Katharina’s Story – Chapter 20: Love Found, Lost, and Revisited

My Mutti once wrote a poem to Papa, when she was young, at home with small children, and he away serving the German army in World War II, possibly in Greece at the time, circa 1942. I would have been about eight years old then, and the family living once again in Kalthof with Papa’sContinue reading “Katharina’s Story – Chapter 20: Love Found, Lost, and Revisited”

Katharina’s Story-Chapter 19: At Odds

Here was the time in my life when my teenage attitudes started to get me into trouble. I had always been a bit bull-headed, and the tiniest bit of a black sheep. I had the idea that when I graduated, I would be running off to America to join Roland (which I did eventually do,Continue reading “Katharina’s Story-Chapter 19: At Odds”

Katharina’s Story: Chapter 17 – Growing Pains

Altenstadt. Being a small village there was little offered in the way of entertainment; there was sort of an improvised movie house, upstairs in an older building, with rows of plain chairs. Once a year there was the Kerb, short for Kirmis in the Hessian dialect. The Kerb had initially been, as I had beenContinue reading “Katharina’s Story: Chapter 17 – Growing Pains”

Katharina’s Story: Chapter 16 – Wanderings

I have always been curious about the world around me. Rarely was I intimidated, and if I was, I forged ahead anyway, just to see what might happen. I was eager to learn about anything and everything. I tried to take charge of my environment; succeeding I think, but at the time of the challenge,Continue reading “Katharina’s Story: Chapter 16 – Wanderings”

Katharina’s Story – Chapter 15: High School Years

Now that I have my bicycle I can start riding to school, the fourteen kilometers to Büdingen, during the warmer Spring and Summer months, instead of having to take the train and getting up before six in the morning. From Altenstadt, my route takes me through Lindheim, Düdelsheim, Büches then Büdingen; the beautiful, quaint villagesContinue reading “Katharina’s Story – Chapter 15: High School Years”

Katharina’s Story: Chapter 14-First Kiss

1948 brought an important change: the Währungsreform, the currency reform. The Reichsmark, which had been the currency during Hitler’s time until now was declared valueless and replaced with the Bundesmark, or the Deutsche Mark. This meant that any cash one had was worthless, savings accounts were inaccessible, and this money might (at some unknown time inContinue reading “Katharina’s Story: Chapter 14-First Kiss”

Katharina’s Story: Chapter 13 — Our Life in West Germany after the War

1945:  The German government had collapsed, and the occupying forces ruled. It is too complicated to try to figure out how things kept going at all; people just carried on the best way they knew how. Cows still needed to be milked and the milk needed to be processed. Fields still needed to be plowedContinue reading “Katharina’s Story: Chapter 13 — Our Life in West Germany after the War”

Katharina’s Story – Chapter 10: Becoming Refugees

In that winter of 1944, an awareness began to steal over me that soon we would have to leave Opa’s farm in Kalthof. Yes, we could hear the grumbling of the Front, and at night, we could see the sky lit up by artillery fire over the horizon. The community was abuzz with talk ofContinue reading “Katharina’s Story – Chapter 10: Becoming Refugees”

Katharina’s Story: Chapter 8 – The Bombing of Königsberg : August 1944

The noise was deafening. I covered my ears with my hands, but they were still ringing. Then I heard it again. The incredibly loud bang seemed to repeat itself again and again, a resounding echo under the bridge, finally fading away. Papa was talking to Mutti, but I could only see their lips moving. IContinue reading “Katharina’s Story: Chapter 8 – The Bombing of Königsberg : August 1944”

Katharina’s Story – Chapter 5

Summer on the Baltic Sea It is an uncharacteristically hot day in October when I arrive at Katharina’s home in the Salt Lake Valley. Apropos to her industriousness, Katharina is preparing to make home-made ice cream in her old-fashioned ice cream churner. Already, she has whisked the sugar and eggs with the freshly-scraped vanilla beanContinue reading “Katharina’s Story – Chapter 5”