Play / pause Post-War Berlin

Post-War Berlin

  • Ralph Levy
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnet


My job was check goods on

and check goods off at the other end.

So the problem was the other end

because they hadn't got enough indoor storage space

for, coal obviously didn't need it

but paraffin diesel had to be put under lock and key

otherwise German civilians

who were deprived of everything practically,

I mean it was still rubble in the streets.

As we flew in you could see piles of rubble,

twisted tramlines, things like that in the roads

and the infrastructure being completely destroyed

and not wholly replaced and that was the problem.

Because although there were huge blocks of flats

which were still occupied,

the central heating systems for those weren't operating

so we had to try and get those.

So the sidings at Gatow were full

of coal trucks, piles of coal.

And German civilians used to cut the perimeter fence

and go in with a sack and shovel and pinch coal.

You couldn't blame them because the winters

are pretty severe in that part.

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