I can’t imagine having to flee for my life, away from Soviet forces. Frantically boarding a ship, thinking I was saved. Only to have a submarine destroy what had been my salvation… and bury me in the cold sea. This is a good piece, via the Smithsonian, on the sinking of the “Wilhelm Gustloff”.
In context, the Gustloff was another tragedy in a war full of losses. By then, “there was a stigma about discussing any sort of German suffering during the war after everything the Nazis did to the rest of Europe,” Edward Petruskevich, curator of the online Wilhelm Gustloff Museum, writes in an e-mail. “The Gustloff was just another casualty of war along with the countless other large ships sunk on the German side.”