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Our first Sunday in Berlin

26 Jul

We had arrived on Saturday, the 4th of June. Ilse’s sons had come to Tegel-Airport to pick us up and drive us with all our luggage to our apartment in Rubensstrasse. It was so good to have the two cars waiting for us. Klaudia as well as Ilse and Finn had also come along and we took off on the Autobahn that took us from the airport to our apartment in just a few minutes! Once we were settled in our apartment, we were given huge amounts of food, especially Ilse and Finn had brought a lot of food along. So all of us stayed together for quite a while, talking about lots of things and having a nice meal.

Strangely enough we did not feel too tired to go out to the Brandenburg Gate after our Berlin family had left us. So it was the five of us from Australia, namely Martin, Caroline, Matthew, Peter and me, exploring Berlin on our own on our first day in Berlin after we had only just arrived on our very long trip all the way from Australia.

The following morning we went out for breakfast. Die “Wolke” was just around the corner. They were doing pretty good business on a Sunday morning. We noticed a constant stream of customers. So we had a good breakfast sitting down in the Wolke Cafe.

PETER LOVED THIS BUN

PETER LOVED THIS BUN

Steak tartare is a meat dish made from finely chopped or minced rawbeef.

 

This what I had

This is what I had

Streusel-Schnecke is what we liked too.

Streusel-Schnecke is what we liked too.

I did not take pictures of all the food, but here is some more of the food that was on offer.

I did not take pictures of all the food, but here is some more of the food that was on offer.

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I seem not to have taken any pictures from that afternoon we spent near Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) and where we had gone to by public transport.
But on Sunday the five of us did – also by public transport –  go to Alexander Platz and from there on the U-Bahn to Rosenthaler Platz to meet my niece Corinna and her son Carlos for lunch.

Am Alexander Platz

Am Alexander Platz

Martin, Caroline, Peter and Matthew

Martin, Caroline, Peter and Matthew

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The above picture I still took at Alexander Platz. After Alexander Platz we took off to ROSENTHALER PLATZ.

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Peter with my niece Corinna and her son Carlos

Peter with my niece Corinna and her son Carlos

I with Caroline, Matthew and Corinna

I with Caroline, Matthew and Corinna

This lunch is to my liking

This lunch was to my liking

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After lnch we went to this place.

After lunch we went to this place.

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When we left this interesting place we were heading for the park where – as Corinna promised – there would be some dancing on display together with great swing music from the 1940s. Carlos had made his good-buys in the meantime. (After all, it is only a certain amount of time a fifteen year old is willing to spend with the ‘oldies’!)

Corinna had been right, there was some dancing going on here.

Corinna had been right, there was some dancing going on here.

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Peter and I found the music quite electrifying. It reminded us of old times and the swing music that we used to like. During the 1950s, when we would often go dancing, swing was still quite popular.On that Sunday afternoon in the park inspired by the music  Peter and I actually tried a little bit of dancing of our own. To our amusement, somebody (I think, our daughter) videoed us while we were doing this! We found this absolutely hilarious. Later on we watched for quite some time the dancing of the very young people. They seemed quite familiar with this type of dance music and danced very well indeed. A lot of these young people had dressed up in the 1940s style. There was even one young guy who had dressed in something that reminded us of the post WWII period when the young Americans of our occupation forces looked in their  uniforms a bit like this guy did. Quite amazing!

I took a picture of our little group before we were sitting down for some drinks.

I took a picture of our little group before we were sitting down for some drinks.

It was a balmy early summer afternoon. We enjoyed our drinks, listening to the music and watching the young people dancing. The place is called “Volkspark am Weinberg”.

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Rubensstrasse, Berlin-Friedenau

24 Jul

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Martin, Peter and Caroline on the way to our apartment in Rubensstrasse

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Martin, Caroline and Matthew walk ahead to our apartment.

This is a visitor in our apartment.

We have a visitor!

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Locally grown fruit that we could buy at ALDI's

Locally grown fruit that we could buy at ALDI’s

It was about 1 km to walk to the ALDI shop.

