[This autobiographical sketch recounts the Rebane family’s entrance into the post-war world of displaced persons just after the war ended in Germany, and before the ‘final disposition’ of the east European refugees would stabilize. We and thousands like us were still in mortal danger of being forcefully ‘repatriated’. This was to be our second escape from Augsburg.
The chronological order of these sketches and their links are listed below. These and future additions, including other related travels, are assembled in the My Story section of RR. Background on Estonia and stories from my earlier years during the war are marbled into the series 'Road Ruminations' written during our June 2008 return trip to Estonia.]
This piece follows the events described in ‘The War Ends in Liederberg’. The upcoming story of the Geislingen Displaced Persons Camp years will conclude the pre-America phase of my life.]
Our ride south from Liederberg in the back of the Army ¾ ton truck ended in Augsburg, the war devastated city where in 1518 Martin Luther was examined for heresy and escaped northward in the dead of night. Within two weeks of the war’s end on 8 May 1945, the western allies established a series of collection points – it was too early yet to call them actual camps – for the hundreds of thousands of east Europeans who were lucky enough to find themselves west of the Red Army when the bullets stopped flying. Vello, Ellen, and their son Jüri Rebane were among the very fortunate – or were they?