1961- 1969

Even before the New Year we were summoned for a visit to the mayor Mr. Hollerbach. We were told we would get an apartment in the Jahnstasse and both of us would be employed in the local school.
We immediately went and made and introductory visit with principal of said school Mr. Ihbert.

He was pretty reserved about us being refugees but he needed us. For Mr Dreir and Ms/ Spitzmueller. Mr. Deier had died and Ms. Spitzmeuller was sent to Emmendingen (Mental Hospital). One man’s plight is another man’s joy. So we got steady employment and Mr Ihbert came around to liking us.

Then we went to see about the apartment in the Jahnstrasse. The house was not finished. But the owner, Mt Echle Jr. decided to finish our apartment before finishing his. By February we moved in.3 rooms, Kitchen, bath and a deck. It was like a dream! We had not expected this! Our silent fear when leaving Gruenau was a room in a backyard house. *

But they did not have those here. Not in a little town like this. Everything here was tidy. Everybody was building, expanding, improving.

We were still sting happily in our little room in the Grittweg when someone was knocking on the door. A man introduced himself as furniture salesman. We said, sorry but we have no money. But he already knew that we had been employed by the school district and had an apartment coming up. He sat down and showed up how fast we could work of the credit he was going to give us to buy furniture.

We asked for time to think about it. But the advantage of having a set of everything rather than piece it together over time were clear.

With that Mr. Srunso drove us to Karlsruhe to Moebel-Thomae were we bought living room, bedroom, kitchen furniture, mattresses and lamps and carpets.

Even though we did not splurge and only bought basic things they served us well. We still have some of it 29 years later.

On the day we moved into the apartment n the Jahnstrasse all rooms were fully furnished. What a great feeling! I had to pinch myself to be sure I was not dreaming.

We had started to teach on January 9th and were able to get adjusted quickly. We were both very happy.

You were put back into preschool and on Easter you started first grade.

My first class was large. 46 girls. Among them Rita Hof, Gerlinde Froehlich, Brigitte Goetz, Brigitte Ball and Paula Amschlinger.

But they all were willing and my positive attitude at the time spoke to them. I was able to work well with the group all the way to graduation.

When I think about what those girls were still able to do compared to the last ninth grade I graduated.

I got along well with my fellow teachers. Kurt not so much. But it was his fault, he always reclused himself.

Mr. Ihbert was succeeded by Mr. Echle. A very talented man. He also painted and played the Cello. I liked him

After he retired we got Mr. Schaefer. When he started to new Upper Primary school in the Koerner Strasse was finished and ready to move in.

The lower Primary school stayed in the old building. So I had to part from my colleague Ms. Bender. But we still went hiking every Wednesday.

Ms. Walch taught half at one and half at the other school. And our friendship deepened.

The rest of us all went to the new school. A truly modern building. Father became primary the physics teacher at that time. I stayed like before 5th through 9th grade, and thn start all over again with a new 5th. I also taught religion, something I enjoyed.

And the achievement of my 9th graders on graduation became less every cycle. But I still enjoyed some of the groups. It only went bad one time with a class for the last two years.

Things had changed in our private lives. We had not been long in the Jahnstrasse when Kuechlers let us know about a girl, Marianne Wasserburger. Separated from her mother in East Germany, not wanted by her grandparents in West Germany. We felt sorry for her and Susanne was eager to get a sister this way. So we took Marianne first for the summer and then for good into our home. She stayed for 6 years as our foster child.

Then she married Karl-Heiniz Dryer and they moved to baden-Baden.

I don’t think she was happy living with us. But the fact that we supported her wish to become a book seller, and that we helped her get a training position in Baden-Baden with the Bookstore Wild – where she is still today – was surely appreciated by her. Not that she shows it.

Now she rents a farm house in the Elsass with her boyfriend Christina Kuehnel. She has a lot to do, se we rarely see her.

You had a good to very good relationship with your sister. Your wish to be no longer alone was fulfilled. Today you are more distant too.

After 5 years in the Jahnstasse our landlord let us know that they wanted the apartment for relatives.

So we had to go apartment hunting. But thankfully we were over the fiscla constraints and higher rent was not a problem.

We soon found an almost finished house in the Zeppelin Strasse on the Hummelberg. And on your birthday in 1966, a freezing cold day, we moved here.

And we are still here. In spite of lots of hassles from the landlady. It was worth it – 5 rooms, 2 bath, a deck and a balcony and se of the backyard. And form the balcony a fantastic view of town and the Amalienberg and the mountains of the Black Forest.

About our initial financial troubles. We started work on January 9, 1961 but did not get our first salary – though with all the correct back pay – until three months later. The 50 Mark from Dr. Back would not have lasted if our grocery man, Mr. Hof, had not given us credit. We bought everything there, and he had everything we needed. And so we made it. But for many years we turned every penny and considered purchases well.

It took a long time till we could afford our first vacation to Bodman on Lake Constanze. But it was nice there. We did a lot of sightseeing along the lake and the islands. We even went to St. Gallen in Switzerland and looked at the fantastic library in the cloister. It was just the three of us. Father did not want to go.

In the next years we went to visit Ilse Hildebrandt in Muenchen. All three of us like Muenchen. I was so impressed by the Museum. Do you remember the Planetarium on the roof? One time we went through Hamburg to Burg on the island of Fehmarn. In Hamburg we spent the night at Dr. Bock. Together we went to “Planten end Bloomen”, to the Repebahn (gruesome!) and to Helgoland. That boat trip we will remember forever). And one time we went to Linz in south Tirol with a side trip to Venice.

Without Maiky we went to the Netherlands. While I saw almost the entire country including all the important museums, you saw almost nothing. You met a bunch of young people on the beach. The only trip you did was the Harbour Tour in Rotterdam.


NEXT: Further Remembrances

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