Corinna and the Family

Corinna, my niece, is the daughter of Klaudia and my brother Peter Uwe. She is the one who introduced me to WordPress. And this is how I came up with the blog name Aunty Uta.

Corinna has a son named Carlos Emilio. It was his birthday the other day and I forgot it. I am really becoming very forgetful! Corinna’s partner and the father of Carlos is Walter. Carlos has an older half-brother who lives with his mother but comes regularly for visits. The two brothers get on very well together.

So this is a bit more history. For an outsider all these names and connections may be rather confusing. I too seem to get to that stage now, where it is somewhat difficult to keep up with all the names. This is why it is good for me to write everything down. This way everything may stick a bit better in my memory. Also some of my descendants could in future perhaps be interested in all this, that is, if, what I write down is going to be preserved somehow for posterity!!

Maybe I am going to publish my posts about marriages and divorces and separations and partnerships in my “pages” one day to keep them all together. That way someone who is interested in my family can look it up all at once. I find it interesting to contemplate about different living arrangements that people have. Looking at my extended family there are various examples of different ways of living together. What about single persons? Well, there are not many in my family that I can think of. But there are some. I can also think of one single parent with one child. Most divorced people in my family seem to have ended in some kind of new relationship, either a new marriage or just a partnership.

I think I did not mention one brother of my father who as a widower married a widow. Other widowed relatives stayed on their own after their spouse passed away. And so it goes. All my relatives, who were older than I, seem to have passed away now. I cannot think of any that are still alive. That means I am well and truly the oldest in my family!! 🙂

In Peter’s family I can think of several people older than him who are still alive: For instance his two sisters, also cousins Margot and Renate. I had three older cousins on my father’s side: All are dead. However there are a number of younger cousins that are still alive. I really would like to see all of them one more time.

On my mother’s side there were only three cousins all together, all older than I. Come to think of it, one of the cousins, Wolfgang, the son of my mother’s brother, may still be alive. He is eight years my senior. So I am probably not the oldest after all!! 🙂

Wolfgang’s twin sister, Renate, died in October 2012. At the time we happened to be in Berlin for a visit. Renate died in Munich. We travelled from Berlin to Munich for Renate’s funeral. Soon after I wrote a blog about this.

In Memory of Charlotte, my Mother

This is a passport photo of my mother Charlotte before she got sick.
This is a passport photo of my mother Charlotte before she got sick. We do not know for sure, but she may have suffered a certain kind of memory loss later on.
A few Years later another Passport-Photo was taken of her.
A few Years later another Passport-Photo was taken of her.

We did fly BRITISH AIRWAYS in 1994. We departed London/Heathrow Airport on Saturday, 19th of November at 12.45 and arrived at Tegel Airport/Berlin less than an hour later.

We moved in with my brother Peter Uwe who lived at the time with our mother in a spacious apartment in Berlin-Charlottenburg. For about ten days we stayed there and of course saw Charlotte every day. Once every day a woman would arrive to see after Charlotte’s personal needs. Peter Uwe was still a teacher and had to leave his mother on her own during the day.

Towards the end of November we left Berlin in a rental car. We had planned on going again to Windischgarsten, Austria, where Peter’s sister Eva lives with her husband Harald.

Our tour down south led us first of all to Wittenberg for a break at lunchtime. There was a Christmas Fair (Weihnachtsmarkt).I remember we were able to buy there delicious freshly baked potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer). A bit further on we noticed to our delight at some building our Australian flag! There happened to be an exhibition in that building about Australian  aborigines.

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From Wittenberg we went on to Radebeul near Dresden. This is were famous author Karl May had lived. We knew that they had a Karl May Museum in this town. So we went there for a visit. It brought back to me old memories about the noble Winnetou and his friend Old Shatterhand. Soon it was nighttime and we booked into a small hotel at Radebeul.

The following day we spent visiting Dresden. The Frauenkirche was still in ruins. Money was raised for its restoration. This is where I got my Swiss watch. The proceeds of this purchase helped towards the restoration of the church! There was a lovely Weihnachtsmarkt in Dresden too where we bought some food at lunchtime.