It was about 1 km to walk to the ALDI shop.

A few steps away from the ALDI shop is the entrance to S-Bahnhof Friedenau. We used the S-Bahn (city-train) frequently. Martin often went to do some shopping at ALDI’s for us. He did not take very long to go there and back. I probably needed at least twice as much time to walk there for I walk so much slower than Martin.

We had also an EDEKA  store very close by to where we lived. Martin would quite often do some shopping there as well. The following pictures I took close to Rubensstrasse.

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We always bought a good selection of bread.

We always bought a good selection of bread.

We were one floor above ground-level and had this view into a courtyard from our living-room window.

We were one floor above ground-level and had this view into a courtyard from our living-room window.

During the day often would come trucks and/or workers into the courtyard.

During the day quite often trucks and/or workers would come into the courtyard.

 

 

Peter and Martin

Peter and Martin

This is the window with a view to the courtyard.

This is the window with a view to the courtyard.

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Berlin in 26 Days from the 4th to the 30th of June 2016

22 Jul

This Berlin visit was a true family event for  Peter and me. I would like to tell about the 26 days in Berlin in three different parts. First there were 8 days with Martin, Caroline and Matthew, then 9 days spent just with Martin and the last 9 days in Berlin we saw a lot of Monika and her family who came  to visit Berlin from the 21st to the 30th of June.

When we arrived in Berlin on Saturday, the 4th of June, we were five adults from Australia, and we were renting a three bedroom apartment in Rubensstrasse, Berlin-Friedenau. Our rented apartment was just great, very spacious and well equipped.

The other family group from Australia had booked an apartment in Prenzlauer Berg which is a bit North-East from the centre of Berlin, whereas Friedenau is South of Berlin’s centre. Monika’s group stayed in Berlin for 9 days after already having visited London, Paris and Zuerich. On Thursday, the 30th of June, they travelled back to London to stay there for another four nights and then to fly back to Sydney, Australia.

Thursday, the 9th of June was my brother Bodo’s 78th birthday. Peter, Martin, Matthew and Caroline went on that day to Kreuzberg (Cross-Mountain). Peter wanted to show them the place where he had grown up. My brother Peter Uwe came to go with me to visit Bodo.

Bodo is being looked after in a home for the Aged.

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We walked along here to get to the home where Bodo lives.

 

 

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This place, a Memorial for the Berlin Wall, is not far from where Bodo lives.

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Peter Uwe and Bodo

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Uta and Bodo

Charlotte mit ihren drei Kindern 1948

Mum with Bodo, Uta and Peter Uwe in 1948

 

Below a few pictures I took one morning in our apartment. Matthew is in the background, Martin is on the left, and Caroline and Peter on the right.

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At Singapore Airport, Friday evening, 1st of July 2016

12 Jul
At Singapore Airport, Friday evening, 1st of July 2016

At Singapore Airport, Friday evening, 1st of July 2016

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See also:

Reflecting on how a Week ago we travelled back to Australia

Qantas Flight Singapore to Sydney

10 Jul

There were Touch Screens on the last leg of our flight back home to Sydney.  For instance I very much enjoyed the Louis Armstrong music.

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I listened to the whole tape twice in a row, even though there was plenty of other music available that I could have listened to.

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Also,  bottles of water were frequently passed around for whoever wanted them. We did fly right through the night till we arrived in Sydney at 6 am. Some people slept most of the time, but others had their screens turned on in front of them. I very much liked these easy to handle touch screens. I ended up getting very interested  into an American TV series called ‘The 100’ and copy here some information about it from Wikipedia.

“From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The 100 (pronounced The Hundred is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series that premiered on March 19, 2014. The series, developed by Jason Rothenberg, is loosely based on a book of the same name, the first in a trilogy by Kass Morgan.”

