Uschi Ward (nee Ursula Baingo)

Uschi Ward (nee Ursula Augusta Maria Baingo aka Ursula Baingo)

Born: 28 March 1925, Hamburg, Germany.

Parents:

Grandparents:

  • Max Baingo: 3 Feb 1859, Laurahütte, Prussian Province of Silesia (now in Poland) - ? Tarnowitz, Slaskie, Poland
  • Maria Baingo (nee Maria Patyak): 30 Jan 1855, Beuthen-Tarnowitz, Prussian Province of Silesia (now in Poland) - 1952, Dresden, Saxony, Germany?

Siblings: half-brother; Michael Thomas Christ, half-sister...

Married: Major Albert Ward MBE MM in the Church of Scotland Chapel, Hamburg Germany 21 December 1949

Occupation: - Receptionist / Photographer at the Tobis Filmkunst, Berlin, Germany

Died: 8 June 2003, buried in Mortanhall Cemetery, Edinburgh

 

Piecing Together Uschi Ward's (nee Ursula Baingo) Life

Oops, I may have got dates wrong as I was trying to piece together Mummy's life. I loved my mother so much and miss her to my end of days, and, I am so utterly, proud of her (but also my Father) coping with atrocious circumstances, which, I humbly have not encountered. And with my last my breathe, I will keep their names and souls alive. I hugely regret not persevering with my questions and didn't ask enough but like my Father I don't think she liked talking about those awful years.

Growing up
  • From 1925 - Residence: Mummy was raised in Rellinger Straße, Hamburg, Germany. Her Father Erwin Baingo was an owner of a Fleischwaren Fabrik, on Harvestehude, Mittelweg 174, an der Fontenay, Hamburg (Mummy was so proud) and the family led a comfortable life.
    1919 - 1933 - The Weimar Republic was Germany’s government from the period after World War I until the rise of Nazi Germany. In 1929 the USA Wall Street Crash of October 1929 and the Great Depression that followed devastated The Weimar Republic.. After the Wall Street Crash, America gave Germany 90 days to start to re-pay money loaned to her. The Weimar Republic became bankrupt by the end of 1929.
  • 1931 - School: attended Rellinger Straße Volksschule (Rellinger Straße 13, 20257 Hamburg).
    Blood Poisoning: when Mummy was young she suffered Blood Poisoning and told me she almost died.
  • 1933 January - Hitler was appointed Chancellor and Head of the German government. At this time 6,100,000 were unemployed in Germany and this is seen as one of the reasons of his sucess at coming to power.
  • 1935? - Parents Divorce: sadly Mummy's parents divorced, and she remained with Mutti. Her Father Erwin Baingo had moved to Berlin and a Wurstwr? on W62 Wichmannstr 271 near Tiergarten.
  • ? - Mummy gave up her schooling to look after her sick Mother (Mutti) who suffered from very bad rheumatism. She told me she hated having to make the Nazis salute at school but had to as it was mandatory for civilians. The Nazis salute was adopted in the 1930s by the Nazi Party to signal obedience to the party's leader, Adolf Hitler. She was never a member of The League of German Girls.
World War II

Mummy was anti Nazi - she hid and saved her Jewish boyfriend Lothar Besch, his best friend Bubi and Bubi's sister (I wished I knew their surnames Joachim Nave? see below. I was an idiot not to ask :(. Key WWII dates.

