www.storymania.com
Storymania Logo

 

 

Short Stories




Sky Bound by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 8. Five years after Anne and Andrew marry, a crisis in the making forces them t... [3,501 words]
The Way We Actually Were
Wisdom Dug Out Of Dirt by Jeffrey (George) Winter The wealth possessed by a poor, old farmer. [1,032 words]
You've Got Mail by David B Doc Byron A parody of the secret lives of movie critics. [358 words]
The Spirit Tree by Paul Leighland MacLaine A small boy was living with his Aunt and Uncle on their farm discovers a magic tree, and a mira... [4,197 words]
The Secret Of Pimples by David B Doc Byron You'll never see this one coming.... [362 words]
The Caged Introvert by Michael Harris A shy, unattached man's journey for love... [3,644 words]
Sleep Tight. Nighty Night. by Alessandra Mace This story I wrote before 'Big things come in small packages' see how is has matured... [1,282 words]
Nothing Fits, Anyway by Daniel Taylor A short story. [1,610 words]
Night Bite! by Frank Dunsmore Some believe in vampires and some wannabe vampires but Lieutenant Schmidt and his detectives are un... [3,812 words]
Cutting Critics by Frank Dunsmore We've all heard the debate: what is the responsibility of a reviewer? Is it primarily to tell t... [5,146 words]
As Told By Me by Parker Short Story about a kid that gets caught up in the wrong stuff. [6,534 words]
A Poignant Goodbye by Anne Stewart A very short story about internet relationships. [597 words]
A Pocket Full Of Stones by Paul Leighland MacLaine As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the b... [929 words]
The Legacy by Paul Leighland MacLaine Abandonment is a terrible way to end a relationship, especially when it is in favour of your best fr... [3,561 words]
The Cool Clique by Pearl S I actually did some reasearch for this, interviewed a few older friends... they don't understan... [837 words]
Sweetchild by Paul Leighland MacLaine Sweetchild is the story of interracial love, a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet. [2,387 words]
Story Of A Ghost by Matthew Mercieca A short story, about a man who goes through life being consumed by hate. [1,130 words]
Special by Pearl S - [1,338 words]
Space Walk by Sue (Sooz) Simpson May Cause offense. [1,290 words]
So This Is My Life Then by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [517 words]
Renting by Paul Leighland MacLaine Sometimes letting go can be harder than holding on. [390 words]
Remington, Underwood & Royal by Paul Leighland MacLaine Will Kingsway has just purchased the solution to his writer’s block – a black, Rem... [4,378 words]
Pulp-Affliction by David B Doc Byron You figure it out. [568 words]
Podunk by David B Doc Byron A small group of rednecks find out what it's like not to get the last laugh on a minority. [763 words]
On The Singularity Cusp by Matt Tracy Learn the lengths to which humans will go to reach immortality. They reach for the star... [2,287 words]
Newsworthy by Vyacheslav Yampolsky A short story. [1,459 words]
Just A Bloody Card Game by Jerry Vilhotti A strorella. [979 words]
Involution Melancholia by Paul Leighland MacLaine Mead wakes to find he has been sleeping on a bar. The room is filled with people and smo... [1,859 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [991 words]
Four Minute Warning by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [476 words]
Everything's Falling Into Place by Paul Leighland MacLaine As his girlfriend throws all his possessions from a balcony, the man realises t... [957 words]
Close? Only When We Danced by Paul Leighland MacLaine Secrets and promises are often the hardest things to keep. They have a habit of slip... [908 words]
Cherry Blossom by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [435 words]
Big Things Come In Small Packages by Alessandra Mace This story is about a boy who loves playing the piano and wishes to be a pian... [2,075 words]
Anything Has To Be Better Than This by Paul Leighland MacLaine Nixon lives a quiet life, he minds his own business, keeps to himself...it’... [952 words]
Grounded by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 10. Seven years into their marriage, life presents the Crance's with a few welco... [2,957 words]
Fatal Flight by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 9. Reacting to Eric's death, Andrew, Eric's first flight instructor, and pro... [3,852 words]
Instrument Meteorological Conditions by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 6. Built on friendship and common interest, Andrew ... [2,464 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [114 words]
Watch Out, Henry! There's A Hole In That There Bucket! by Pearl S The English Essay I Had Way Too Much Fun Writing. [4,772 words]
Warring Faiths by Ami Another dream... [1,503 words]
Volunteer by Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred The Empire Falls into civil war. Hard decesions must be made. [2,654 words]
Violet Glowing by Jason Richard Mercer The prelude to a story about an emotionally drained nymphomaniac with the soul of an angel. (I g... [594 words]
Twenty-First Century Mankind by Eric A Hofmann I chose to write a modern day myth which tackled subjects that I thought should be... [1,273 words]
Torn Over Ben by Tracy N Van Brocklin This story is an overview of a young woman's feelings about how she must give up what has been ma... [3,667 words]
The Wrong Love by Samuel James Chase When is love wrong? A story told from the point of view of a person who feels he is the victim i... [2,425 words]
The Music Of Zetaph by Rachael E Bills An intriguing outlook on a futuristic world where aliens from the planet Zetaph have interg... [3,218 words]
The Dinosaur by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,523 words]
Rebecca by Tammi Goyns A short story about supposed insanity...read into the mind of a madman and how he finds society to be c... [1,034 words]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [552 words]
Lake Of The Woods by Stephanie Black A story about man vs. nature. A young boy must face a bear in the middle of nowhere during ... [2,492 words]
Insideout by David B Doc Byron A woman born deformed longs to be beautiful. [791 words]
His Prospects by Caitlin Conaway Repressed Victorians! Plus Antarctic Explorers, a pretty Oxford reject, and a little morphine. [3,535 words]
Four Months by Hopii Canterfield This is not meant to be a trite romance, although I know that it can come off that way. It's just ... [666 words]
Experience As In Dostojewski by Stefanie Aschmann The narrator is a rich, middle aged woman living in Germany. Her outlook on life t... [2,023 words]
Dropping The Red Doll by Paul Leighland MacLaine He hasn’t seen his ex-wife in three years but suddenly she is back in his head and back i... [822 words]
Don't Be So Quick To Pull The Plug! by Ami Imagine yourself in her position and SHIVER! It's kind of creepy, a trigger... [1,658 words]
Cat's Chorus by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,332 words]
Cancer Of The Circumstance by Paul Leighland MacLaine When a man meets a friend in the street, a long lost friend, he sees that he is dyin... [1,424 words]
Blue Pill by Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred Deep Space Romance. [4,499 words]
Anne by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [707 words]
After She Left by Paul Leighland MacLaine When a relationship ends and partners go their separate ways, the memory of the lost love begins... [708 words]
A Twist In The Tail by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [963 words]

