CONNEAUT — Lydia Lohrenzen had a front row seat for some of the most brutal fighting in World War II as she served as a German Red Cross nurse.

Lohrenzen, presently a resident at Villa at the Lake, was needed in the early 1940s as World War II was raging through Europe.

She left her normal job as a nurse in a German hospital

and was placed in a position with German Red Cross treating injured soldiers, she said. Lohrenzen’s daughter, Heidi Lloyd, said her mother told stories of being near the Russian front and narrowly avoiding being raped.

Lohrenzen said wounded soldiers were brought to a triage center where she helped treat their wounds a short distance from the front. She said it was a very hard job and very scary.

As the war neared an end Lohrenzen found herself in a Dresden subway as one of the worst bombings in America took place. The city of Dresden was eventually bombed for two solid days causing the death of an estimated 35,000 to 135,000 civilians, according to history.com.

Lloyd of Roaming Shores, said her parents have shared stories about their family history.

Lohrenzen met her husband, Gustav, while he was convalescing in a German hospital after the war. She said her father returned from Siberia where he was a Russian prisoner of war for five years.

The couple got married after he recovered and in 1951 or 1952 came to America and lived in the Cleveland area ever since. She said Lydia’s sister’s husband was brew master and they sponsored Lydia and Gustav to come to America. 

“They landed at Ellis Island. They were very, very proud to come to America to become American citizens,” Lloyd said.