  • 1938 March 12 - The Anschluss: Nazi Germany incorporated Austria in to Germany
  • 1938 April 1 - The Constitution of Hamburg was suppressed through an Imperial Law (German: Reichsgesetz), the Hamburg Senate was dissolved and the position of First Mayor of Hamburg abolished. Hamburg was renamed Hansestadt Hamburg.
  • 1939 September 1 - The start of World War II: when Germany invaded Poland, which led Britain and France to declare war on the Nazi state in retaliation.
  • 1942? - Pharmaceutical Training: with her Jewish boyfriend Lothar Besch, I think in Hamburg (if not then Berlin).
    Lothar Besch was born 25 December 1922 in Dresden, Saxony, Germany? I am not quiet sure where Mummy met Lothar Besch - either in Hamburg or Berlin? 1942 January - "The Final Solution": at The Wannsee Conference, Berlin, the SS (the elite guard of the Nazi state) and German government agencies discussed and coordinated the implementation of the "Final Solution" - the genocide of Jews / "murdering every last Jew in the German grasp" during World War II.
  • Early 1940s - Berlin, Schöneberg: Mummy moved to Berlin with Mutti, I think 28 Belziger str, Schöneberg, Berlin.
  • Early 1940s - Photography Training: with her Jewish boyfriend Lothar Besch? They decided it was "safer" for them, in the anti Semitic climate, both to live in Berlin?
    Between 1933 and 1939 - Berlin's Jewish population fell from 160,000 (Berlin's Jewish community was the largest in Germany) to about 80,000 people.
  • 1941 - Erwin Baingo: Mummy's Father was living in Dresden and married to Gerda Else Kurz.
    1941 October 18 - Commencement of Deportations of Jews in Berlin to Death Camps: during this time Mummy hid her Jewish boyfriend Lothar Besch until the end of the war. The first deportation of Jews in Berlin to death camps left Track 17 of Berlin's Grunewald station. 1,089 children, women and men were taken by force to Lodz (Łódź or Litzmannstadt) Ghetto, Ploand which was the second-largest ghetto in all of German-occupied Europe after the Warsaw Ghetto. By the end of the Berlin deportations 1943?, over 50,000 Jews from Berlin were deported to death camps.
  • 1943 March 20 - Mummy's Mother Remarries: her Mother Margarete Baingo marries Gerhard Theodor Otto Christ, in Berlin.
    1943 February and March - The Rosenstraße Protests, Berlin: in 1943 some 7,000 Jewish citizens still remained in Berlin? At the end of February 1943, some 8,000 Jewish citizens of Berlin were detained for deportations by the SS and the Gestapo. This included some 2,000 Jews, mostly men, who were partners in mixed marriages which had until then been tolerated and spared from persecution. Separated from the rest of the prisoners, they were taken to the building which had formerly housed the Jewish Welfare Administration in Rosenstraße 2-4. The women gathered in front of the building with their children on the evening of 27 February 1943 and demanded to speak with their loved ones. There followed a later call for the release of their family members from the so-called "Factory Action", the euphemism used to denote the final round-up of Berlin's Jews in 1943. For a week, some 600 women engaged in daily protests. On 6 March 1943, the first prisoners were released, with the remaining detainees released in the following days. In the Third Reich, The Rosenstraße Protest is apparently the only mass public demonstration by Germans against the deportation of Jews.
  • 1943, 28 June - "Unkle" Hans: Hans Goldfreund: (of Berlin born 23 feb 1896), her Jewish "Unkle", was deported to Auschwitz and murdered there. I think she met "Unkle" Hans in Schöneberg as this was his last free will dwelling before going into hiding. She was always haunted about not knowing his fate and later, kindly her half sister traced his sad fate just before Mummy died. I took on the quest to try and gain more details so I can try and get him a Berlin Stolperstein.
    According to encyclopedia.ushmm.org deportations of Jews from Berlin to ghettos and death camps to eastern Europe took place between October 1941 and April 1943 BUT Hans Goldfreund was deported to and murdered at Auschwitz in 1943, 28 June and his sister Else Goldfreund was deported to and murdered at Auschwitz in 28th September 1943.
  • 1944 April 1 - Tobis Filmkunst: she was working for the Tobis Filmkunst, Friedrichstraße 100, as a re-toucher and, as a receptionist. She mixed with a fun acting crowd. As she was "a pretty girl", she was asked to model for magazines, which she accepted at first, but then realised, the real implications, BUT, NO way, did she wish to become associated with any Nazis "Arian race" propaganda.
