25 years ago, I was shocked to learn that there were no local records in the city library that could confirm the existence of three POW camps outside of the city of Bad Salzuflen, including the one my mother had likely been in. I hired a local newspaper reporter to help me locate the family for whom my mother worked. But the records themselves seem to have vanished.
Arnold Bueke represents a new generation of contemporary Germans ready to examine the past, including the role their own parents and neighbours played in the voluntary use of forced labour in their homes, farms, and factories.
The work identity booklets of the so-called Eastern workers, in this case half a dozen women who worked in the bicycle factory, are bound by binder twine, virtually forgotten in the SS archives of Bad Salzuflen.
In Bad Salzuflen, Allied soldiers line up at a makeshift canteen after the establishment of the British occupation zone. Somewhere among these faces, is there the mystery Anglican priest who helped my mother escape the forced ‘repatriation’ of former Soviet POW’s?
My mother’s name, Agnes Butorina, appears for the first time in a Nazi document, uncovered by Bueke.