I do find the plot very interesting. Here I copy again from encyclopedia something about the plot:

“The series is set 97 years after a devastating nuclear apocalypse wiped out almost all life on Earth. The only known survivors lived on 12 space stations in Earth’s orbit prior to the apocalyptic event. The space stations banded together to form a single massive station named “The Ark”, where about 2,400 people live under the leadership of Chancellor Jaha.[1] Resources are scarce, so all crimes – regardless of their nature or severity – are punishable by ejection into space (“floating”) unless the perpetrator is under 18 years of age. After the Ark’s life-support systems are found to be critically failing, 100 juvenile prisoners are declared “expendable” and sent to the surface – near former Washington, D.C.[7] – in a last ditch attempt to determine whether Earth is habitable again, in a program called “The 100”. The teens arrive on a seemingly pristine planet they have only seen from space. They attempt to find refuge and supplies at an old military installation, Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, they land some distance from the intended target and soon face other problems. Confronting both the wonders and the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. They soon discover that not all humanity was wiped out – some survived the war: the grounders who live in clans locked in a permanent power struggle, another group of grounders who have become cannibals are known as Reapers, and Mountain Men, who live in Mount Weather, who locked themselves away before the apocalypse and are killed by the residual radiation outside.
In the second season, the remaining 48 of the 100 are taken to Mount Weather, where they discover a community of survivors. It is eventually revealed that the medical staff are extracting bone marrow from the 100 and the grounders so they will finally be able to survive on the outside. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the Ark have successfully crash-landed various stations on Earth and begun an alliance with the grounders to save groups of people, naming the main settlement at Alpha Station “Camp Jaha”.”

My Father

25 May

My father, Alexander Spickermann, was born in Lodz on the 13th of May 1904. The following picture of him was taken in about 1916. This is the earliest picture I have of him.

Alexander’s brother Edmund Spickermann, was born in 1902. Both brothers studied in Leipzig, Germany. The following pictures are from 1925 in the city of Leipzig. There is first Alexander and then Edmund. Both brothers are in their student outfits. And then there is a picture of both of them in front of the Völkerschlacht-Denkmal in Leipzig.

Alexander ca 1916

Leipzig ca. 1925

Edmund ca 1925

Alexander und Edmund am Voelkerschlachts Denkmal after 1925

Alexander, Charlotte, Ilse, Edmund 1925

Alexander and Charlotte are my parents. They were married on the 25th of September 1930. Earlier that year, that is in 1930, Alexander promoted to Dr. phil and Edmund, I think, to Dr. rer.pol. The above picture is from 1925 when Alexander and Edmund first met Charlotte and Ilse. Charlotte was only fourteen years old at the time. Her sister Ilse was eighteen. Below is my parents’ wedding photo from the 25th of September 1930.

25.9.1930

ca 1930

Ostern 1935 mit Oleg

Above is another photo of Dad from 1930. The next photo was taken around Easter of 1935.

Dad is holding me. I had been born on the 21st of September 1934. So I am about six months in that picture.

2-06-2009 5;02;29 PM

In the above picture Dad is probably not quite forty yet. And then there is the photo of the Grandparents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary in Litzmannstadt (Lodz) in November of 1943. On the left is my sixteen year old cousin Ursula; next are Dad and Mum and I in front beside Grossmutter (Grandma). I am nine years old.

Golden Wedding (2)

Below now is the picture that was taken in June of 1938 soon after the home-birth of my brother Bodo. Since February of 1930 Ilse had been married to Adolf Schlinke. They owned this beautiful car, called ‘Wanderer’.
Grossvater Josef Spickermann (Granddad) was in Berlin for a visit. Presumably to see Bodo, his new grandson. The Schlinkes took Granddad, Dad and me for an outing in their car. The picture was taken in Berlin at the Reichssportfeld. Dad is in the picture on the left.

The next picture is taken at the Baltic seaside resort of Graal/Müritz in 1940. In the ‘Strandkorb’ are Mum and Tante Ilse, Dad is standing next to them.

Oleg,Joseph,Ilse,Ute an Schlinkes Wagen

Alexander mit Charlotte und Ilse Graal Mueritz 1940

I copied three more photos, probably all from the 1950s. The first one is Dad in his office, the two others are party photos with Dad and his family. In the last photo are Dad and his three sisters and two brothers.

