The story begins in the 1970s when Kurt Götz looks through old documents after his mother’s death. There he also finds the letter with the news of the death of his father from October 1944. “Dear Mrs. Götz, I squeeze your hand at your most serious loss and can only give you the consolation that your boy will live on in your boy” It in it. In the condolence letter of a comrade almost the identical sentences were. “The only comfort you will have is your boy, whose character and character will keep your spouse alive.”
“These sentences hit my heart, they were the incentive for me to search for the grave of my father,” says 76-year-old Kurt Götz, who lives in Berlin. He was six years old when he saw his father for the last time. He still remembered his mother’s cry when a soldier handed her the death message. Where he was buried, the family never heard, but this question never let go of Götz. Knowing that his father had been a parachute hunter, he sent a request to the search service in West Germany with details of injuries and death. He never came. Also because the GDR regime had no interest in supporting such things. On the contrary, when he sent a letter to the church in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) where his father had fallen, the Stasi began writing a reply.
DNA test brought certainty
After the Wende, Götz did not let loose. He attended a commemorative ceremony of the parachute jumpers in his hometown Stendal-Altmark and thus got in contact with former Oberstleutnant Steffen Rohde . He was involved in the matter, with the documents in archives. In this way, Götz learned that his father must have belonged to a group of paratroopers who died fighting at a church in the Netherlands. The police had left the dead in the cemetery in Ysselsteyn in 1946. In three of the dead the identity was unclear. Götz was certain that his father had to be among them.
He found help in finding help in the Netherlands, and the tomb of unknown soldiers was finally found. To have ultimate certainty, an exhumation with DNA matching would have been necessary. A so far unique action. As much as Kurt Götz wanted certainty, he had already depreciated the matter. “Because I did not know what cost would be on me.” But with Patric van Aalderen from the Dutch service for salvation and identification, he found an expert who was also very concerned about the matter. “We’ll be back in Berlin and pay the test,” it said.
The DNA test gave the last proof. One of the dead was actually the father of Götz. He was solemnly buried in the cemetery in Ysselsteyn. A second time. This time he has his own grave with names on the cross. “The feeling at the funeral was not to describe, it was the most beautiful experience after my wedding and the birth of our first child.” He had the feeling that your father was watching from above. Now he finally found his retirement.