    Ironically mourning Mummy's death, I watched the history channel, seven to eleven, to see if I could see Mummy or Daddy, and discovered Albert Göring the younger brother of Hermann Göring (the head of the German Luftwaffe and a leading member of the Nazi Party) was the technical director of Tobis-Sascha Filmindustrie AG in Vienna and he helped Jews and dissidents survive in Germany in World War II.
  • 1944 - Juergen Baingo (cousin): was 10 years old (he found him via facebook - an utterly stellar and fun gentleman who later lived in Canada) told me he "was 10 years old in 1944 and the reason I remembered Tante Uschi, was the meat and that it was the last time I saw her. Those where the days of no phones, contacts over any distance impossible. Transportation a bicycle if you where lucky. One did not go far away from home because of the air raids, Berlin was burning all over, and the only place you felt safe was home." So she must have been in contact with her Baingo side of the family.
  • 1941 - ? - Jewish Deportations: Haunting her for the rest of her life she could not help "Unkle" Hans, however she did help Bubi and his sister. She was walking with Bubi and his sister to his parents home when they saw the Nazi deportation trucks by Bubi's flat. One can not imagine the agony it must have been when Mummy dragged Bubi and his sister away to save them. They never saw Bubi's parents again.
  • 1941 - 1945 - Gestpao: As the horrific Nazi anti semitism progressed to The Final Solution, she hid Lothar and his best friend Bubi and his sister, almost getting caught by the Gestapo. A neighbour informed on her but with her looks she talked herself out of it - I think working at the Tobis Filmkunst may have saved her. Annoyingly Mummy was hugely humble and never ever went into depth about recalling this.
End of WWII
  • 1945 April to May 8 - Fall of Berlin: Mummy, helped her pregnant Mother to get out of Berlin and, back to Hamburg to avoid Hitler's instructions that German pregnant woman in Berlin should be evacuated to the Ost as the Allies were drawing closer to victory.
    1945 Jan - the Germany army was in retreat. On 20 April 1945, Hitler's 56th birthday, Soviet artillery of the 1st Belorussian Front began shelling Berlin and did not stop until the city surrendered.
  • 1945, circa April? - Escape to Bavaria: Mummy escaped to Bavaria, Hundham, Bayern, with Lothar Besch, to a relative of his, on one of the very last trains out of Berlin before the Russians entered. Even more dangerous walking towards the Allies, Mummy had one of the last photographs of Goebbels which she had been retouching but buried them in the Bavarian garden as she was terrified that if she was caught by the Allies, particularly by the Russians, with these photographs she would have been seen as a Nazis and could have suffered severe consequences. I shoot myself for not asking, where (and so many questions), when she was alive - not for money, but only for history.
    1945 April 15 - the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her future Husband Major Albert Ward MBE MM's who was serving with The 15th (Scottish) Reconnaissance Regiment, RAC was there at the liberation. When Russian troops conquered the Berlin in the spring of 1945, apparently an astonishing 1,700 Jews had survived in Berlin and came out of hiding.
  • 1945 May 8 - end of WW2: the Allies accepted Germany's surrender
  • 1945 July - Hamburg: July 1945 (circa 25th july) - when it was safe, Mummy made her way back to Mutti in Hamburg. Mummy told me a Jewish friend had written a doument to say that she had saved his live during the Nazis perscution of Jews in case she was stopped and questioned by the Allies. She told me she hid it later behind a picture frame which was hanging in the family home in Edinburgh. I think it might have been from Lothar Besch and she hid it no to upset Daddy. I have the paintings in storage in Edinburgh and will try and find it. Round about this period Mummy lived at 51 Rellinger Straße D-20257 Hamburg and then moved to 27 Wiessenstrasse. I think Lothar returned for a while to Berlin?
  • 1939 - 1945 Bombings: Mummy never talked about the bombings but she said she never liked sirens which sounded the same as bombing sirens. This is what she perhaps returned to in Hamburg.

