Diary, 24th of October 2021

After looking up the two above posts, I did become a bit teary. I had no idea that there was something like a World Polio Day, but Mecca mentioned it this morning in his Regional ABC Morning Program!


Here are two pictures from 1958 and another two pictures from 1960

auntyutaCopyLife in AustraliaMemories  January 21, 2019 4 Minutes

I could not resist publishing this older blog once more. It certainly does bring back memories!

Peter with Gaby
Peter with Gaby

This pictures was taken in Düsseldorf, Germany, in a park called ‘Hofgarten’, on 17th June 1958. Gaby was not quite nine months yet at the time.

Uta and Peter with Gaby
Uta and Peter with Gaby

This pictures was taken by Uta’s Mum on her balcony in Berlin in August 1958. Gaby was nearly one year old. We were for a visit in Berlin at the time.

Uta with Baby Martin, two months, Monika, eighteen months, and Gaby  thirty-three months.
Uta with Baby Martin, two months, Monika, eighteen months, and Gaby thirty-three months.

This pictures was taken near Fairy Meadow Beach, New South Wales, Australia, in June 1960.

Uta and Peter (25) with all three children
Uta and Peter (25) with all three children

This is where the pioneer family ended up in Oak Flats, NSW, Australia, which was ‘the sticks’ at the time. This picture was taken on the 28th August 1960 which was Gaby’s birthday. We were building a garage at the time. One year later the children were stricken by polio; as it turned out, Gaby very severely.

I wrote the above in January 2013. I was looking for a photo from our Berlin visit in August 1958 and found one in this blog. I was pregnant at the time. In December our daughter Monika was born in Düsseldorf where we had one room in my father’s apartment. We thought being given the opportunity to go to Australia as migrants was the best thing that could have happened to us.

11 Responses to “The “Pioneer Family””

January 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm Edit #
The beginning in Australia was tough and sometimes we felt like a “pioneer family”.. On the beach picture you can clearly see the Fairy Meadow Hostel were we lived for a while.


January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm Edit #
You’re right, Peter, the beach was only a few steps away from the hostel. I thought it was great to have the beach so close. The picture you refer to was taken in June, in the middle of the Australian winter!


Robert M. WeissR
January 25, 2013 at 8:41 am Edit #
Great archival type photos, which reminds me it’s time to straighten up our family photos.


January 25, 2013 at 11:12 am Edit #
Thanks for commenting, Robert. I read your profile, which is very interesting. Do you do any writing? You seem to be a very contemplative person. If you’re writing, I’d like to hear more about it.
Cheerio, Uta.


January 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm Edit #
I love the old photos. Your family was beautiful. My youngest sister Gerry had polio when she was two years old. Fortunately she had no lingering effects, and recovered completely. I was ten at the time. I remember how scared we all were.


January 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm Edit #
Hi, Pam. We always love to look at all our old photos. Gaby was severely effected, She became a quadriplegic and needed an iron lung.
Monika had some lingering effects in one of her legs and Martin recovered completely. It was a very scary time for us when all three children suffered from the disease.


January 27, 2013 at 2:44 am Edit #
I can’t even imagine how terrified you and Peter must have been with all three children seriously ill at the same. My middle daughter is a public health lawyer. She has asked me lots of questions about the polio epidemics. I’ll tell her about your family’s story. Thanks for sharing it. Pat

Three Well Beings
January 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm Edit #
I really enjoyed seeing family photos, Uta. From what you’re sharing, the children were very young when they contracted polio. I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been! I do remember when that disease frightened families and changed lives forever!


January 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm Edit #
That’s right, Debra, they all contracted polio. Martin was 1, Monika 2 and Gaby was struck down with the disease on her fourth birthday. No vaccinations were available at the time. A bit later oral vaccinations were introduced. I think this stopped the spread of polio in Australia.


