Nacogdoches woman survived American bombing attack on Bavaria du - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches woman survived American bombing attack on Bavaria during WWII

Barbara Jinkins’ survival surpasses two wars, World War II and the Vietnam War. She says forgiveness has enabled her to reach a fulfillment in life. (Source: KTRE Staff) Barbara Jinkins’ survival surpasses two wars, World War II and the Vietnam War. She says forgiveness has enabled her to reach a fulfillment in life. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Jinkins’ parents were part of the passive resistance to Nazi rule. Their lives and those of their families were at risk. (Source: KTRE Staff) Jinkins’ parents were part of the passive resistance to Nazi rule. Their lives and those of their families were at risk. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Barbara Jinkins, a WWII survivor, points to the 10 year old brother that was killed when the family home in Germany was bombed the day before the war ended. A sister died too. (Source: KTRE Staff) Barbara Jinkins, a WWII survivor, points to the 10 year old brother that was killed when the family home in Germany was bombed the day before the war ended. A sister died too. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

World War II and the Vietnam War are years apart from one another. Each conflict is significant in the life story of a Nacogdoches woman.

Surviving loss and love made Barbara Jinkins the woman she is today.

Barbara Jinkins, a native of Bavaria, Germany and a survivor of WWII, was a survivor the day she was born.

"April 20, 1943,” Jinkins said.

The day was Adolf Hitler's birthday, an honor under Nazism, but this family was part of the passive resistance to the regime. Barbara's mother would have no part of receiving a special certification.

"A Mother's Cross, they called it. She would not accept it,” Jinkins said.

The mother of one boy and six girls was arrested, placed on a truck for the gas chamber. Seven children and their father were left behind. Fortunately, an empathetic soldier arranged for her release.

The resistance continued, though. The family hid and fed two Czechoslovakian soldiers, while at the same time a neighbor catered to Nazis. Americans were watching. Bombers targeted the street.

"The bomb came in on the second floor and ended up in the cellar where we were all hiding out,” Jinkins said.

Barbara sat in her older brother's lap.

"It was cold in that cellar, you know. And then all of a sudden I felt so warm, you know, after the bomb dropped,” Jinkins said, And I didn't know it was my brother's blood, you know, and I was covered in it. For the moment though, I was leaning up against his body."

The two Czech soldiers came to the family's rescue dodging air drops all the way to the hospital. One was killed in the attempt. Barbara's sister also died.

"She was six years old when she was killed, and my brother was 10,” Jinkins said.

Another sister lost her hearing.

"They found her hovered in the corner, the 7-year-old, and she was in shock,” Jinkins said.

However, Jinkins came away with only a tiny bit of shrapnel.

"You can feel it,” Jinkins said. “Only a scar, you see."

Jinkins has a significant role in this Friday's National POW-MIA Day Ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial in front of the Nacogdoches Public Library. A Missing Man Ceremony, along with addresses from Congressman Louie Gohmert and Jinkins' will take place. The event begins at 10 a.m.     

If you have a Survivors story to share, send an e-mail to survivors@ktre.com.

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