Go to page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 [34] 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
TITLE (EDIT)
The Way We Actually Were
DESCRIPTION
Recollections from a veteran of the Third Reich.
[1,337 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
History
AUTHOR
Jeffrey (George) Winter
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Journalist, counselor, author.
[May 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
win9133@dwave.net
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (10)
Ed's Gift (Short Stories) An insignificant man imparts the truth of wisdom and peace. [1,308 words] [Spiritual]
Heaven Is Hell's Fire (Poetry) - [108 words] [Spiritual]
Justice Come Due (Poetry) God's reply to justice. [95 words] [Spiritual]
Love Denied (Poetry) - [171 words] [Spiritual]
Strength's Illusion (Essays) A visit with a disabled friend: How our understandings of strength affect our relationships. [1,696 words] [Spiritual]
The Adventure Of Human Freedom (Essays) As title indicates. [1,149 words] [Spiritual]
The Power Of Surrender (Short Stories) A good man takes on evil. [1,431 words] [Spiritual]
The Weapon Of Hope (Short Stories) When all else fails, there is hope. Three short stories reveals where lies ours. [1,385 words] [Spiritual]
Tied By The Heart (Essays) Does our freedom ensnares us? [1,128 words] [Spiritual]
Wisdom Dug Out Of Dirt (Short Stories) The wealth possessed by a poor, old farmer. [1,032 words] [Biography]
The Way We Actually Were
Jeffrey (George) Winter