Three Well Beings
January 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm Edit #
I really can’t imagine, Uta! As a mom, this must have been devastating. They were just babies. I’m a little awed you can even talk about it. oxo

January 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm Edit #
It was a very emotional time for Peter too. All three children were admitted to Wollongong Hospital. Gaby went on to Intensive Care at Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney where she was in a coma. According to the specialist there was not much chance of her surviving. We had gone in the ambulance with her and stayed with her through the night. Early in the morning we went back to Wollongong on the milk-train. That morning after a lot of weeping we went to see Monika and Martin in Wollongong Hospital. Martin Baby soon became the darling of the nurses. He looked so cute. When we saw him he started throwing all the toys out of his cot the nurses had put in there for him. Monika was more sick than Martin and absolutely quiet. A few days later Martin was allowed to go back home. We were overwhelmed when we had him back home. Monika had to stay in hospital a bit longer. Once she was home she was referred to a specialist who treated her leg. Some muscles were weakened because of polio. She had to wear special boots and a splint on her left leg which she hated!

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The “Pioneer Family”January 23, 2013In “Diary”

The “Pioneer Family”April 30, 2015In “Memories”

Australian BeachesAugust 26, 2013In “Diary”

Edit”Here are two pictures from 1958 and another two pictures from 1960″

Published by auntyuta

Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Mother and Wife of German Descent I’ve lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, is publishing some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com View all posts by auntyutaPublishedJanuary 21, 2019

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3 thoughts on “Here are two pictures from 1958 and another two pictures from 1960”

  1. Debra EditI see that I responded to the original post. I was then ‘Three Well Beings.” I love the photos of your sweet family, Uta.Reply
  2. auntyuta EditThanks for commenting again, Debra. I find it very rewarding to look at some of the old photos again and again. Some of these photos just seem to stick to my memory. Time and time again I love to look at them again to strengthen my memory. Gee. was that really our family at the time? And how amazing is it how much time has elapsed since these photos were taken! Reply
  3. doesitevenmatter3 EditYour vintage photos are so special and lovely! I know they bring you smiles. And memories of wonderful and not-so-wonderful. Oh, that is so sad and challenging that all of your beautiful, precious babies got polio.  I can’t imagine how difficult that was for you as their mama. I have an older friend who had polio as a child. From then on, he always had struggles with his legs and walked with difficulty.(((HUGS)))

Peter posted this in 2013 on my 79th Birthday!


Berlioz1935’s Blog

It is about life, as I experienced it, how I see it and how I imagine it..

Happy Birthday Aunty Uta

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Today is an important date.  Not only is it the Equinox but also my lovely wife’s birthday. We had a lot to remember.  Many of her  birthdays we have celebrated together.  The most memorable was her 21st. That is how she looked then.

Easy to fall in love with

Easy to fall in love with

On the day in question in 1955 we had agreed to meet at her place. Uta had rented the tiniest of rooms in a fourth floor  apartment When I arrived at the agreed time and I wanted to climb up the stairs her land lady came down and told me that Uta had gone out to do some last minute shopping and there was no need to go up the full flight of stairs. But, she left it open that Fäulein Spickermann could have been come back unnoticed. I climbed the full flight of stairs and knocked on the door. Nothing happened. Another knock – still nothing. The land lady must have been right, Fäulein was still out.

I walked downstairs and waited in the cool entrance hall as it was a rather warm late summer’s day. I waited and waited. All sorts of ideas and theories went through my head.  Has she dropped me in this rather cruel way. No, not my darling Uta.  What was I to think? Has anything happened to her on her way to the shops? The shops were not that far and she should have been back  a long time.

Young people today have no idea how life was in those day without a mobile. People were not easily contactable. Any misunderstanding can quickly be resolved nowadays by  SMS or a phone call. We did not have that luxury  then. The brain had a free reign to invent the most outrageous scenarios. After almost two hours of waiting I was close to call it quits when Uta suddenly appeared, with a beaming face,  coming down the stairs.  What a relief. We were both happy to see each other.

Uta had to to go a phone booth to call her aunt who wanted to see her too for her birthday. After the phone call we went to another suburb where we met her aunty and her cousin. All in all the day ended well. But sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had given up waiting. I could have rung her another day  at work to clear things up or be disappointed and forget about this “unreliable” girl who stood me up.

Fourteen months later we got married and we are still together to tell the tale.


The young couple February 1957

I’m still in love with Uta and would still wait any number of hours for her as the reward is in the being  together.

Still happy together

Still happy together

This is a Blog Peter published on 12/10/2017

“Russia House” and the “Dutch Cafe”

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Last Monday we,  my wife Uta (also known as Aunty Uta) and I,  went to Bulli Beach for a cup of coffee. We had to kill some time as we waited for the doctor to start work. We were early.

