Kurt Hermann Titze

Journal of
Kurt Hermann Titze
Born: July 25, 1911
Died: October 31, 1977
     I have memories since my third year. My mother held me in her arms as she waved good-bye to my father's brother who left for the First World War in 1914. He was a high point in our home. His picture hung with great importance in our parent's room. He was the first in the community to be killed in the war. My father did not have to go to war. As a blacksmith, he kept the railroad cars in good repair. At that time we moved to Hartouer Street, number 62. Before that we lived along the Bober River in a bigger family home. The uncle who was killed in the war lived with us there and spoiled us with presents. My parents lived in this house until the Polish drove them out. It was our homeland; we experienced beautiful and difficult days there.
   As little boys we played circle games with the girls. At seven years of age, life brought the first disappointments. We we six brothers and sisters and in the four years of war there was little to eat. My parents sent me to my grandparents. They had a blacksmith shop and farming land in a small village. (Nimmersath)  
                                        (Kurt's own drawing of the blacksmith shop in Nimmersath)
They promised to give me a train set at Christmas. I experienced very sad Christmases there and never received the promised train. Often I wept all day from homesickness. I never got over the sadness of being taken from a happy childhood for those three years. In my seventh year I walked four hours to go home. However, half way there, a butcher picked me up in his wagon. I probally would have had to stay longer but my aunt took in a foster daughter. They spoiled her and I became the little servant. Grandfather had severe asthma and gave the blacksmith shop over to Uncle Gustav. With my grandfather I had beautiful days. In the cold winter days I sat alongside his blacksmith fire.
     I was a big dreamer. When I went into the neighboring village to buy sausage, I often brought back the wrong kind. I had a deep, peaceful response to my home as I would come back to my village and look down upon the steeples of the small houses. I was never able to have that feeling in a rented home. My mother and father were born in Nimmersath and half the village was related to one another. There were ruins of a castle still owned by a Count Wilhelm. He financed a considerable Christmas party in our school.
                                        (These are examples of nearby castles, from old postcards)
 The foster daughter brought my relatives much work and worry because she invited six to seven children into the house. Later in my life I would come by with a car on a business trip only to find my dreams and expectations unfufilled.
   When I came back home at the age of nine there was still poverty. I went to work with many older children on the common grounds. During vacations we were sometimes held back in school and then we would work from six in the morning until seven at night. In school of all the subjects, writing, was the most difficult. I would sit shaking at the slate. A little girl, playmate, who I particulary liked and who was always ahead of me in class until we were eighteen, was envious of me in later life. When we worked in the field and in the fruit trees it was always so refreshing to wash in the stream. Sometimes we would go to work in a neighboring village in a pick-up truck. Along the way we would grab apples off the trees. At the beginning of winter the hunting would begin. On Christmas we would go to a party at the castle in Lommnitz. The keeper would bring many pretty girls in his car to the party.
    In the winter evenings I enjoyed putting together models, drawing and sculpting. I was given the best grades in school for these subjects. I began the sport of skiing as a young child. My first skis we very heavy, of the Stellmacher make. They were however more effective than the skis I tried to make for myself from pine wood. I bought the skis with my own money. I also purchased used tires for a bicycle which my uncle gave me.
     One time I received a very severe punishment. I was gone from the house in the winter until ten o'clock. My brothers and sisters searched for me for hours. I lost the bread stamps and some money for all the members of the household. On the next day I did receive a beating and had to carry some heavy loads of coal which I collected from the railroad yard. My father was a good man but he had a violent temper. Mother beat us seldom but she often complained to my father. My older sister did not have it much better since she was sickly from birth. The two younger sisters were more spoiled.
  When it was time to choose a profession my father wanted me to be a locksmith and I had some other apprenticeships in mind. My teacher suggested the profession of stonemason and so my mother accompanied me to a workshop. There I learned only masonry and I would have gladly quit. Drawing was my passion and I had opportunity to take private lessons on Sundays . The vocation teacher took me with him to the high school workshops for hours at a time. This allowed me to reach back in a chapter of my childhood.
    I bought an accordion which I gave to a friend in exchange for mandolin lessons. We were three fellows with mandolins and a girl with guitar. When the weather was bad we gave house concerts which my father loved  and when the weather was good, we went hiking. For a while I had unsavory friends with whom I played cards. My parents gave me a lot of personal freedom. I wanted to experience everything. I was, however, always delivered from danger. Especially from those experiences in the Riesengebirge.
    I was between fifteen and sixteen years old and the skis I had were not to my liking. 
                                                            (Old fashioned European skis)
Skis were not cheap at that time. There were three of us all the same age; we went over the border. Before Christmas in the Hirschberger valley there was little snow. We wanted to go to the peak of the mountain and the trip meant we traveled by streetcar and a long way on foot. The peak in clear weather was wonderful. The ski run on the way up to Spindlerpass was deep under snow and very icy. In nice weather the traffic was heavy. Then runs were in the sun which burned the tender skin. We had to carry the skis up or use the lift. If you could get down the course without dragging bottom you were a mighty good skier. My wife was also a daring skier. I learned a great deal about skiing on that first trip.
    I have digreased here from the story to explain more to the readers who may not be able to imagine the mountains in winter. Once I wanted to go sking there with my cousin but a storm made it impossible. It tossed us about like a pair of sticks. Every year the mountain would claim at least one life. Either they lost their footing on the icy slopes or they fell off a hidden hill. Or perhaps they fell down out of exhaustion and froze to death. We were saved from this fate due to our audacious youth. Up on the top it was like being in a ship on the open sea. We were without compass and without a guide, often up to our knees in snow since the sheets of ice would break through. On the Bomerwald in the afternoon sun was fantastic. I can still see myself up to my breast in snow. Sometimes I would get a cramp in my leg and feel exhausted.
     On a particular trip we noticed a hidden rooftop of a little cabin in the sunshine. We found ourselves by a man who outfitted skiers. We rested in his room and he let us try on his ultra light skis. All our discomforts we're forgotten.  We soon had to find our way home. As we descended with our skis, we came upon a tollbooth. The official could not advise us of the way back.