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”
    In a life than has crossed the world, experienced the atrocities of war and found itself without country, family or home, it seems Gandhi’s perspective on war hits closer to home than the divisiveness of battle’s in which a soft spoken, elderly man was once engaged.
    Walter Auer, 77-year old northern Wisconsin resident, seems an unlikely veteran of such travels. Warm, witty and enthusiastic, the former member of the Germany Army seems not just miles but worlds away from the grizzly battlefields of World War II. Aside from the gouge rendering his left arm only partially usable, one would never suspect Auer a man who’s witnessed first hand what to most are horrors distant in location and time, studied in history books not in person.
    But Auer’s experience is distinctly personal and by virtue of that, there are stories to tell. His however, aren’t so much ones of valor, courage or the glory of war but of setting things straight without denying war’s final count: lives lost, children orphaned and homes and lands destroyed.
    Gathered over a cup of coffee and liverwurst sandwiches, he recalled what’s brought him to the cozy and protected hamlet of Elcho, Wisconsin in the upper Midwest.
    His memories began with recollections of an innocent childhood that had grown more difficult as the Jewish economic “war” on Germany took hold in the 1930s.
    “You know,” he said, “At that time, it was not that Hitler had out and out decided to exterminate Jews but that the Jews had basically boycotted German business and industry.”
    “In fact,” he noted, “There was an effort to not necessarily rid the nation of Jews but instead to allow them passage to whatever country would have them so as to deflect the financial wounds the boycott was having.”
    “But no one would take them,” he added, “Because they didn’t want to open themselves up to the same type of economic infliction.”
    “You know,” Auer mentioned, “History books tell us more about their authors than about the history itself.”
    A history that for him was interrupted when at 18 years of age he was called up into the German army in 1943, ending a promising career with the German railway. Following radio operator training in Friedberg, he joined the German army’s march into Znaim, a Czechoslovakian city bordering Austria.
    What was cause for parting from his tearful mother, later served to save Auer’s life as the heavy radio equipment he was required to carry insulated him from bullets and grenade particles.
    Upon his arrival to the battlefield in the Baltic state of Kurland, the young 18-year old immediately saw the gruesomeness of war.
    As part of that initiation, he remembers fleeing a Russian ambush alongside his company commander in order to find cover in the scattered bushes littering the Latvian flatlands. Halfway there, he was met by machine gun fire that left most of his comrades, including the commander, dead. Surrounded by torn apart, pale bodies and the drone of falling bombs, he recalls crying aloud to God to save him.
    Although machine gun fire blazed by him as he darted off like a pursued rabbit, Auer miraculously escaped.
    Whatever it was that kept him safe in harm’s way, Auer recalls that his ability to evade capture and death came at a price from his country.
    His escapes, including one in which he was his company’s sole survivor, led to investigation by the Kurland army’s secret police. He was later absolved of “possible treason to Fuhrer, People and Homeland.”
    His tour of duty ended on May 10, 1945 with the laying down of arms, two days after the German Reich’s surrender in Reims, France and Karlshorst, Germany. Russian troops shipped German POWs to what were called work camps, though Auer questions the terminology.
    Determined by his captors to be unfit for work due to war injuries, he was returned to Germany within a year. Not however, before the prisoners’ squalid existence left an indelible mark on his memory.
    “No one could fault them if they felt it would have been better to die,” he recalls, “The conditions were abominable, the darkness and cold of the mines, the scarcity of food, the infliction of injury for the slightest thing and ‘mysterious’ deaths that were more accurately termed as executions.”
    Even for those shipped on cattle wagons back to the Soviet-occupied portion of Germany, conditions weren’t much better. Auer noted that many starved to death before arrival and he very nearly did.
    Contracting typhus from hunger in Grossenheim in Saxony, Auer required nearly four months of hospitalization that included relegation to the dying ward and reception of last rites.
