During the second world war many families in Berlin where confined to shelters for days, sometimes weeks while outside air raids flew overhead.
Many of the children, who were supposed to be at school making friends, where instead put under great stress.
However during this time, the english government, in an attempt to raise moral began a large scale propaganda campaign, the most noticeable of which was the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. However less notable was the british government’s contracting of Wonderment Toys & co, to produce free stuffed bears, which were handed out to kids and families around Berlin during raids. the toys were made by war prisoners under forced labour, and at very little expense to the ministries. The project was soon discarded, though after a massive loss of man power in the workhouses.
On the 6th of June 1942, the bodies of over 300 prisoners where found in the workhouses of w&co toy manufactures. The bodies where described as still chained to the work benches, but butchered, bisected from head to crouch and void of all internal organs. Baffled by the massacre, the police were unable to find any leads to who may have been behind the event, but mentioned in the reports that the toys and workstations remained untouched.
Three days after the workhouse massacre, there was a series of small bombings near the north suburban end of Berlin. While causing little damage, the explosions were thought to be responsible for the disappearance of the final shipment of bears, which never arrived at the towns.
The week after the countryside bombings, a large air raid hit most of berlin and in the wake of the raid came a spree of missing children’s reports from north. This while tragic, was nothing more then a footnote, as the war began to reach it’s peak.
The documents following the case reveal no connections to the workhouse massacre, save a disturbing report by an elderly women living in the suburbs on the night of the air raid.
Sue Geese, the elderly woman, reported seeing a large group of children gathered in the streets through her window. The children appeared to be playing with their toy bears.
After a few hours the raid sirens sounded and Miss Geese ran to the bunker screaming at the children to “run home”, according to Geese the children did not hear her or simply ignored her.
During the bombings geese claimed to hear screaming that seemed “hollow” and “metallic” over the explosions, but upon leaving the bunker found only the children’s stuffed bears, which, according to geese, where actually in “good condition considering the damaged surroundings.”
Other reports from the area, not related to the missing children, concerned a bad smell, described as “rotting meat” for three days after the raid.
The children were never found, yet another tragedy born in the horrors of WWII. However, if you look in antique shops, you can still find the bears today, a silent reminder of the hardships endured by the people of England.
Credit To: hendo