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22 December 2009


Dave C

Good story, George. A good lesson on what we might be taking for granted these days.



Thanks for sharing your Christmas story. I was six, it was the year that my Grandmother's sister Aunt Blanch came back from Hawaii unannounced and dressed up as Santa Claus and gave out our gifts, one to each. My two brothers and I slept in a single room is my grandmothers house in Nevada City, we woke before the sun was up and slipped into the living room and there were no presents under the Christmas tree. We were very concerned, and returned to our beds. We had been warned the with the war, there may not be presents, certainly not more than one, but there were none under the tree. We were still talking in whispers when we heard a loud bang as the front door opening and robust Ho Ho Ho! Santa had arrived. We were all looking for toys, but our presents were hand knitted winter sweaters and some gum and candy bars my dad had sent from an Army Air Force PX in Texas. No toys!

When we did not clean our plate my grandmother would remind us how lucky we were to have food and when children in Europe were going hungry. You story puts in perspective how lucky we really were. Again, thanks for sharing.


Wow, George, you story is so touching, thank you for sharing. I will share this story with my children. What great lessons we can all learn from history.

Bob Hobert

Hat tip to George for this excellent and personal history lesson! Please continue the story on to your life in the United States. Americans today must know that their freedoms and lifestyles were paid for by the sacrifices of earlier generations. The energy and intellect of the many thousands of World War II refugees and immigrants that came to America helped power this country to its greatest heights. We need to hear their stories.


Thanks George for sharing your story. Very moving and heart opening.

Teine Rebane Kenney

Daddy, I love it when you tell about your personal history. It's all part of how you were formed into the man you are today. I'm proud to be a Rebane. Love, Teine

Mikey McD

George, bravo. My family and I anxiously await your periodic memoirs on RR (or over a bottle of vino). Thank you for answering the demand for historic and valuable content. Please do keep sharing. God bless you and your family.

Dixon Cruickshank

Very very interesting George can't wait for the next installment

Sini Fernandez

You should link this to the Last Train from Stettin story. Thanks for telling us this part of the story. Love, Sini

Charles Hayes

Thanks for the more detailed story of your family's Exodus to the U.S. ---
This puts into better focus your comments
as we drove to and from Librascope.

I think that you really need to write a book, especially since you would be telling the story for a generation of your friends and countrymen.

PS I notice the town of 'Peenemunde'
just up the street from Stettin.
Is this where Von Braun and his team
were located ?
PPS We're really glad that you made
it out safely !!

Dennis Wingert

I'm tracing my geneology and it has brought me to Stettin and, now, to your story. Thank you for another beautifully told piece of the puzzle.

Pat E.

Great story. I am writing my thesis on WWII Germany. Stettin is one of the ares included...some questions:
Where did the “train rides of your lives" lead in 1945?
What was the journey like?
Where were you and your family interred post-war?
I see that you came to the United States in 1949. Were you in a refugee camp for that long?

George Rebane

PatE, please read the entries to the 'My Story' section of RR, your questions will be answered there. The next chapter, covering the 1945 internment in Augsburg and the assignment to the Geislingen refugee camp, will be posted shortly.


Thank you so much for sharing your story. I learned recently that my grandmother was a refugee in Stettin too. She never told me much about it, I guess because I was too young to hear these stories. She ended up immigrating to South America after the war was over and was a very smart and special woman. I admire her so much more now and I'm very proud to be her grand daughter!

Thanks again!

Pat E.

Thank you for your response. I am just getting it now. According to my mother's account she left Stettin for Lubeck May 2, 1945. They traveled by car. Along the route they were attacked by Russian airplanes shooting at the people and traffic along the highway. I look forward to the refugee camp posting as well. According to the dates in her memoir, she did not return to her homeland until September 1945. Therefore, she too was in a refugee camp. I'm wondering why it took so long to return the displaced persons to their countries. She was from Yugoslavia.

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