||Kerry J Byrne
Monday, May 5, 2014 16:36
My name is Kerry Byrne. I'm a reporter at The Boston Herald. This may or may not be a story. Right now, it's a personal quest.
I have a friend in Bamberg, Germany named Hanns Steinhorst. Hanns was a 5-year-old boy and an orphaned German refugee in May 1945, at the end of the war.
Days after the German surrender, he and his sister were trying to escape from the Russian sector north of the Danube River to the American sector on the other side of the bridge in Linz.
A Russian soldier grabbed little Hanns and tried to stop the children from crossing. An American soldier ran across the bridge to their rescue, pulled Hanns away from the Russian soldier, and dragged the children to freedom.
I believe that soldier might have been a member of the 11th Armored Division, which occupied Linz at this time.
Hanns' wife recently wrote a book about Hanns' experience as a refugee at the end of the war. He remains grateful for that American soldier to this day, and remains extremely fond of Americans.
It's a long longshot, and of course few WWII veterans unfortunately are still with us. But I'm wondering if a soldier from the 11th ever might have relayed this story, either on the website or to a family member. It seems a dramatic enough story that the soldier in question would have shared the tale.
I'm going to visit Hanns and his wife soon and would love to provide them some sort of information.
Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide.
Kerry J. Byrne