Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Escaping death by a hair breadth

Some weeks ago I saw at the television a show called "Incredible but true". The last video in this series was about a lady in the United States who had escaped death several times. She even had a near miss on Sept. 11, 2001. Instead of boarding one of those airplanes hijacked by Al-Qaida, she took one earlier or the next one. I don't remember. I think she had this kind of luck six or seven times.

That made me think about my own life. It's a fact, I have escaped death by a hair breadth at least six times. Just for entertainment an to continue filling this blog, here is what happened, chronologically.

1943 - Berlin: an incendiary bomb fell right near my bedside

1944 - Berlin: nearly roasted alive in a bomb shelter

1945 - Prague: the school yard slaughter

1976 - Brussels: near miss by 3 or 4 inches, stupid car accident

1986 - Granada/Spain, Serra Nevada: avoided falling down an iced over mountain slope

1993 - French Alps, Winter holiday, missed a frontal car accident on sludgy

1993 to 2010: over 520 flights in a paraglider: nothing. Life is great!

1943 - at that far-away time, my parents and yours truly were living in an outer Berlin suburb, more trees than houses. Nevertheless, bombs were falling nearly every night. Thus we took part in the war, potential collateral. Going to bed, prior to sleeping, meant that my grandma was reading a story to me. She was a bit deaf and did not hear the sirens warning of a new air raid and the signal to run for the bunker. Ours was in the garden. But I didn't tell her because I wanted to hear the end of the story. Then the bombers came, I still hear the overhead drone but I continued to keep mum.

Then it happened: a big black bomb landed right near my bed, between me and my grandma. It must have crossed the roof, then the first floor and last not least the roof of my room without exploding. A man living upstairs burst in, grabbed the heavy bomb and threw it out of the window. Without opening it! It exploded outside, yellow flames of a phosphor bomb. It burned a large part of our hedge, mostly wild roses.

This is the first of those unhealthy happenings and one of my first childhood souvenirs. I cannot help thinking that I remember this mostly because this unknown hero who saved us did not open the window prior to throwing the bomb out. I still see this today as if it was yesterday.

Those other events? Maybe another time. This one is already long enough and most people don't appreciate reading long text on the screen. Me, too.