Here is the next part (and hopefully not the last part) of Monika's childhood memories.
Part three of my early youth in torn apart Germany and an eye witness account of a barely 14 year old girl, named Monika. I was there when the wall came up and was build,
he situation in East Berlin became worse for Mom’s family, everyone over there. Everything of worth was taken by the Russians, no infra structure was repaired, they stood in long line at the bakery and grocery store until they run out of food and people had to go home empty handed. The East German Mark was worth nothing....my Mom’s younger sister was gang raped by the Russian's, and committed suicide. She was so young and so damaged and could not live with this.
Mom heard after a while on the radio that visitors were allowed to come via train to East Berlin.
While Dad worked very hard and long hours at the largest ships yard in Kiel, Howald GMBH, to make ends meet for us. At Summer vacation from school Mom packed our suitcases and smuggled coffee, oranges, tea, cocoa and bread and such that they could not get in East Berlin among-st our clothes in the suit cases.
It was not allowed and confiscated by the Russians if found and you may be incarcerated in the East for smuggling. When I was old enough to know, I was terrified, as the Russian Border police VOPO as in Volks Polizei (folks policei) searched everyone and everything at the border. Miraculously Mom made it every time thru and they did not find her smuggled stuff.
Her family was grateful every summer we came. They had fixed up a small Garden house, enlarged it with material from the rubble and wreckage around them and made it into a large livable home and had enough room now to accommodate us, Mom, my two siblings and I. They also had cleared some land around them from the ruble and had planted a huge garden and fruit trees to help themselves out with food, since you could not get anything in East Berlin.
So we children ate from the garden fresh fruits, veggies, berries until we were sick to our tummies.
Until one day in August of 1961 the unspeakable began. My Aunt had the radio on in the morning as usually after breakfast was done, dishes were washed and there it came. The radio Announcer stated the Russian Tanks had just rolled up at the Brandenburg Gate, huge rolls of barbed wire 8 feet high were going across and they would close the borders up. My Aunt and Uncle freaked out, throwing everything in our suitcases carelessly, tried to close them and Aunty said we might have to try to get out at a different spot in East Berlin, I mean they could not be everywhere at the same time.
Until the Radio Announcer stopped the music again and announced that any visitors with passes could of course get out and go home. What a scare that was!
At that point, we all took the train to the Brandenburg Gate ourselves to see and sure enough there it was barbed wire 6-8 feet high across the street at the Brandenburg Gate and Russian Tanks right next to us as we watched them closing up.
Some East Berliner’s tried to get to the West Berliner side risking everything and were stopped by Russian Soldiers and send back to the Eastern Side. We took a day trip to Prenzlauer Berg too and see, and sure enough there they had already started building the wall. After that my Mom decided we better get home to Kiel, it was such a shock and a terrible sad good bye. Because at that time we did not know if we ever would see Mom’s family again.
I still know Berlin like my Jeans pocket, and always have loved that city. Thankfully we have been back numerous, numerous times and always smuggled goods. No one in East Berlin was ever allowed to leave, not even for vacations. The Russians were afraid that these peeps would not come back and work at their Russian Economy, so they can milk them for everything the owned. Especially the young and healthy workers. At some point the elderly were allowed to get out for vacation and the Russians did not care of they came back, That was a good thing for the Russian economy, they did not have to pay retirement pensions for them anymore if they stayed out and did not come back home.
I know that this is not the end of the story...because one day Monika came here, to America.
And through the wonders of on line retailing, we met.
(You can visit Monika's shop MyEuropeanTouch here).
Plus we got to meet in real life too. You can read about our visit here...
Monika is the lovely lady in white, and I'm in purple. And trust me, she is a beautiful inside as she is outside. I just love her!
How many friends have you met here in the virtual world? And how many of you have been lucky enough to have those friends become family? I know I'm lucky to have Monika.
God binds His family together, fitly joined, for eternity.