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Our next overnight stay was in a hotel in Bad Schandau, a pleasant little spa town at the Elbe River near the Czech border. We took a walk through a wooded area and actually reached the Czech border!

I took this picture of Peter and Caroline where it said that this is the Czech border!
I took this picture of Peter and Caroline where it said that this is the Czech border!

Well, we had not planned to take a direct tour to Austria. We first wanted to see on the way a bit of Germany . During the 1990s we did not have mobile phones. I guess we could have stayed in touch with Berlin or sister Eva via a hotel telephone. But we only rang Eva when we reached Trockau in Bavaria. It was 2 pm on the 2nd of December (I made a note of it!)  Peter talked to his sister Eva, wanting to give her an indication when we might arrive at her place. “Did you ring Berlin yet?” she asked. “No, why?” And then Eva said to ring straight away. “Yesterday Uta’s mother has had a stroke and is in hospital!”
(My brother Peter Uwe had been ringing Peter’s sister Ilse who had been ringing her sister Eva.)

We did ring Berlin then of course and said to my brother we would straight away come to Berlin. We reached Berlin late at night. Peter Uwe was waiting for us and went with us to the hospital. My mother did not recover and died during the night from the 21st to the 22nd of December.

On the 13th of January 1995 we were back in Australia. My mother was to be cremated. Only there was a severe backlog at the time. The cremation could only be done well into February. And the funeral service could only be held after the cremation. Well, this was the German way of doing it. It upset me terribly. Yes, this was very difficult for me.

Peter Uwe, my brother, had been living separated from Klaudia, his wife, for some time.  Peter Uwe had a new partner already. Her name is Astrid. At the time Klaudia and Astrid did not like each other, not at all. But over the years this has changed. I think they are at ease with each other now whenever they happen to meet. Peter Uwe and Klaudia have a daughter, Corinna, who was at my mum’s funeral, also Klaudia and of course Peter Uwe. Astrid was not there. Just two more people were there: Our cousin Wolfgang and his wife Gisela.

These are the five people who were at my mum's funeral.
These are the five people who were at my mum’s funeral.
This building is at the entrance to the cemetary (Städtischer Friedhof Schöneberg)
This building is at the entrance to the cemetary (Städtischer Friedhof Schöneberg)

I guess the funeral service would have been held in there. We took the above picture in 2010 when Klaudia had the idea to show us the spot where Mum’s urn is buried anonymously amongst other urns on a beautiful lawn. The following pictures are the ones Peter Uwe sent us from the day of the funeral.

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This stone we recognised in 2010 when Klaudia showed us the cemetery. Where these flowers are from the day of the funeral is presumably where Mum's urn was buried.
This stone we recognised in 2010 when Klaudia showed us the cemetery. Where these flowers are from the day of the funeral is presumably where Mum’s urn was buried.
And here is the stone we saw in 2010.
And here is the stone we saw in 2010.

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Childhood Memories

I have now two pages about my childhood. One is just “Uta’s Early Childhood”, the other one is “Uta’s Early Childhood, Part II”. In the Part II I inserted today some pictures about my sixth birthday in 1940 plus one picture from summer of 1942. All these pictures were taken during the war, World War II that is, when we lived in Berlin, Germany.

Did we suffer during the first years of war? I don’t think so. Except that my father had moved away from Berlin. He became the manager in grandfather’s furniture factory in Lodz, Poland, which since the German occupation in 1939 was called Litzmannstadt. My father had grown up in Lodz. His family had lived in Lodz since the early 1800s, when this part of Poland belonged to Russia.

My father had studied in Leipzig, Germany. In 1930 he had married my mother in Leipzig. During the early years of their marriage they had for the most part lived in Berlin. Sometime during the early war years my father had some disagreements with some Nazi people he worked with in Berlin. I think he didn’t voice his disagreements publicly. Had he done so, he may have ended up in a concentration camp!

In the end he was allowed to remove himself from Berlin. As I said he became then the manager in grandfather’s factory. My mother typically chose to stay with us children in Berlin. We only went for some visits to “Litzmannstadt”.