June/July 1945 - from Lankwitz to Spandau

"We need to make an enormous detour, as nearly all of the canal bridges have been blown up. We manage to get across by climbing over laid-out railway sleepers.

We have parted from Frau Bergner. She wants to stay in Berlin. It is better this way. Frau Neuman and I are tougher and can get through much faster now."

We decide to leave early so we can do a little walking today before the heat rises. The route is likely a much more direct one than she would have taken, as many of the bridges over the canals and rivers were bombed in '45.
20th July - Lankwitz (Berlin) to Spandau (Berlin)
Our route takes us mainly through Grünewald forest, which I had never encountered in my time living here. It is much cooler under the trees, but even here we feel the heat of the day rising steadily. It goes from 28 to 37 degrees during the 4 hours we are walking.

We also walk past more lakes, cordoned off for private use unfortunately, and also more industry.

Spandau feels urban, grimy and perhaps run down. It feels like a place focused on transit, and initially it appears to us quite different to parts of Berlin we know.

It is so hot we don’t venture far from the hotel today. We head out for lunch, but can only walk within a 10 minute radius. The heat from the pavement – even in the shade – is extraordinary. We head back to the hotel to sleep at some point.
In the evening we manage to venture out again, only a short walk for food (further than 5 minutes is hard in the heat, which at 8pm is still over 35).

These days are enforced rest days – not what I had hoped for, but a necessary part of the journey!
"If only I wasn’t so ill. A strong mind is useless if the body can’t continue. But the thought of being in a city where nearly all my relatives have lived gives me strength. We won’t find any of them in this destroyed city. There is no point in looking. In the meantime we would probably starve. So, on. After an endless walk on foot, we arrive in Spandau at 7 in the evening.

The train is meant to leave from here, but has apparently just left. Again we sit, overtired, in front of the destroyed station."
"Frau Neumann goes to find us accommodation. In the meantime a woman from Spandau starts chatting to me. She wants to take me home with her. I agree, but only once she is willing to take Frau Neuman and her 3 children too. A wonderful evening. We have a warm wash. The children bathe one after the other. Then we drink real tea, and eat bread and sausage! ! During our walk through Schöneberg, Frau Neuman had managed to get through to a Russian Commander, and get the food. "