Peter Lips


As Interviewed by Annika Beach, 3/18/17

My interview transcript

Annika: How old were you when World War Two ended?
Peter: I was 5 years old!
Annika: And you were in Poland when it ended?
Peter: Uh, I was in Germany at that time
Annika: Oh!
Peter: Because at that time this part of Germany was handed over to Poland after the war but when I was there after the war ended it was still Germany
Annika: OK, So were you in east or west germany after the war?
Peter: I was in east, very east in Germany we were in the town in Silesia and the Polish people kicked us out and we went west to a city, to a town that is 60 miles south of Berlin. In Eastern Germany.
Annika: OK, so what was Germany after the war, like what was it like, how was the feeling, how was everything going on.
Peter: well, in the town where I moved to, everything was destroyed from the bombings, similar to the photographs, or pictures you see on television today from Syria
Annika: So do you know what the difference between west and east Germany was after the war?
Peter: East Germany was communist and western Germany was capitalist. But after the Cold War Germany was united, again, so east and west germany were again one country. That was the only difference.
Annika: You never tried to go to west Germany from East Germany?
Peter: So, that is a different situation. I originally lived in east Germany and then in 1953 we fled from East Germany to West Germany and we went through Berlin but Berlin had no wall then, the wall was built in 1961. So before that when we moved, we could just go, we boarded a train in my town and got out in West Berlin. Why did you flee from East Germany to West Germany? Because my other was not allowed to work in her profession as a religion teacher anymore, because in east, communist Germany all work with children had to be done by the government, not the church. The church was not allowed to educate children, and so she had no job then, so she left. I never knew my father, my father was killed in world war two, and my family was just my mother, my brother, and my grandparents.