Imagine being told in the middle of the night you were leaving your home and life as you knew it for good and to pack what you could inside a small suitcase.
This was the harsh reality for then 4-year-old Ule Glenn when she, her two older sisters and her parents escaped Germany in 1953.
â??We were shot at escaping. And so we would have been killed if we would have been caught and now I want to tell this story because I really do feel that the country needs to understand -- a lot of the generations have no idea what freedom really is and how hard we fought for it,â?? said Glenn.
Glennâ??s parents escaped from Communist East Germany just two years earlier.
Her father was a Panzer Commander in Hitlerâ??s army. He was captured by the Russians and put into a Siberian Prison Camp until he escaped two years later back to Germany.
That was when he knew he needed to get his family to the United States.
However, speaking out against Communism had fatal consequences.
â??The people that were, what we would call in this country the â??good Germansâ??, said â??Iâ??m not going to become a Naziâ??, they disappeared. They were executed, they were taken out of their house in the middle of the night and taken to a placed called PlÃ¶tzensee and that was the execution chamber of the Third Reich,â?? said Glenn.
Even though Glenn was just four years old when all this happened and doesnâ??t remember much of it, her mother wrote down the experience some years later. And those exact words are what Glenn shares with audiences.
Ule said talking about her familyâ??s journey takes an emotional toll on her and that Saturdayâ??s speaking engagement at Country Kitchen may have been her last.
She currently resides in Ottumwa.