My father died in 1966 (aged 62 years). At the time we could not afford to travel to Germany. The last time I saw him was in 1959 when we left Germany to live in Australia.
In 1977 we were able to travel to Germany for a visit. One of our stops was Augsburg, where my father’s brother Edmund lived with his second wife, Flora. Edmund had been a widower, so had been Flora. When they married they agreed that when they died they would be buried with their first spouses. They thought that this was a common sense thing to do, because they had married each other when they both were in retirement already. As I recall, Edmund would have been seventy-five in 1977. Flora would have been somewhat younger. She was a retired medical practitioner. However she was still energetic enough to do some part-time work doing medical check-ups on men who were about to apply for a job in the Bundeswehr (German Army).
Some of my relatives had warned me, that Flora was proud to always stick to proper etiquette. ‘Don’t forget to buy flowers for her, when you visit,’ we were told. Arriving at Augsburg Station the first thing we did, was to look for a flower-shop. I think we bought carnations. And I think we arrived a little bit late for the visit. They had of course been expecting us. We were very welcomed and I could see, Flora was pleased with the flowers. We noticed they lived in a superb extremely well furnished apartment. They suggested they would first show us a bit the city, then they would take us for lunch; and afternoon coffee would be back at their place.
Uncle Edmund was always just Uncle E for us. He was the one who had been amused when I told him as a nine year old that I was dancing ‘swing’. He was also the one who had been studying in Leipzig together with my father. One of my cousins thinks my father promoted as Dr. rer. pol. But I think this was Uncle E’s title. I’ve always known my father to have the title of Dr. phil. Anyhow I include here again the photos of Alexander and Edmund from the time in Leipzig in about 1925, where both men met my mother Charlotte as well as my mother’s sister Ilse. (My mother was only fourteen at the time!)
Now back to our visit in Augsburg in 1977. I should mention that the two of us, Peter and I, were the visitors there. Flora and Edmund were splendid in showing us around. Augsburg is quite popular with tourists and we did see a lot. We have some old photos to prove it. What im pressed us quite a bit, was the ‘Fuggerei’, which was established as a low cost housing project some five hundred years ago and is still going. It is very interesting to read up on it and here is the link to the Fuggerei.
On this photo we all look a bit grim. But this is not how I remember the visit. Both Flora and Edmund were extremely friendly. We had a really good time with them. By the way Flora talked (and she talked a lot!) we noticed straight away that she had grown up in Berlin. She had fun talking with an exaggerated Berlin accent. Not at all ‘ladylike’. When we couldn’t eat everything that was served to us on a huge plate for lunch, she asked for a doggy bag to take home the left overs, even though she didn’t have a dog. She explained, she wouldn’t let good food like this go to waste. She had paid for it. We had been served for lunch beautiful wurst, schinken and cheeses. When Uncle E passed away a few years later, Flora wrote us a very long letter and told us all about his last days. After this we never heard from her again.