As things turned out, after our escape from the village Communist thugs, Dad fixed up Schultz's old pickup, and he, Mom, and Luther left for Oranienberg. My brother, Siegie, boarded an east bound train back toward Peenemunde and went back to his job, welding at the ship yard. He had vacation time owed to him, and he wasn't penalized when he showed up for work a day late on Tuesday.
I boarded a north bound train and went back to Sassnitz on Insel Ruegen to continue my course of work at the stone mason's school. As I rode the train that evening, the sun was on my left again. It made a glorious cloud filled sunset in the west. I made up my mind then. I would escape the first chance that came my way.
Back at the school, Things were business as usual. We were up early in the lab laying bricks. The instructors had a supply of bricks to use. They didn’t want to run out of bricks and be force to be continually running out of brick because the mortar had hardened, so the. Had us use wet sand. As long as the sand was wet, it worked just like regular mortar. We could lay a course of bricks, and then, we could walk on them, and nothing would happen. We were that good. Time passed, and at the age of seventeen, a full year ahead of most of our classmates, the five of us graduated. I teamed with five other of my classmates who graduated with me and they voted, and I became the leader of their work brigade.
In the brigade, thee was me, Hans, Martin, Erwin and George. Sometimes, we called George “Romeo,” because everywhere we went, girls were on his mind. I mean a guy like him, tall, with a broad chest, large straight nose, blond hair combed straight back, was like a Teutonic god. At least I believe that’s how he thought of himself. The only redeeming thing about him was that he could lay a course of bricks with the best of us.
Hans was about five feet eight inches tall. He was the shortest of all of us in the brigade. He had a broad chest, brown lank hair, and a cigarette hung from his lips all the time. He smelled like stale cigarette smoke all the time, but he could lay brick so fast, some times as fast as I could, maybe faster when he was really into it.