When Erhard and I were sent to Berlin to prepare for the Russian
attack, nothing was more depressing than the sight that greeted
us. Civilians had the most defeated look on their faces and the
soldiers that were on the first line of defense were young boys.
I knew what would happen to these young boys and couldn't look at
them because it was too saddening. Erhard and I were sent to an
officer for debriefing but it's not like it would help much. We
all knew what the Russians were going to do. They would come to
Berlin and nothing could stop them. The commanding officer told
Erhard and I that our position to protect was going to be the
When we arrived I saw that most of the men there were local
recruits, old men, in other words. Erhard took me through the
building a couple times, I didn't know why until he said "the
Reds are going to have to come through the courtyard, and come in
the building on the left side by the bathrooms. You and I are
going to be on the right side of the building, that way when we
have to retreat we have a road to follow backwards." I asked why
we were going to retreat and he said "because the Reds are going
to break through and the SS Officer in charge told me that all
surviving SS men were to fall back to the Reichstag, once the
Reds break through". Erhard led me back upstairs to the kitchen,
which is where we were going to fight from.
He found a panzerschrek and some rockets for it while I found a
couple extra clips for my modified stg-44. I looked at Erhard and
said "I don't think we have enough ammunition,"
Erhard replied "it only has to last us until nightfall and then
we will make our way to a supply depot near the Reichstag."
I hoped he was right because if we tried to run outside during
the daytime their snipers would be sure to get you.
"Erhard, do you ever wonder why were fighting?" I asked.
"Dieter," he replied "I know exactly why we are fighting, because
were the only ones who can."
I have to admit that although his reason was a good one, I was
hoping for something better. An officer came around and told us
to get some sleep while we could but it was hard because the
Russians were launching volley after volley of rockets into the
Finally at dawn they attacked. We could hear their attack taking
place on the edges of the city. The guys in the apartment
building were giving the Russians hell but amongst the tank and
Mg fire, I could hear the fire of mosin-nagant sniper rifles. I
knew that they wouldn't last long with those snipers out there.
It took awhile but the defenders were finally overcome and the
Russians had taken over the apartment building. Now they were
coming at us, and trust me they were definitely coming. One of
their tanks busted through a house, but it didn't last very long
because Erhard aimed his right between the turret and the main
body of the tank, which blew the turret right off. We couldn't
celebrate though, since infantry began assaulting the asylum. I
started lining up my shots and killing anybody that wasn't being
chewed up by our MG's.
It wasn't long before I stopped lining up my shots and just shot
at anybody. It also wasn't long before more tanks and snipers
arrived for the Russians. I could hear the sniper shots zinging
into the wall and I dropped down. Erhard was right beside me on
the ground and he said "the snipers are on top of the apartment
complex." I peeked my head up and saw a muzzle flash, he was
right, they were up top. We were pinned down and the Russians
were getting closer to the asylum. Erhard came up with a plan
though "fire at the rooftop while I take out the tanks" he told
me. So I got ready and on three I stood up and fired at the roof,
while Erhard took a shot at a tank blowing it up. One of the
snipers fired back but missed, although it wasn't by much. We
kept doing this until Erhard ran out of rockets and I was down to
my last clip.
By then night was falling and we were able to make our escape. I
picked up a MP40 and Erhard grabbed his. We went to the officer
in charge of this position and gave him the letter that told him
we were allowed to leave. As Erhard and I ran out into the
street, moving our way through alleys and when we finally got to
the ammo depot, we were met with a surprise.