Uta wanted to relax with a book she brought along. She loves books written by Andrew M. Greeley and this one, “The Bishop in the West Wing” seemed especially of interest to her.  Greeley is called ‘author and priest’ but I can tell you, he is not your common garden variety priest. His novels are always political, as seems to be right for a man with an Irish background. While Uta was delving into her book I decided on a little stroll as I can’t sit for long. Movement is the best for my ageing and aching legs.

The above picture does not show Bulli Beach (on the Illawarra Coast of NSW) but the neighbouring Sandon Point Beach. Along the shoreline runs Blackall Street. New, modern houses have sprung up there over the years and replaced many of the old houses that I remember from more than fifty years ago; many have disappeared or were altered beyond recognition.

During the sixties, I worked with another German from Berlin beautifying the old houses there. This kind of work brought us in contact with so many people of different walks of life.  For instance, migrants who still had to come to grips with the cultural shock they had suffered after coming to Australia. Australian men did not like us “New-Australians” but the women did.  Meeting us those women found out, that men actually were able to talk and converse with women as that. We often had great conversations with them during our lunch breaks. They always supplied us with cups of tea and ‘bikkies’ as is the Australian way.

Here at Sandon Point’s Blackall Street, we struck migrants who had made Australia their home after World War Two and all the destruction and replacement that went with it. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean surely must have been a kind of paradise for them.

First, we worked on a cottage that belonged to a Dutch family. They were older than we were and could have been our parents. They were from a region in the Netherlands that was close to the border to Germany and they were able to talk in German to us. They preferred that to speaking English.

We were able to establish an instant rapport with them, even though, we were on opposite sites during the war.  They were so friendly that they provided coffee and cake every afternoon. We were sitting and talking about the war and Australia. We dubbed the place “The Dutch Cafe”. We learned, during our conversations with them,  that the husband of the Dutch couple used to be a truck driver during the war and was on tour to Berlin on many occasions. He also worked for the Dutch resistance and had to spy and report on what he saw in Germany. It was a dangerous mission.

They put us in contact with another lady who lived down the road from them. We were able to do the same work on her house as well. The lady was from Russia but was of German descent. She was much older than the Dutch people but they had taken an interest in her and her wellbeing.

While working on her house she was telling us about her life in Russia and the Soviet Union. She had experienced the Russian Revolution and had no good word about it. Her German family were decried as capitalists as they were in the habit of painting their fences. The old lady cried a little as she told us her family history. On a table, I saw a photo of her husband, as a young man, standing in the Red Square of Moscow. The view of the Kremlin was in stark contrast to the view from her tiny upstairs window towards the ocean. We nicknamed her home “Russia House”.2017-10-11

This is the view from Russia House today

When we left her premises, she gave us a piece of advice, probably born out of her own bitter experience, never to trust a Russian. Some of my followers will know, from reading some of my previous posts, that I had to trust Russians to survive.

Walking along Blackall Street I could not help noticing the changes and gentrification of the street. Where would the families of the former Dutch and Russian families be today? We all have moved on, some of us have gone back to eternity and we ourselves are waiting to move there.

But, I’m not in a hurry yet, despite dreaming last night that on a visit to my doctor he informed me, that he had bad news for me; the government would like to let me know that I would depart to the hereafter soon.

I still want to write a few more posts for this blog.

This entry was posted in DiaryMemoriesUncategorized and tagged Bulli BeachIllawarra CoastPostwar migrationSandon Point by berlioz1935. Bookmark the permalink.

August 2021 Diary

Friday, the 6th of August 2021.

