My Friends in 1947/48

At age thirteen my best friends were Cordula and Lieselotte. The three of us started our own little club. We met several times a week. None of us had a boy-friend. However we talked about what it would be like to experience romance.  Just talking about it was very exciting!

One afternoon the three of us had our picture taken at a photographer’s. I still have this picture. Looking at this picture brings back memories how much at ease I felt then. Yet this Threesome lasted for a short time only. Cordula had already lost her dad. All of a sudden her mum died too. How upsetting for her! She moved away to live with her aunts in West-Germany. The departure happened so quickly that there wasn’t time to say good-buy. I felt shocked about it. Yet I sensed that there had been a need for the sudden departure.

The blockade of West- Berlin followed and I was air-lifted to West-Germany to live with Dad and Aunty Lies and her family. When I returned to Berlin I had no idea how Lieselotte was doing because we had completely lost touch. She had already turned fifteen and had left school to take up a job. Quite by chance I once noticed her walking along the street arm in arm with a boy-friend. I cannot recall what she wore, but she looked very grown up to me. I never thought of approaching her.

I continued to go to the same girls’ high-school. Many girls in my class were talking about their boy-friends. I did not have a boy-friend and did not have a clue, how on earth I could ever get to know some-one from the opposite sex. I stuck to day-dreaming. In my mind I fantasised about romantic meetings: I loved making up conversations with an interesting young man!

I had hardly any money to spend on clothes or make-up. I felt very inferior to other girls, who all seemed to be better off.

Uta and her friends 1947

I liked to keep my hair long and just a little bit permed. I was astonished and gratified when a girl in my class said she liked my hair-style.

2-06-2009 5;00;40 PM

17 thoughts on “My Friends in 1947/48

  1. The linking of girls into certain groups with conversation about boys seems to be true across the world. It was certainly true of the women I interviewed, regardless of age…. By the way, I was not like Berlioz; I had girlfriends at an early age. But I did have problems talking with them!

  2. From what age on did you show interest for girls, Robert? Berlioz reckons he was getting interested from age 15. Imagine, Berlioz aka Peter is 8 months younger than I am. First time he saw me was at a dance school, when he was already 20. On my 21st birthday we were already very good friends. We would always have lots of things to talk about. This hasn’t changed to this day.

  3. Both of you are very fortunate, and I wish you continuing happiness and fulfillment… My first girlfriend was when I was about 7. I remember how serious I was, and had thoughts of a future marriage. Those thoughts ended when I visited her home, and confronted the stern eyes of her mom. I remember discussing religion, and her mom made it clear she was a Catholic, pointing out some Catholic tomes on the shelves. This was too much for a Jewish boy, and my relationship with the girl was never the same.

    1. Did you end up marrying a Jewish girl, Robert?

      Up until recently Catholics weren’t even supposed to have relationships with Protestants! Some Protestants used to be this stern too as for instance an uncle of mine. When his daughter married a Catholic he didn’t want to have anything to do with his daughter any more. And she was his only child left to him. His baby son had died on the track from Lodz into Germany during early 1945 when they were fleeing because Russian troops were approaching.

      In Lodz the population was strictly in three different groups: Jews, Germans (Protestants) and Poles (Catholics). The Germans who became Catholic or associated with Catholics were in danger of not being recognised as Germans any more by the German community. Germans and Jews together made Lodz to a great industrial city in the 1800s. My grandfather, who was a senator in the Polish parliament in the 1920s, has the repudiation of always trying to reconcile between the three different groups.

    2. Isn’t it terrible when religion, or any other strong identity, comes between a natural relationship. Romeo and Juliet was such a tragedy. There must be hundreds of such tragedies in Ireland, too.

    3. After Uta republished this post I read your comment again. I want to let you know that our daughter Caroline married last month a man of Jewish background. What an achievement for both families.

  4. I was like you Uta, shy and completely out of the boyfriend loop all through high school. I didn’t even have a date until I met my future husband at 18. The photo of you three is priceless.

    1. This time, Linda, before puberty set in, was a very happy time for me. This photo is always going to remind me of this. “Completely out of the boyfriend loop”. This says it so well, Linda. Thanks for commenting.

  5. You were gorgeous! You didn’t NEED make up & fancy gear 🙂

    That photo of you three in your guild – love it! How wonderful. Ah, talking talking talking about having a boyfriend…

    1. Lovely, Noeleen, that you should think so. 🙂 Nonetheless, as I did get a bit older I felt really inferior to other girls as far as looks were concerned. Plus from age 15 onwards I gained an awful lot of weight. This made me feel like an old woman!

    1. Sorry to hear this, Robert. Our youngest daughter met a divorced Jewish man seven years ago. They’ve been together ever since. I believe they have a very good relationship even though there’s a bit of an age gap.

  6. Reblogged this on auntyuta and commented:

    I just discovered what I wrote five years ago and found it interesting reading, especially all the comments to it! Last night I started reading a story about an eleven year old girl who is unhappy for she has no”best” friend. I am curious, how this story is going to develop. Maybe I too should write a story about the longing for a “best” friend. I am quite familiar with such a feeling.

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