In the Office MNid 1950

Lies, Alfred, Gertrud, Alexander,Ludwig, Horst 13.5.1964

Geschw. Spickermann, Alexander, Ludwig, Jenny, Olga, Lies, Edmund 13.5.1964

My Paternal Grandparents

24 May

Haus von Josef und Hulda Spickermann during the 40ties

Above the house of Josef and Hulda Spickermann in Lodz during the years before the end of World War Two.

Josef Alexander and Hulda celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in November 1943. All their children with all their spouses and most of the grandchildren were present. Josef and Hulda had three daughters and three sons: Olga, Jenny, Elisabeth (Lies) and Edmund (E), Alexander (Oleg) and Ludwig (Luttek). I have a picture of the Golden Wedding with everyone in it. I tried and tried to copy it for this blog. For some reason it was not possible to do it. Maybe one day I will find a way, to still include this picture of the whole family.

My father was the second son of Josef and Hulda. He married my mother, Irma Charlotte Summerer, on the 30th of September 1930. My mother was only nineteen at the time. Four years later, on the 21st of September 1934, I was born. In June of 1935 my parents travelled with me to Lodz (Poland) to visit Dad’s family there. My mother and I, we did not have our own passports. We were included in Dad’s passport as can be seen in the following picture.

Passport 1935

As far as I know we stayed in Lodz with Tante Lies and Onkel Alfred. I have several pictures that show me with their son Horst who was born on the 7th of February 1935. Tante Lies was about the same age as my mother. Whereas Onkel Alred was twenty years older than his wife. He owned huge properties. We always thought they were rich.

Juni 1935 in Haeuslers Pk Lodz

In the above picture I am in the pram with my cousin Horst. There are also cousins George and Gerd, the sons of Tante Olga as well as cousin Ursula, the daughter of Jenny. (Olga and Jenny were of course the older sisters of my mother.) The picture is taken in the park of the Häuslers, Horst’s parents.

Ute ist 6 Wochen alt

When I was six weeks old the grandparents, Hulda and Josef, came to Berlin for a visit, where they saw me for the first time. They were proud to have a grandchild by one of their sons. (Their other two sons did not have any children yet at the time). I think my twenty-three year old mother looks very pretty in that picture.

9.Juni 1938 Bodo ist nur ein paar Stunden alt

On the 9th of June 1938 my brother Bodo Alexander was born. He was born at home in our apartment in Berlin, Bozener Strasse. Here in this picture he is only a few hours old. I was thrilled to have a baby brother! I believed the ‘Klapperstorch’ had brought him. Mum’s sister Ilse was very excited about this addition to the family as well. Later on I always heard stories about how this home delivery took place. And I did sleep through all of it. When I woke up in the morning, Tante Ilse led me to the cot in the parent’s bedroom. And surprise, surprise, der Klapperstorch had brought a beautiful baby boy. There he was lying in the cot!

Ute mit Opa Spickerman am Reichssportfeld Juni 1938

Here I am with Opa Spickermann at the ‘Reichssportfeld’ in June 1938 soon after the birth of brother Bodo. I was a time when Mum still had to stay in bed. Tante Ilse and her husband Adolf Schlinke owned a ‘Wanderer’ car. In that they drove Dad, Opa and me to the Reichssportfeld for an outing. Probably so Opa could see a bit of Berlin. Presumably he had come all the way from Lodz to Berlin to see his first born grandson by the name of Spickermann.

Dad, Granddad, Tante Ilse and little Uta, (I guess, Onkel Addi took the picture.)

Dad, Granddad, Tante Ilse and little Uta,
(I guess, Onkel Addi took the picture.)

This is a picture of Dad's sisters from 1927 in Lodz.

This is a picture of Dad’s sisters from 1927 in Lodz.

And here is the Golden Wedding Anniversary picture from November 1943 that we were finally able to find.

Golden Wedding (2)

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