So, while I was cooking my brunch today, I was mainly thinking about the future. I was contemplating what might be possible for me to undertake as far as travelling within Australia is concerned. Of course, as soon as possible I would like to visit my son again, who lives in Victoria. It would be nice if I could go to Benalla in Victoria sometime next month. My birthday is coming up towards the end of next month. To be honest, it does not look like travelling like this will be possible for me some time soon. Well, when then? Maybe towards the end of December? This is just a maybe. However, there is a little bit of hope. When I am in a hopeful mood, I imagine I could catch a train to Benalla. Now wouldn’t that be nice? I could catch the train in the Highlands at Moss Vale. Before catching the train, I might be able to spend a couple of nights in the Highlands. Maybe book a hotel somewhere and meet Gerard! Maybe I could join Gerard for his coffee mornings in Bowral. I would also like to go for a walk in the Lake Alexandra Reserve in Mittagong! https://auntyuta.com/2021/07/31/lake-alexandra-reserve/

If I can manage to take my rollator with me, a few slow moving, contemplative walks are really something to be looking forward for. Besides, if I do travel to Benalla and stay there with Martin for one or two weeks, I definitely need to have my rollator with me again. Last time I did stay with Martin for two weeks, was in March this year. I was fortunate then to have my rollator with me. And I was able to make good use of it, even though I did have an infection in my legs at the time.

Gerard mentioned this Lake Reserve in a few of his blogs, for instance here: https://oosterman.wordpress.com/2021/07/30/love-loss-lockdowns-and-a-possible-buddy/

Yes, if at all possible, I would like to spend some time in the Highlands! Maybe I could choose a time for my trip when daughter Caroline and son-in-law Matthew have a little holiday again. Recently both of them had some leave. But because of the lockdowns they could not travel anywhere. However, Caroline told me, they both felt they needed some time off. And being able to spend this time together in their beautiful home was the next best thing to doing some travelling.

So, I was thinking, whenever they can travel again and also have some time off, they might want to spend some time at my place in Dapto. I think they would very much like to see all the alterations to my place, especially the beautiful deck at the back of my house! I think the last time they were able to come to my place was on the 16th of May this year celebrating Peter’s birthday in memory of him.


I needed a break from writing. But I am back now! There is so much more to write! Why did I put ‘LONELINESS’ as a heading for my next section? Well, I could not help it. I feel, it is totally unnatural to be living totally on your own. Really, there are still so many things I could share with someone! Usually, I do not go much into matters of a believe in God. But I think the best way to put it when I think of the end of my life, is actually to say, when God calls me, I do not want to delay. But what I want to do and what I have not quite achieved yet, is, that I want to make the best use of the most likely very little time that may still be given to me. To make the best use of time? What is this. I feel, for a number of things, that I would like to be doing, this is really my last chance now. So, should I allow myself to feel angry about it, that there are quite a few things, that I meant to be doing, and that I still haven’t done yet? No, no, no. I have to learn not to be angry with myself. As a matter of fact, when I do make an effort to ‘love’ myself, I find it is easy for me to love people in general and to love life!

. . . . .

Today I haven’t done the dishes yet, even though I had a big, very healthy meal. So what? I can do the dishes later. I think, that should be alright. Today is Friday. In normal times I would this afternoon be playing Scrabble and Rummycub with my friends. But right now the law in the vicinity of Sydney is, that we have to stay in isolation. Actually, I totally agree with this law, since I want to do everything possible not to catch the virus. So, I am not going out visiting friends, and nobody is coming to visit me. If I’d expect my friends to visit me this afternoon, I’d have to do the dishes quick smart before everyone arrives, right? But neither my friends nor the queen are coming to visit today! This is why I decided to forgive myself for not doing the dishes straight away. To be honest, I am looking forward to doing the dishes later on; for I actually like doing the dishes! It gives me satisfaction to see everything being nice clean again. And while I do the dishes, I can let my thoughts go wandering . . . .

Recently, I have been thinking again and again, why one of Peter’s grandfathers and also one of my grandfathers had to die young when they still had children who had not quite grown up yet. So, my mother as well as Peter’s father had lost their fathers much, much too early. I wonder, how this may have effected their lives. My mum was only about eight when she lost her father in the Flu-Epidemic after WW One. Peter’s father was 15 when he lost his father in France in WW One. When he was 16 he volunteered to become a soldier in WW One and in WW Two he was a soldier again . . . .

