not let me go. I’m carrying [it] with me all my life, “she says.

Exhibition is prepared

Nevertheless, life had to go on. Gisela Miesch married a civil engineer, had a daughter. In 1996, she and her husband moved to Stade, to [be with] their daughter and their family. The place changed, but the memories remained.

Others did not want to know about the concentration camp trains; the memories of the witnesses were too cruel. Several times Gisela Miesch has told her story for posterity. … The sound recordings and images of the contemporary witness are to be part of an exhibition to be created in the course of the 75th anniversary of the liberation in the coming year. There, people like Gisela Miesch are given a voice – so they will not be forgotten.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: https://www.volksstimme.de/lokal/wolmirstedt/zeitzeugin-wenn-der-schutzengel-verschwindet