                                              (This is an old 1900 picture of Peterbaude) 
It was seven or eightclock before we were back on the Peterboude. Outside of the Schneekoppe this was the best lodging on the mountain. It was furnished like a high class hotel. We finally made our departure because we worried about missing the last streetcar at home. As we came out of the building we could hardly see the hands before our eyes. Very soon the snow would be falling straight down. I had a flashlight in my hand and I put my poles between my legs. This was the only way to maneuser down the steep slope. Along the way we had to go back for one of our companions because he had fallen over a slope. We had to pull him out with our ski poles.
      After two or three years I broke these skis. I can still remember all these moves. During my apprenticeship when I was laid off, and during every snow, I maneuvered around every curve. Near us on the meadow and further up on the peak there was ski instruction with groups. I quietly waited nearby and watched what they learned and then found a place where I was alone to practice what I had learned. I broke the tip of my skis off during a jump, but I could still do jumps with one leg. I spent a lot of time going backwards. I could even do a small jump in the air, which no one else could do. If you haven't wallowed in the snow, you haven't practiced enough.

Salt Lake City, August 15, 1958
   Now here in America I will record my life memories. My writing is much worse especially if you add the fact that I am learning the English language. The April before I turned eighteen I left home to pursue more learning. I was disappointed to leave a young lady who could not accept my affection because I was a stonemason. My father worried about the high unemployment. As I arrived in the beautiful and artistic city of Dresden I had an experience. I was walking in the middle of the city which was totally unfamiliar and I rented a room in a hotel. I set my baggage in the room and grabbed my swimming clothes and started to look for an indoor swimming pool. It was wonderful! After, I tried to remember what hotel I had registered.
I must have walked for hours trying to find it. I wandered down a street where prostitutes grabbed my arm and tried tom take me with them. I finally found the hotel.
    The next day I went looking for a job. A large palace was being refurbished and many stonemasons we working there. They sent me to the main workshop where grave stones were manufactured. Grave stones were the most in demand, so I was hired there. I did not know much about letter engraving but I was taught by an old master.
                                                                 (University at Dresden)
    Immediately I looked for art classes in night school. In the summer I was laid off and found a better paying job, only to be laid off again in the fall. I received unemployment compensation so was able to take classes in the winter semester. Sundays I visited art museums and sketched.
    During the Christmas holidays I went home and since my mother also worked I helped her with the Christmas preparations. I was able to generously give to my brothers and sisters because I has saved 500 DM. I also visited  dance instruction and these activities made me feel very mature. I had reached the wish of my dreams because I was a student. I still have my student card today. Two of my sons have achieved this goal as well, but only with help from home. My older son might have reached this step had he not had the experience I will relate to you next.
    Before Christmas Eve I was mentally clear. In Dresden I was acquainted with a graduate student who took me to many gatherings. I read many books on art history . This friend was a son of rich parents. They lived in a villa with an elevator. His parents did not approve of his art studies so he lived in one small room. He knew the famous dancer Marrie Wigynoun. I had the opportunity to be invited to a ball and danced with all the female students of my professors. One thing is certain; older men with gray hair were charming to women. At a presentation of dramatic readings I was introduced to the daughter of a government official. I can imagine my background did not measure up to her expectations.
   Now comes the account of the illness of my soul. My memories are still very clear of all the foolish things I did. After Christmas and during New Years Eve my cousin Gertrude Lachman came to visit. My interest in her caught fire and other girls seemed silly to me in comparison. She was eight years older than I was and worked in more worldly places. I believe she gave me a fleeting kiss on the train. I went back to Dresden and I assume I was no longer thinking clearly since I withdrew money from the bank, purchased a small diamond ring, left school and traveled back home. I announced to my parents that I wanted to marry my cousin. I believe my parents cried because they could see I was not mentally stable. They could not help me and I left that night to go to my cousin in Gottesberg. She felt more kindness than love for me. We took a walk in the moonlight; I had big plans.