Peter wrote about his grandfather, Otto Hannemann, here: https://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/my-granddad-and-world-war-i/

A special Birthday in 2014

auntyutaDiaryLife in AustraliaOld Age  September 23, 2014 1 Minute



Uta’s DiaryMay 13, 2016In “Diary”

Uta’s Diary June 2019June 17, 2019In “Diary”

My ParentsSeptember 7, 2013In “Childhood Memories”

Edit”On Sunday I turned 80″

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13 thoughts on “On Sunday I turned 80”

  1. catterel EditMany happy returns of the day, Uta. Thatlooks like a really lovely celebration. May you be abundantly blessed xxReply
  2. stacylynngittleman Edithave a happy birthday and many more in good health!Reply
  3. cardamone5 EditHappy birthday!Reply
  4. Pocket Perspectives EditHappy, Happy Birthday, Uta!!!! Reply
  5. gerard oosterman EditHappy Birthday Uta from us at Bowral.
    Gerard & Helvi.“Lang zal ze leven” Hiep Hiep Hoera!Reply
  6. berlioz1935 EditI think you had a really great day. Here is a little musical treat from Indiahttps://www.youtube.com/embed/FWbRuUE5E9M?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparentReply
    1. auntyuta EditI love this musical treat from India. Thank you for this, Peter. Yes, I had a really great day and I thank everyone for their good wishes to my 80th birthday. Thank you very much for all your comments!Reply
  7. Team Oyeniyi EditHappy Birthday!!Reply
    1. auntyuta EditThank you, Robyn! Reply
  8. The Emu EditMy apologies for a very late acknowledgement of a great milestone in your life
    May your birthday year bring you much happiness, and beautiful recollections of the love of your family, and all those who have been privileged to be a part of your life.
    Kindest regards
    Ian and AnaReply
    1. auntyuta EditThank you so much, Ian and Ana, for your lovely wishes . Yes, I regard this birthday as a great milestone! 
      Have a great week!
      Love, UtaReply
  9. Holistic Wayfarer EditPhotos are simply beautiful. I trust it was a special day with loved ones. I am so happy to see more comments on your blog.Love,
    1. auntyuta EditIt was for me a very special day indeed, Diana. Thank you so much for commenting.

To Gaby: 28 August 1957 – 2012

You were a rare and beautiful flower !

Dear Gaby,

today 55 years ago you were born. When I heard the good news in the early hours of that day in 1957 I cried with happiness for you and your Mum. I wish you were still here so I could congratulate you for the good life that you lived, despite fate having given you a massive hurdle to overcome. But you did it !!! You put us all to shame with your zest for life. This zest for life you shared with the great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe whose birthday you shared too. Here is what he wrote and you will understand, because you felt the same:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Wasn’t that you? You spread the “good climate” and shared your attitude to life with the rest of us. Your birth and your life was a gift to us from the creator as the meaning of your name is “God gives Strength”. When we chose your name we must have subconsciously foreseen what would become of you.Your life was a gift to us. Thank you for having been Gabriele, our Gaby. We love and remember you for the rest of our lives.

A beautiful life

This is a blog that Peter wrote in 2012 and I copied it in memory of Gaby and Peter.

Childhood Prayers, a Copy!

I love early mornings. Waking up early always seems exciting to me. Here in Australia the nights are getting rather cold now as we are approaching winter. These days when I wake up at five it is still dark outside. Sometimes I think it is better not to get up straight away. So I may tell myself to stay in bed for one more hour or so. Occasionally I am still a bit tired and go back to sleep after a little while. But usually I stay awake the whole time, lying in bed thinking about what I plan for the day or perhaps saying a few prayers. Often I remember my childhood prayers!

The family I grew up in was not very religious. During my whole childhood I remember being taken to church only once. This was for a service on Christmas Eve in 1943. Lots of familiar Christmas songs were being sung then. I thought this was wonderful!

Now what about prayers? Strangely enough there are some childhood prayers that I often remember when I wake up early in the morning. Then I am that child again who was being told to say these prayers before going to sleep.

The first prayer I learned was just saying that I am small and my heart is pure with only Jesus in it.

When I was a bit older I learned another prayer. saying that I was tired,  closing my eyes and asking the Lord to watch over my bed.

Mum also told me to ask God for the protection of all my loved ones. In the reciting of all the names there was always Dad included who was on the Eastern Front at this time of WW II.

Here are the prayers as I remember them in German:

“Ich bin klein,
mein Herz ist rein;
soll niemand drin wohnen
als Jesus allein.”


“Müde bin ich geh’ zur Ruh
schliesse beide Augen zu.
Vater lass die Augen dein
über meinem Bette sein.”

