Dagie Snodgrass was born February 4, 1934 in Berlin, Germany. That means she grew up during the Nazi era, and she recalls learning from her father – who was a police officer – the importance of keeping secrets. Trust was a rare commodity in that period, and Dagie learned those lessons early in life. Dagie’s parents divorced when she was quite young, and her two much older brothers were both soldiers in the war, serving in the Waffen SS in Finland. So Dagie was alone mainly: she grew up playing on her own. Her mother kept her close because of the fears of the next air raid, which destroyed the city all around them. Life was unstable in all ways imaginable…In her first year of school she saw her teacher arrested and taken away, for reasons that were never clear. And when she and her mother were evacuated to a village in eastern Germany, they stayed with a family where she remembers the father wearing a Brownshirt like the men who arrested her teacher, though she later came to believe he was part of the resistance against Hitler. For Dagie and her mother the war ended with a Soviet tank crashing through their neighbour’s yard. They were back in Berlin not too long after this, where they saw their city divided as the Cold War heated up. Dagie’s mother became on the “rubble women”, the women of Berlin who cleared the debris on the path to rebuilding their shattered city. During this time Dagie experienced the Berlin Airlift – and the kindness of “Uncle Wiggly Wings”. American pilot Gail Halvorsen had famously begun to drop candy-laden parachutes on Berlin, giving hope to children and adults alike. Dagie found one of those, and later met Gail and befriended him. In the mid-50s Dagie came to America, having met and fallen in love with an American GI serving in Berlin. She raised her family in the US, and she presently lives in the St. Louis area, and it was from there that she zoomed with Mr. Masters’ Grade 10 History class in May 2022.
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