   I believed she would support my big fantasies. She traveled with me to Dreden and kept me from becoming mentally lost. She looked for a job. I asked the professor if she could be an art model. The professor gave me a special project. I think he had confidence that I could work with his students. One of my dreams was building underground structures and I sent Henry Ford blueprints of my ideas due to a book I read of his. Perhaps my cousin was now convinced I was losing reality. Over the next few weeks I slept very little. If I could describe some of my experiences I would say that I spent my time like an insane person. My cousin was employed in Berlin and we traveled there by train to visit a friend of hers who wanted to commit suicide. We took her to the hospital but she did not seem comforted.
    After traveling back to Dresden I visited my cousins apartment as I was very lonely. Her landlord was out of town and the downstairs apartment was lovely. She baked something sweet and we listened to records. One was the Tuselli Serenade. This piece brought my ilness to a climax. She put me to bed behind a Spanish wall in the kitchen. After cleaning up she came to my bedside. Before this I never had a relationship with a girl. She was very alert and had she not been something much worse could have happened. Suddenly the door opened and the landlord walked in. I hid under the blanket. The lady wanted to take a bath in the kitchen where I was hiding. She came so close I could feel her breath. I finally had a chance to escape out the bathroom window. This was my first romantic adventure.
     Now my spirit worked in fevered frenzy. The week of my mental breakdown I hardly slept at all. One evening about ten o'clock I completely broke down. An ambulance picked me up. They handled me with kindness, gave me tranquilizers, and put me in a cell. This finished me. The odd thing is that I remembered everything even though I was not in my right mind. I was there for two weeks until they took me to an asylum in Hirschberg. It would take half the book to tell all the experiences there. I felt like a caged animal. Sometimes I felt like God hovering above all. I know I had to learn to walk again. I felt the need to work so I scrubbed floors along the corridor. I pushed myself to draw again.
                                    (An example of Kurt's sketches, Gabriele age 18)
 Spring came and I wished to kiss the ground. In the evening while it was still light, I sat in bed behind barred windows and looked out into the garden. I saw a pretty girl watering flowers. The desire to be free grew within me and I became more lucid around others who were still insane. It was July when my parents came for me. I remember one patient who told me his wife brought him there against his will. He would often scream, "Lydia!"  She never came to visit so he thought she had run off with someone else.
   My philosophy is that relatives can bring a patient back to reality with kindness and love better than an institution. I did not have a relapse although my business and the mastery test stressed my mind greatly. After spending two to three months with my parents resting, I got a job on the railroad. It was very hard for me. We would often unload a whole car of garbage and debris. I was weak compared tom the other men on the job.
    In the spring I went back to my own profession . We made a great deal of money in the summer so I did not need unemployment compensation in the winter. We did have a bad time when the boss could not make his payroll.
    Again at New Year's Eve I met a girl at a dance.
   Her brother asked me to see her home because he wanted to go off with his girlfriend. I was glad to know Marta and develop a relationship with her. I did not foresee that it would be a relationship for life. I liked her better everyday and was jealous of other young men who lived close by her. She was also writing a waiter. We went bathing together and I taught her how to swim. She had such dainty thighs. Her mother did not approve of me so we stopped seeing each other for a few days. Other girls no longer interested me. Her father asked me over to play Skart (a card game) and I kept losing because my mind was not on the game. After half a year the the fellow she was writing to gave up because we were together every day. Our being together was now inevitable.

