Home Rita's Story Schlesierland Irene Thibault David B Jones - Chindit

Rita's Story


I was born Rita Gottschlich, in Silesia on 4 September 1928.

During my early life, I lived the comfortable existence of any normal child, growing up in a safe, happy environment.

One freezing night in January 1945, my disabled mother, two younger sisters Inge and Christa and I, like thousands of others, were forced to flee from the advancing Russian Army or stay and face the consequences.

I eventually came to Wales, UK in 1949, and despite not being able to speak English, got a job and married a Welshman, settling in rural Mid Wales and raising three children.

The following story is a first-hand version of events from that freezing January night, through the break-up of my family and eventual move to Wales where began the next chapter in my life.

Over 50 years later, I can still recall those dire circumstances at the end of WWII, and the trials my family and I had to endure in order to survive.

This story has also been published in German magazines and is on record at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales.

Part 1 - Mum

Part 2 - War

Part 3 - Calm Before the Storm

Part 4 - Displaced Persons

Part 5- Farmers

Part 6- Wroclaw

Part 7- Return West

Part 8- Red Cross, Berlin

Part 9- 'Home'

Part 10- Wales

Part 11- The Return 2002

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