HEINZ KREFT, soldier in Northafrica, 1941/1942

The year 1940, the war was waging, and we were winning on all fronts. As a youth of almost 18 years, I was worried about missing something, about not even taking part in the war. I went to the district military command, and since we were winning everywhere, I thought that we would be taking back our former colonies. When I was asked what I wanted to sign up for, I said, I would like to go with the camel riders. They all laughed, ' we don't have such a thing.' So I said, 'but you will need someone when the colonies...' 'Nobody is thinking of this,' was the answer.

"Well, I liked, beginning with the palm trees, with the people, with the blacks, well. It already began in church when there were collections for the Negro children and I wanted to... One could buy one, or rather, we had one, not bought, but we had accepted responsibility for ten mark a year or something, this was a lot of money, yes..."


"Africa.. Mysteriously and immensely threatens and tempts the black magic land. Everywhere in Africa's distance, in the mysterious undergrowth of the jungle, behind walls of creepers, death is lurking."


"The Lettow Vorbeck, I had followed all this as well, what it was like down there. Not the war, but I wanted to be in Africa, you know, and I thought to myself, something would be there since we were moving quite rapidly in occupying ..." "...and that that former immigrant from Austria would get Africa back, you know, and I wanted to be one of the first who take part in this as a camel rider."

Heinz Kreft