This thread is by far one of my favorites. Inspiring material and a great sense of community.
A few days after the bombings, in the middle of the night, I was awakened by a quiet knock on the door and the sound of a man's voice. I quickly got up, both to check on who could be coming so late at night and to be near my mother..I stood behind my mother expecting a neighbor with news. Had the enemy troops arrived?
No, but a young SS soldier stood back from the door in the dark and asked my mother if she had any civilian men's clothing. He wanted to shed his uniform and get away. She hushed me back to bed and gave the man a pair of my father's tweed knickers, a shirt, and a jacket. There were more knocks that night and the next, and more jackets and pants disappeared. I heard the transactions with increasing resentment over my mother's largessse with my dead father's clothes.
On the next page she writes:
...it turned out that SS had stored up on the mountain thousands of yards of black and gray-green uniform cloth, white-and-blue-checkered cotton used for barrack curtains and bedding, and hundreds of pairs of high black boots. Herr jakob, the Landrat of the larger Berchtesgaden area, was often at odds with the Party leadership and had persuaded the SS commandant on Obersalzberg to forgo the policy of blowing up all the goods and instead give the whole lot to the population. As the Allies' tanks rolled toward Berchtesgaden, my mother and other women on the war-duty rolls were asked to report to the yard of the Salzberg grade school to help distribute the fabric and boots to local and refugee families.
Later she writes that the SS soldiers left the area quietly and in hurry because an order had went out that the SS soldiers were to be shot on sight.
Bravo. A useful excerpt about the reality of 1945. Bormann and the others on the Obersalzberg had hardly been cordial neighbors.
I would like to say the SS men shed their uniforms because they were ashamed; but I think, to many of them, fear of punishment was a more motivational factor.