     We had a wonderful winter. I bought her skis which we took along the paths of the Hirschberger pinewoods. Marta was a courageous skier. We went to the mountains together where we often had to drag bottoms to stop.
    The times we getting worse, even Marta's father was unemployed. I did not want my girl to have to go to work in a factory or go into service in someone's house so we agreed to get married.

      (From a small sheet of paper found with Kurt's things:
   While sking we found a little house in the middle of the forest. A doctor owned it. He had  been building little houses as health retreats for his patients but had gone bankrupt and abandoned his venture. We began our honeymoon there and lived there during the summer of 1933. We had to carry up water and store it in an old bathtub on the balcony. After going down the mountain it was still one-half hour to work on my bicycle. When we visited our parents in Hirschberg I took Marta on top of the handlebars on the bicycle. Three months later the neighboring house burned down. Marta witnessed the woman of the house pulling her crippled husband out of the fire. Marta was traumatized and from then on did not like being alone on the mountain. She would often come down the mountain to meet me after work. On my birthday July 25, 1933, we celebrated our last day at the house with Marta's brother Walter and his wife Klare. It was a beautiful night. Then we moved to Hirschberg into an ugly apartment with my in-laws.)

     While we were skiing we found a small house. The owner put in a wood stove and we painted the walls and doors. We brought water from a nearby well. I had quite a bit of work but the employer could not pay so we took furniture as compensation. After half a year the neighbor house burned down and our ideal was disturbed. My wife did not like being alone. She spent some time with her parents. We had a beautiful German Shepard. In the neighboring house a crippled man lived with his wife. She would bring him out to sit outdoors. We finally said our good-byes to this little house on the balcony with a bottle of wine, on a beautiful moonlit night.
    We rented a large flat with the in-laws. My boss was having an even harder time paying us so he wanted me to see if I could collect from his debtors. I ended up doing that by starting my own business. I had a different experience from my boss, my customers paid me. I built a workshop on the back half of the garden and soon I had my own stock and supply. In 1933 our first son was born. 

Germany went forward even though the depression was strong. I found work using my special skill as an artist to offer something special. I received an order for a gravestone for a miller exceeding 1000 DM.
  After a few years, Hertwig joined me as a partner. He brought a car with him and we enjoyed many drives into the mountains on business trips. The business doubled in size as we purchased a stone polishing machine. In 1939 the dream collapsed. Hitler wanted soldiers although I was not the first to be drafted. My brother died in Poland and my brother-in-law in France.
   Before the war broke out we had a vacation to the North Sea. My wife was carrying her second child. She was often ill. It was wonderful to be with our son Goetz. We visited many hot springs along the sea. On the way home we could barely get enough gasoline. The street was filled with troops. The enthusiasm to work left everyone. Hertwig was soon to leave. During the Polish campaign I was still held back because my second son was born. Because of this I was in bootcamp during the French offensive, and later released for two months of vacation.

    In 1941, as the war with Russia broke out I entered the army on the 4th of July and Ingo was born on the 8th. I was not allowed to go back until a short time later. We baptized Ingo and celebrated with Hertwig, Walter, and my sister.
    I went back to outfit the barracks. They asked me to draw and paint pictures of Hitler, Goering, and others on the walls. As compensation I received a course in truck maintenance.

 The drawing of truck parts was very interesting as well as the driving lessons. I would feel homesickness whenever I saw a home a-light or whenever I saw a girl or woman at the piano. Shortly before Christmas the time came for leave but we were instead given orders to go to the front. The Lieutenant told me that if I went I could progress faster in rank. I told him that I had a wife and three children and that I valued coming home in one piece. I was called back to my writing room where I stayed with my art renderings. A younger man volunteered and took my place. I received further education in drafting which gave me great joy.