    Having escaped war and its final price, the 20-year old soon discovered a perhaps higher cost.
    Due to the rejection in Austria of everything associated with Germany in wake of the late and post-war collapse, he was prevented from returning to his Sudetanland home. Though his family had resettled not far from Znaim in Retz, he migrated by foot to Germany.
    Without food or shelter, Auer remembers fishing in protected ponds by nightfall to secure nourishment and sleeping wherever he could find warm surroundings, often in the wilderness.
    Having encountered much the same atmosphere toward Germans here, Auer immigrated to Chicago in 1953 via “The Refugee Relief Act”.
    “It was incredible,” Auer recalls, “Coming from a land that was utterly destroyed and riddled by poverty, the huge skyscrapers and numbers of automobiles amazed me. It was a world that saw no limits or any reason for concern that there might be.”
    Auer worked as a drill press operator, at an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center and finally, owned a successful hair salon in the Chicago metropolitan area
    Granted the opportunity to pursue a life-long dream, Auer traveled around the United States and Mexico and also around the world, re-establishing contact with his family in Europe.
    Having established friendships from within with the large German population of Chicago and later in Florida, Auer visited a friend who owned a summertime home in the Wisconsin north woods. Lured by the wilderness and the large German population of the area, he moved to the Boulder Junction, Wisconsin area where he purchased a nightclub.
    Following retirement and at the suggestion of friend ?? Schreiber who owns the Pelican Club in Pelican Lake, Auer relocated to Elcho where he entertains at area clubs and churches playing accordion expertly.
    “Back in the Chicago area,” he laughed, “A group of us got together and made pretty good money by traveling throughout the Upper Midwest on weekends.”
    “We were a pretty popular band,” he added.
    At dinner’s conclusion, Auer’s offered some final observations.
    “You know,” he remarked, “There’s always another side. That’s why I wrote a book (entitled “How We Actually Were” and published in German). I was there and so I know what went on. And yes, there were atrocities committed but they occurred on the part of both Allied and Axis powers, not solely the Germans or for that matter, the Russians. Each nation sought its piece of the pie and to enlarge it. They still do”
    “You know, not all Germans comprised what history has called the evil empire, not even the armed forces for that matter,” he continued, “There is a good deal of reputable literature out there detailing the historical inaccuracies handed down, some written by reputable and respected Jewish people either from that period or those who’ve studied it.”
    Without bitterness or defense, he added, “The lives lost and torn apart and the children orphaned were spread across the globe.”
    “We believe what we want to believe,” he concluded upon stepping out into a fair and gentle night en route to an accordion performance, “But the wisest man need ask one thing.”
    “What is actually true?”









    

 

READER'S REVIEWS (4)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"Interesting story, I am always fascinated by stories of people who lived in the Third Reich, since I am a graduate history major. Expand it into a book. " -- Shelley, Fullerton, California, USA.
"Auer's 220-page book containing vivid photos, "The Way We Actually Were", is available for $17 plus $2 S&H through WW Press at win9133@dwave.net or N9133 Mill Rd., Summit Lake, WI 54485, #715-275-3150 " -- Jeffrey Winter, Summit Lake, WI, USA.
"Excellent piece...send me two books, please!" -- Willis.
"Ehmm..m. Sehr gut Seite! Ich sage innig..!:) bmw" -- BMW, ..., ..., ....

TO DELETE UNWANTED REVIEWS CLICK HERE! (SELECT "MANAGE TITLE REVIEWS" ACTION)

Submit Your Review for The Way We Actually Were
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.

Your Name*     E-mail*

City     State/Province     Country

Your Review (please be constructive!)*


Please Enter Code*:

Submit Your Rating for The Way We Actually Were

Worst     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Best

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2003 Jeffrey (George) Winter
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
February 2003
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1850
 

Copyright © 1998-2001 Storymania Technologies Limited. All Rights Reserved.