  • 1945 July 20 - Death of her half brother Michael Thomas Christ, born: 1945 February 25, Hamburg.
  • 1946 August 14 - Lothar Besch: I have found a document: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees dated 14 August 1946, stating Lothar Besch's temporary residence was Hundham Miesbach, Bayern on the 10 February 1946. It states Lothar Besch's usual place of residence was Berlin-Steglitz, Plantagenstr. 3 (near Schöneberg - not known if this was his free dwelling or hiding residence). The document also names (the only other name on the document) a Joachim Nave (born March 20 1926) of Berlin W 30 Motzstr.59 Schöneberg - I wonder if this is Bubi's real name?
 

Post WWII

  • Sweet Suitors - Finding her photo archive which frustratingly have no details at the back of them - she had some ;) but she was a totally good girl.
  • 1947 August 5 - Death of Father, Erwin Baingo: Mummy, received a telegram from Gerda Baingo indicating that her papa, Erwin Robert Baingo (who had been a Vertretungen fur die Fleischwaren-Industrie in Dresden, Vollsack Straße 3) died. Also found a telephone number for a Helga Baingo
  • 1947? - Hamburg: meets Daddy who charmed her for sure in a slick bar with her friend and with silk stockings and totally charmed her parents with black market goodies!
  • 1949 November 26 - Married: married Daddy (but her Hamburg Heiratsurkunde is dated 21 December 1949). It was never my place to ask why she didn't marry Lothar. They were posted with Daddy's regiment The Royal Scots Fusiliers to England. As one of the first German wives in the regiment after a terrible war, The Royal Scots Fusiliers greeted her with incredibly warmth and generosity
  • 1950 Feb 21 - British citizenship (W37761/6651 Nationality Division, Home Office, London)
  • 1950 - Munster, Germany? - as a Royal Scots Fusiliers Wife, Mummy was posted with Daddy's regiment to York Barracks, Munster?
  • 1951 - Wuppertal, Germany? - as a Royal Scots Fusiliers Wife, Mummy was posted with Daddy's regiment to Keightley Barracks, Wuppertal?
  • 1952 - Berlin, Germany? - as a Royal Scots Fusiliers Wife, Mummy was posted with Daddy's regiment to Montgomery Barracks?
  • From 1954 - Ghana: as a Royal Scots Fusiliers Wife, Mummy was posted with Daddy's regiment The Royal Scots Fusiliers to the Gulf Coast (Teshie near Accra, Ghana)
  • 1957 - Shorncliffe, England: With The Royal Scots Fusiliers she was posted with Daddy's regiment to Napier Barracks, Shorncliffe, England.
  • From 1959 - A Royal Highland Fusiliers Wife: Daddy became the first quartermaster of The Royal Highland Fusiliers (The regiment was formed on 20 January 1959 by the then amalgamation of The Royal Scots Fusiliers, with The Highland L'ight Infantry). They were posted to Aden (1960), Valetta, Malta (1961 to 62), West Germany (1963 - Islerlohn (47 Rubens Strasse), Berlin 1967 (we lived at 6 Schirwindter Allee Berlin, and looked after the bestest RHF "batman" > Tommy and she was in contact with Peppi Baingo) and Hohne 1969). She always said her RHF years were the best years of her life particularly Malta.
  • From 1969 Edinburgh: Daddy approaching retirement returned to his roots, Edinburgh - and she was the bestest Mummy, one could ever be lucky enough to have had
  • June 2010 - a new species of a fossilised crinoid, which I discovered while undertaking my PhD in Girvan, Ayr, was described kindly by Prof. S.K. Donovan and named after my wonderful Mummy, Uschi Baingo Ward: Chirocrinus Baingowardi species nova and is now stored in the British Natural History Museum
 

Hospitalisation:

These last memories and nightmares will never fade.
  • 9th November 2010 > Mummy was admitted after many stints that year in to The Royal Infirmary, Liberton Hospital, Edinburgh ("specialising" in the care/medicine for elderly patients) with poor health, dehydration and exceedingly painful ulcerated and seeping legs. 26th November the psychotherapist/OT, over the telephone @ Edinburgh airport, told me she was planning my Mummy's return home. 2/3 December Mummy deteriorated and developed aspiration pneumonia. I discovered later, during my complaint filed to the NHS Lothian Complaints Team, she was not drinking nor eating. Had I know this I would have broken my back to ensure she was drinking and eating, as during really bad-health at The Royal Infirmary, I would twice a day cook her meals and entice her to eat, when I was up in Edinburgh. The staff were very sweet, but I still stand strongly with my opinion, that there were not enough staff to cope to ensure that these elderly patients were drinking (hugely important) and eating as I saw how demanding such a Ward can be. And in 2010 this hospital, which was supposed to specialising for the care of the elderly, was hugely deficient in facilities e.g. too far for the frail patients to walk to the bathroom, no emotional stimulus, and most importantly... no personal beside pay-as-you-go phone for relatives to keep their loved ones spirits up.
  • 3 December 2010 > Mummy was made nil by mouth (I rushed up to the hospital from London that day, on the advice of the very sweet Staff nurse).
  • 5th December 2010 > Mummy's potentially life-saving intravenous antibiotic drip dislodged while she was lying in her bed. This was discovered only after her bed linen had been changed. I was there. She was so weak she was motionless and her mouth so painfully dry she could hardly speak but she was begging me to drink and feed her. But under the strictest instructions of the senior Doctor and, regardless of (after my initial shock sink of this notification) my 4 pleas thereafter, to the Staff Nurse and Doctors to have the intravenous antibiotic drip, my Mother’s crucial intravenous antibiotic drip was withheld, by not being reinserted, nor was she allowed to drink nor feed. She was put on The Liverpool Care Pathway, which is now being reviewed as "best practice". For further details of the complaint contact The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. Guttingly, there are no official records of my 4 pleas to have the intravenous antibiotic drip re-instated... but trust me, on this matter, no-way would I lie. For days i sat with her still nil by mouth and sometimes in pain - I held her hand, I heard hear faint plea & immediately beckoned the nurses and she was given no water but increased Liverpool Care Pathway dosage.
  • 8th December 2010 morning > Ursula Augusta Maria Ward (nee Uschi Baingo) eventually died. Death certificate states... of... "Pneumonia".
  • Towards the end of my Father's life his eyes were sadly grey and he said he wished to die - we knew this was the time to give-up, and sadly, but kindly, wished for speed.

    BUT at Mummy's end, here eyes were the most beautiful, seemingly, alive vivid blue eyes which I knew her by. She begged, me to drink/eat, which forever more I realise now, she was fighting to live. I will always be haunted... she could have tortured horrendously and fatally for hiding her Jewish boyfriend by The Gestapo. Circa 66 years later, she was begging to drink and eat, her throat and lips so painfully dry and, her potentially life-saving medication was denied... painfully, ironic... this was in a British hospital.

    I truly, hope you are never in this situation - but if you are, and you look into their eyes and you feel them alive and they beg you to drink/eat... really question/fight politely the doctor/staff, if your loved one must be nil by mouth and or potentially their life-saving medication be denied.
 

Postscript

The awful era of The Third Reich should never be forgotten for their atrocities, fascism, racism and prejudisim. There were, however, unknown German citizens who risked their lives to save Jewish and persecuted people, who sabotaged war production and, who tried to assassinate Hitler - to date 42 known cases (the true number will never be known due to undocumented cases...

Lothar Besch moved to Hamburg (I found his address in 1955 and 1980 telephone directories) and owned two Pharmazeuticas at 52 Wichmamstr .4 and 50 Theodorstr .4.

Uschi Ward (nee Ursula Augusta Maria Baingo aka Ursula Baingo)

Uschi Ward nee Ursula Baingo

Uschi Ward nee Ursula Baingo

Date of Birth: 28 March 1925
Place of Birth: Hamburg, Germany
Occupation: Receptionist / Photographer Tobis Filmkunst
Died: 8 December 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland
Erwin Baingo

Uschi Baingo's Father

Margarete Baingo

Uschi Baingo's Mother

Lothar Besch

Lothar Besch

Bubi

Bubi

Major Albert Ward MBE MM

Uschi Baingo's Husband

Trischi Ward

Uschi Ward's Daughter (me)

Bruce ward

Uschi Ward's Son