Martin Roemers

, GERMANY

Hartmut Mehls (b. Germany, 1937) was blinded by a grenade when he was caught in fighting between Russian and German forces at the end of WWII. 'On 30 January 1945, Adolf Hitler gave a speech on the radio celebrating the 12th anniversary of the Nazi Party coming to power. I heard him say that we were going to win the war with flying colours. That same day the Russian tanks rolled into our village of Stolzenfelde. There was heavy fighting at the river Oder the weeks after. I went outside on a calmer day and a grenade exploded. Both my eyes were injured but a Russian medic said that one eye could be saved and he brought me to an eye-surgeon on a horse-drawn carriage. The eye-surgeon, a Polish Jew I believe, didn't want to treat me because I was German. When the Russian soldier threatened to shoot him he put a bandage on my eyes and said there wasn't anything more he could do. The man didn't give his best but I don't think there was anything more he could have done. There wasn't any medication left. After the war I studied history at the Humboldt University in Berlin and later received my PhD. I have done research and taught students. After my retirement, I ran the Blind Museum for eight years and now I'm writing books about the history of blind people in Berlin.'

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Martin Roemers
City
Country
GERMANY
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Not available in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands or Switzerland.

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