Father reported missing

After his release from prison on 19th January 1941, August Landmesser worked as a foreman for the firm Püst, a haulage company. The firm had a branch at the Heinkel-Werke (factory) in Warnemünde, near Rostock, which is where he generally stayed. 

In his letter of 2nd January 1971, Rudolf Landmesser wrote to Irene: 

At Easter 1943, August Landmesser and Sonya visited the Landmesser family in Blankenese near Hamburg. Sonya was to become Ingrid's and Irene's new mother. He also visited Ingrid and went to the Proskauer family to see Irene. It is the only meeting with her father that Irene can remember. They were able to play together, on their own, in the livingroom. When the father heard about the heavy bombing in Hamburg in July/August 1943, he drove his lorry to Hamburg in the hope of helping the children. He also visited the Landmesser family in Blankenese and described the terrible journey through bombed out Hamburg. The foster mother had already left Hamburg with Irene. He took Ingrid and the Graumanns with him to Rostock. When the grandmother saw that August lived in one small room in Rostock, she insisted on being driven straight back to Hamburg. The city was to be cordoned off.
August Landmesser and Sonya Pastschenko
In February 1944 the was drafted and sent to the front woth "Bewährunsbataillon 999", which was a particularly tough unit for very risky operations, made up of ex-prisoners and "undesirables", who were ostensibly given the chance to prove themselves. It was known that the majority of them would not survive.







In May 1944 he wrote the following letter to Frieda, the grandmother, and her husband Ernst:


Sunday 7th May 1944 
Dear Frieda and Ernst
Was very pleased to get a letter from you. Three days leave is very short but it was enough to get a lot of things sorted out. Also, to let us get back to the way things were. I'm much calmer now and have even started to settle down a bit, something which I didn't think possible before my leave. I'll be going into combat shortly. I hope peace comes soon so that I can finally get some rest. Even though I wasn't a soldier until now, I've still been thrown about a lot and never had any peace.
I notice and still feel that Ingrid and Irene are glad to see their father and, naturally, need him too, particularly as they don't have a mother any more. You, like the Proskauers, give them everything you can and surround them with lots of love. I am very grateful to you but would still like to be able to do more myself. Let's hope it'll happen one day.
The weather seems to be better here than with you. We've had lots of sun and lovely warm days. But the last few days have been cooler and today it's typical April in May : sunshine and snow.
Warmest regards and best wishes, particularly for a break from
air-raid warnings, August

The father was reported missing and then declared 'dead'. 
Irene never gave up hope that he might return. 

She often stood on the railway bridge near Dammtor railway station and watched the trains. 

Could he be one of the survivors? 

She thought this explained why the Proskauers did not adopt her : they could not; the father might have come back. 

In 1994 Irene saw that she had to bury her hopes. She found in Ingrid's papers the news from 6th November 1944, telling that he was reported missed, and, in the Guardian File, the letter of 4th June 1953 from her guardian, Herrn S.: 

Translator's note: The Todt Organization was a semi-military governmental unit set up in 1938 for the purpose of constructing rnilitary installations and special highways suitable for arrnoured vehicles.

In the end, everybody knew that he was dead.