My long standing ‘networking friend’ Barbara had talked to me about this amazing story and yesterday I picked up her package in our Sorting Office. It cannot but make me cry.
How often do I imagine what my mum had told me?
Born in 1922, she had gone to a boarding school in Dresden and loved the museums and theatres there. Hence her father advised her in February 1945 to take me (born in September 1944) and go to stay with her former landlady. That was the last time she saw her father who knew that ‘the Russians’ were coming to Silesia, where my mum’s heart and soul always remained, despite her changing cooking places over 40 times on her odyssey as a refugee…
My mum was 22 when Dresden was bombarded and her landlady’s house was the only one left in the whole street. So she used my nappies before her mouth to enable her to breathe and walk, walk, walk with me in her pram and 75 kg ‘flight luggage’, as she called it – the reason for her back pains later…
Apparently I was too traumatised to even cry. My baby bum was the sorest a nurse had ever seen, but I didn’t cry. Maybe that’s what trained me for experiencing pain every day since 10 January 1973, when the car fell 25 feet and dislocated my hip as well as a whiplash…
Somehow my mum managed to get to Thale in the Harz mountains where the family was to meet again. Somehow she got a note from my father who had swum through the Elbe river in order to become an American rather than Russian POW.
And somehow we managed to move North where my father got a job and my first brother was born. And thus my pan-German life began: growing up in the North (Bremerhaven), finishing school in the South (Munich), studying in the middle (Darmstadt) and starting working life in Geneva, Switzerland, at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) where the web was born.
In 1981 I came to London with the vision of a Peace Network of people and computers protecting our planet. I met Barbara on the occasion of a conference regarding the monetary system that is responsible for wars and soo many other problems on earth.
In 1989, my brother phoned to tell me that the Berlin wall had come down, and we spent Christmas and New Year with my then husband with his three children in Berlin, chipping away our own pieces of the Wall which I put next to that special and magnificent piece of glass.
In 1994, we moved my mum to the house he had purchased in the little village in Havelland which became my ‘soul home’.
My mum told me that she had thought the six hours of reconsecration service on 30 October 2005 made her forget the horrors of the Dresden bombing.
When we did visit Dresden together, I bought the above post card. We obviously spent a long time in the Fraunkirche whose glass I received yesterday – from Gisela via Barbara – and only because the Berlin Wall had come down…
May future generations suffer less!
May the Evil that has plagued our planet recede and desist!
And may the Powers of Goodness, Love, Peace and Reconciliation WIN!!!