And I would say:

“Lieber Gott, behüte Mutti und Vati, Bodo und Peter, Tante Ilse, die Omi und Renate und alle die ich lieb habe.”

I wrote and published the above on May 3, 2014

My Grandfather was in the Sejm and later in the Senate

auntyutaArticleCopyDocumentaryHistory  November 24, 2017 2 Minutes

I googled my grandfather’s name and found the following:


Josef Alexander Spickermann (born March 6, 1870 in Bloto, Lodz [1] (probably Zgniłe Błoto ), died March 22, 1947 in Leipzig ) was a German politician and deputy of the German minority in Poland in the Sejm of the Second Polish Republic .

Table of Contents [Verbergen]
1 life
1.1 Family and work
1.2 Political career
2 literature
3 individual proofs
Life Edit ]
Family and occupation [ edit | Edit ]
Spickermann graduated from the school in Łódź and already passed the master craftsman carpentry exam at the age of 19. He was also a real estate dealer in Łódź. At the time of the German occupation from 1939 to 1945 he was senior master of the carpentry guild Litzmannstadt, Reichsgau Wartheland . [1]

Spickermann was married and had nine children, three of whom died in infancy. Three sons and three daughters reached adulthood and they started all families. In 1945, the Spickermanns, who joined other relatives, escaped to Pouch at Bitterfeld . [4]

Political career [ edit | Edit ]
From January 1919 Spickermann was a city councilor in Lodz. In the same year Spickermann and Ludwig Wolff were elected as representatives of the German People’s Party (DVP) for the district Lodz- Land Lask – Brzeziny in the Polish Constituent National Assembly (1919-1922) . Spickermann initially remained until 1920 deputies, but was re-elected for 1922-1928 in the Sejm, now for the constituency Konin – Koło – Lentschütz . From 1928 to 1930 he was senator for the Łódź Voivodeship . On 22 November 1930 Spickermann again ran successfully for the Senate, but had to resign his mandate due to an “internal agreement” in the German People’s Association to August Utta . He then retired from politics. [1]

Literature [ edit | Edit ]
Bertold Bergmann: Josef Spickermann, life picture of a German parliamentarian , in: Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe: Jahrbuch Weichsel-Warthe 1960 , Munich 1960 [for this article so far not evaluated].
Ursula Brehmer: Responsibility as a task and life law, Josef Alexander Spickermann on the 50th anniversary of death in: Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe: Jahrbuch Weichsel-Warthe 1997 , Berlin / Bonn 1997, pp. 68-72.
Karl-Heinz Reschke: Josef Alexander Spickermann, On the 60th anniversary of the death of the Sejmabgeordneter and Senator in Poland , in: Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe: Jahrbuch Weichsel-Warthe 2007 ,
Wilfried Gerke: Contributions to the History of the Germans in Poland during the Second World War 1939-1945. Herne 2008, p. 67.
Hochspringen ↑ Eduard Kneifel: The Protestant-Augsburgischen communities in Poland 1555-1939. Vierkirchen 1971, p. 318.
Ursula Brehmer: Responsibility as a task and law of life. Josef Alexander Spickermann on the 50th anniversary of his death. In: Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe: Jahrbuch Weichsel-Warthe 1997 , Berlin / Bonn 1997, p. 68.
Hochspringen ↑ Ursula Brehmer: Responsibility as a task and law of life. Josef Alexander Spickermann on the 50th anniversary of his death. In: Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe: Jahrbuch Weichsel-Warthe 1997 , Berlin / Bonn 1997, p. 71.
Mads Ole Balling : From Reval to Bucharest – Statistical-Biographical Handbook of the Parliamentarians of German Minorities in Central and Southeastern Europe 1919-1945, Volume 1, 2nd Edition . .

. . .



