I recently re-discovered my old 1953 edition of the book "I Flew for the Führer" by Heinz Knoke, who was a fighter pilot during the war,
and have just started to read it again, I found the last page where he describes his feelings at wars end rather interesting, as I think it
more than captures the feelings that they must have had after the surrender in 45.
"The war is lost… the war is lost…
The words smash upon us like blows from a sledgehammer.
The German nation has collapsed in total, crushing defeat.
The full significance of this is beyond my comprehension.
Hitler is dead. The Reich is overthrown and under enemy occupation. The once-proud German Army no longer exists:
the surviving remnants are either in prison camps or roam the countryside as undisciplined gangs of hungry vagrants. The
German soldier is dishonoured; even the name of dead comrades is sullied.
Our world is reduced to rubble.
It is useless for us to trouble ourselves now over such academic questions as responsibility and war guilt.
The war is lost. It is enough that victory has gone to the stronger.
We are dazed by all the sensational disclosures and events which occur in rapid succession. For us, the road to the future must lead through poverty and want.
Despotism without conscience has been revealed among the Nazis in the background around Hitler.
Disgusted and indignant, the German fighting soldiers and officers turn away from those whose brutal war crimes and atrocities are now exposed. These criminals,
whose activities were as a rule restricted to the concentration camps and labour camps in rear defence areas, have dishonoured the name of Germany.
The atrocities committed under the sign of the Swastika deserve the most severe punishment. The Allies ought to leave the criminals to the German fighting soldiers
to bring to justice.
The war is lost. The armistice is signed. Does this mean that there will be peace?
Communism has now reached the heart of Europe. That is what the world must never forget. The destruction of the German Reich means that the last bulwark against
Red world-revolution has been overthrown. Over Berlin the Red Flag now flies. There we have the real victor in this war.
The way is now open to Stalin. When will his tanks roll across Europe ?"