There are many attributes that make you look up to someone; bravery, honesty, perseverance, integrity, and strength, but a true hero is one that has all of those attributes. Heroes could be a coach that helped you reach your goal or a parent that has always been there for you. For me, my hero is my great grandma Erna Tischler.
She was born right in the middle of World War I. While she was growing up she lived in a small town off the coast of the Baltic Sea. She married Ernst Schoenhuff, and she had 4 children throughout 1939-1944. Ernst was unable to help in raising them because he was quickly deployed to aid in World War 2. Two of her children, four year old Siegfried and one year old Brigitte Schoenhuff passed early in their life and my grandma had to bury her children in suitcases while she was fleeing from the Russians. She believed that God took two of her children so that the other two could survive; she said that she doesn't think she couldn't have made it with all four, because food was so scarce. She had to hide her children in old bomb craters covered with some brush to keep them safe when she went out to search for food. She once had to search for medicine for Ursula and Horst by carrying them over her shoulder through the forest until she found a military camp and asked if they would fill her tin cup full of medicine for her children. After the passing of her two children she moved back to Germany and formed a group of single women with children. This group always traveled together as a large group, because it was safer than traveling alone.
She lived safely for a few months, but she didn't know where any of her family was because her father was deployed at a train station. While working there he would often put the water faucet into the stopped train to give the Jews water, because he felt so bad for them. This act of kindness almost got him killed.
One day her neighbor knocked on her door and told her that the Russians are coming, you need to leave. So she quickly gathered her supplies and left with her two remaining children Ursula and Horst. So they left on foot again. They were constantly out running air raids but on the occasions that they were caught in one she would sit down and but both children on either of her legs and would say "If a bomb hits us at least we are all going to die together." They never had shoes while they were running but one day they found a dying German soldier and traded him some tobacco they found for his boots. They ran for months and eventually ended up at Furthimwald, a refugee camp next to the Czechoslovakian border. The war ended a few months later.
Even after the war she faced problems; she wanted to find her husband who she hadn't seen for more than five years. She finally found him and it turned out he was a Prisoner of War in France, but sadly was remarried, the war destroyed their marriage. She was remarried to a refugee she got to know very well.
Erna Tischler, my great grandma is my hero because she never gave up, she never lost faith, she always persevered, and she was always strong. She lived through two devastating wars and raised two children by herself; one of them is my grandmother Ursula. My great grandma is now 94 years old and is living healthily in the small village of Unterbechingen, Germany. She is a very loving person and has been a great inspiration for me.