Childhood MemoriesNovember 20, 2011In “Childhood Memories”

My FatherMay 25, 2016In “Childhood Memories”

My Paternal Grandparents in Lodz, visiting Lodz on a joined Passport!October 12, 2017In “Childhood Memories”

Edit”My Grandfather was in the Sejm and later in the Senate”

Published by auntyuta

Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Mother and Wife of German Descent I’ve lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, is publishing some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com View all posts by auntyutaPublishedNovember 24, 2017

6 thoughts on “My Grandfather was in the Sejm and later in the Senate”catterel EditWell done, Uta – you have made a good start on tracing your ancestors. Be prepared to discover unpleasant facts as well as interesting and sometimes amusing things. Your grandfather was an important man.Reply

auntyuta EditThanks, Cat. Yes, all his children and grandchildren who lived close to where he lived always thought that he was an important man. Grandfather loved to discuss things with the whole family being assembled around the dinner table. A few years after grandfather’s death I met the extended family a few times in Western Germany where they had settled as refugees from Poland. All the family still talked a lot about grandfather. It says in the above article:‘On 22 November 1930 Spickermann again ran successfully for the Senate, but had to resign his mandate due to an “internal agreement” in the German People’s Association to August Utta . He then retired from politics.”Elisabeth, Grandfather’s youngest daughter, talked for instance about this “internal agreement”. I remember her mentioning the name “Utta” in connection with grandfather’s resignation. She did not like it at all that he had to resign!My cousins always liked to research a lot about family history. Two of my cousins are mentioned in the above article. Thanks to them I could find the above article in google.Reply

catterel EditAnd have you googled August Utta? Interesting man, too.

auntyuta EditThanks, Cat. As you suggested, I googled August Utta,https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_UttaI found it interesting that he died already in 1940 aged only 54. Apparently he went to farming for the last couple of years of his life.
So what caused his death? I wonder.Grandfather lived to age 77 after having fled with the extended family from Lodz to Pouch (near Bitterfeld) in Germany at the last moment before the Russians occupied Lodz in January/February 1945.https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/PouchIt says that at the time of the German occupation from 1939 to 1945 Spickermann was senior master of the carpentry guild Litzmannstadt (Lodz) Reichsgau Wartheland.

doesitevenmatter3 EditExcellent research and interesting information.
HUGS!!! y

auntyuta EditThanks, HUGS 

Pipe laying for Waterboard in 1960

Peter and Eberhard were laying sewerage pipes in Wollongong for Waterboard in 1960. Some time ago Peter wrote a story about ‘Billy Boy’. In the story he says: Billy had befriended us at work, where he was our ‘Billy Boy’ providing us with hot water for tea and for washing ourselves. He also helped us with our English. Bill told us to call in at his place when we were in Picton. The story goes under the title:

The ‘Billy Boy’ and His Girls


“Come on in, boys,” said Bill with a big smile as he opened the door. We, my friend from work and me, did not consider ourselves boys, but he was close to fifty years older than we were. From his point of view we were just some youngsters blown in by the trade winds from another continent.

“Did you have any trouble finding the place?” he asked. His face had a reddish, weather beaten complexion. Large furrows and wrinkles criss crossed his face like the legendary canals on Mars, bearing witness to a long outdoor life. He had seen much of Australia as a train driver during the war years. Supplies were taken up to Darwin by train and from there by ship to the troops fighting in the Pacific.

He had befriended us at work, where he was our ‘Billy Boy’ providing us with hot water for tea and for washing ourselves. He also helped us with our English. Bill told us to call in at his place when we were in Picton.

“Saturday would be fine,” said Bill .

“And you will get to meet the girls,” he added with a friendly smile.

We heard ‘girls’ and thought it was about time we got acquainted with some females in Australia. We had not been in Australia for long and all was pretty new to us. I had bought an old Austin A 40. My  friend and I took the car for the half an hour’s drive to see Bill and the girls; probably his granddaughters as he was already past seventy.

We accepted his invitation and went inside his house, a large double story stone building at the edge of town. It was dark inside. He lead us into the dining room.

“The girls will be coming down soon to say ‘Hello’ “, Bill said.

The dining room was dark too. Thick, heavy curtains blocked out any daylight. We could just make out some furniture. As Bill started to draw back the curtains, revealing a beautiful table and eight chairs all made from red cedar, we saw a large cabinet with glass doors and behind them some Royal Dalton and Wedgwood tableware. On the wall was a painting of a stern looking couple. We felt transported into the nineteenth century.

“You know, we haven’t used the dining room since 1935,” Bill said.

“That’s over twenty five years ago, Bill,” I said to him.

“There you are, it shows you how time flies,” he answered.

He went to the door from time to time to look up the stairs where he expected the girls to come down from.

“Have a seat while I’ll put the kettle on. The girls should be down very shortly. You know how it is? They want to look their best,” Bill said with a wink. ‘They have never met Germans in their lives.”

Bill wasn’t gone long when he came back and announced, “Here they come!” and motioned us to the door.

“Aren’t they beautiful?’ Bill whispered, so the girls would not be embarrassed.

There was an electric light on now in the hallway and what we saw, were three women, of advanced years ― of very advanced years, I thought. They were dressed in dark frocks, which nearly touched the floor, white blouses and short black jackets. On their heads they wore small, round hats. They were holding on to the beautiful carved bannister as they carefully stepped from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. They gave me the impression they had been found in a tomb. Their faces looked old and wrinkly too, as the heat and the harsh wind in Australia had not been kind to them.

After we exchanged a few “Pleased to meet you” and “How are you?” we all took seats at the table. I noticed now that they wore long sleeved gloves. Bill, his face beaming, arrived with a pot of tea from the kitchen and took out the tea cups from the cabinet. He did all the work, if one could call it work, and served us and the ‘girls’. He explained that they were his sisters and much older than him. They reminded me of Daisy Bates, of whom I had seen some pictures.

“I was the baby of the family,” Bill said with a wink, “and now I have to look after them.”

Bill had such a great personality and he was full of life and always had a sparkle in his eyes. He seemed so proud that he was able to introduce his new friends and his sisters to each other. At the time we did not know that Australians called women of any age ‘girls’. We still had to learn a lot as newcomers to this great country

Peter wrote in 2014: My Granddad and World War I

One hundred years ago the most terrible of wars began. Up to that time there had been no war like this. I blame the industrial societies for it. In their search for growth potential they did not allow any restrictions; “markets, customers and resources,” was the cry for the “promised land”.

My Granddad, Otto Hannemann, was a carpenter foreman in the growing city of Berlin. Born in the small town of Lukenwalde, south of Berlin, he looked for work in the big city to support his growing family. In the first picture we see him with one of his two daughters and my dad. It seems they are all dressed up for  a Sunday outing. In July 1907 my father was six years old.

July 1907

July 1907

These were the years of peace and  future  well being. I don’t know much about my Granddad. My father seemed to be proud of him and proclaimed that “he built all the bridges” over the railway lines out of Berlin to the South. In the next picture we see him with some workers on a building site. I have been assured that he is in the picture. I think it is him on the far left with his hat on. The occasion is most likely a “Richtfest”,  the celebration of the erection  of the roof supports.


When the war started he was not called up straight away. Only later, in the beginning of 1916, he was called upon as he was a reservist (Landjäger). In the picture he looks rather serious, probably anticipating what lay ahead of him.

Early 1916, it is still Winter

Early 1916, it is still Winter

It is the same picture my Grandmother had in a large frame on the wall of her bedroom. It seems he had his training in Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg.

The next picture was taken on the 15th February 1916. He was sending the card as a birthday gift. For whom, I don’t know. You can see him on the left in the back row.with the arrow pointing at him.



In the next picture you can see him second from the left in the centre row. On the back he wrote that those are the men from room 13 and he added, which mystifies me,  “the ‘washer children’ are not in the picture”. Whatever this means?



The next picture could be from the same period. The soldiers in “drill uniforms” usually worn on work duties. It looks to me they are waiting to be issued with food. He is in the centre and is marked with a red cross.


I have no idea when he was sent to the Western Front. Perhaps he was even opposite Australian forces.

The following photo was made on Sunday 14th May 1916. It tells on the sign  “Rat-Goulash on the menu for the day”.

14 th of May 1916

14 th of May 1916

On the 15th of July 1916 he wrote at the back of the photo that he sent to his loved ones, that really they don’t have to eat rat-goulash yet. The picture has been staged he assured the readers, but still there are lots of rats to be seen. And they say Germans have no sense of humour.

I don’t know what happened to him after his arrival at the front. We know from the war reports and history books that it was hell. On the 2. 12. 1916 he fell. Some reports tell of cold and frosty days. He is buried in a war cemetery just  outside Lille.#

Granddad's final resting place.

Granddad’s final resting place.

When the fighting stopped all soldiers hoped they saw the last of it. But the struggle was not over. World War Two, the next conflict, was even worse.