   On January 22, 1942, I was called to a replacement battalion in Oberstein. I thought I saw my wife at the table, on her birthday, as the train went through Hirschberg. I thought we might be going to Goerlitz via Breslau but instead we went to Kohlfurt. We were enroute 2-3 weeks. We played cards on the train to keep from getting homesick. As we traveled through Poland it became colder and colder until reaching Russia where there was endless snow. We often only had snow instead of drinking water. If the train stopped at a large station we got off the train to find soup to eat. Once Russian prisoners came by the train. They let us beat them with sticks for a crust of bread. Beside the train tracks we also saw Russian women who were being sent to labor camps in Germany.

    As we approached the battle front we were shot at with MG's. Many soldiers left the train to fight but we went deeper into the Russian woods until we were only 50 miles outside of Moscow. We saw the tops of the tanks which were lined up along then streets of Moscow.
    The assault on Moscow failed and the German soldiers had to retreat into the winter landscape. Many had frostbite and some froze to death. Then we marched two days and two nights up along the road. We saw suffering and malnutrition. The front came closer as we marched. Sometimes we had to lie in the snow lie sardines on bales of straw. If you asked how we endured I would say you become like an animal. The greatest joy is eating and resting even if it is in the mud. There was nothing that warmed the heart more than obtaining food. We saw patriots who were hanged from trees.
    We found an old hut by a farmhouse and started a small fire inside for warmth. The walls were covered with newspaper clippings to keep out the light. These small fires would give us a little light to read or to search for lice or fleas. We had to leave because the hut burned to the ground.
   Lying along the roadway would be Russian women and their naked children. The German soldiers took the bread crumbs away from these starving Russians. Horseflesh was a delicacy. We cut trees and built bunkers. Once two children walked out from the front line. A ten-year old had a gun shot wound. The other child, a 14 year-old girl, was being dragged by her pig-tails because these children were thought to be spies.
     The weather was often wonderful sunshine and sometimes the front was quiet. Disease spread everywhere and I was overcome. I began to retain water and my skin was swollen as if it would pop. The water retention went away but I was not healthy for six months. Some comrades died.
     The greatest joy of my life came when I was shipped home to recover in a hospital back in my homeland. I was finally back in civilization where I could sleep between sheets,have light to see, and someone waiting upon me. Soldiers live in such filth day in and day out.  Month after month we patrolled the front line and became hardened to our condition. But my situation changed. For two weeks I lay in a hospital in a fortification in Konigsburg.
   I was overjoyed to be going back to my homeland to Lebauch, in the Sauerland. I stayed there six months and my wife came to visit two times with the children. 

We were also visited by BDM volunteers. One lady was so surprised to hear my son call me "Papa".

   I sketched all my comrades and became quite famous. A sketch of my superior was especially good. He had a really big stomach and a potato

Iike nose. He sat for me about an hour. The head doctor was impressed and posed for a portrait as well. It was uncomfortable for me to correct them, when they shifted and changed position, as they were officers. I painted the doctor in oil and also a sweet girl with a delicate forehead which I did not kiss as some of my comrades did. Because of my artistic gift I had a lot of freedom to meet people and socialize.

    Today is the 20th of April, 1968. It has been many years since the war. My children and I have survived well without lack of food or money. I will continue writing my life memories. So, in the spring of 1943, I went back to Russia for a seconds time. It was a completely different feeling amongst the soldiers. We had little faith in the Nazi regime. Again we played cards on the train. Everyone seemed to have money. I had a feeling I would be wounded again and sent back to Germany. I was sad to be leaving my family after this "vacation". In Russia there was only retreat. Every night we pulled back with all our energies exhausted. The Russian tanks, provided by the Americans, broke through the frontlines. Once I walked a bicycle and two cows back in retreat. The roads were littered with broken down vehicles and the the cow resisted my lead. I finally made it through the frontlines.
    The Russians shot mortars into the air until the earth shook. I thought about God and had the thought that my wife was praying for me.
    (The journal is difficult to read in this next section but I believe he is writing about the injury to his knee. I believe he sustained a wound which shattered his tendon.)
     There were so many wounded that only the severely injured were treated. I was lucky because a transport was going back to Germany and they took me with them. In the same wagon home found a cousin who I had not heard from in many years. He had a fragment in his skull and I one in my knee. I would have lost my leg had I not been transported home to have it removed. My leg was very stiff and immobile for many years. With luck I came back to my family and sisters. I had a desire to get back into my profession but I could not ride a bicycle, yet. Many around me, even the wounded, were rounded up to go back to the front. Some were even pulled out of their beds. I was allowed to help and work in town. There was fighting for weeks in Breslau. I registered as a resident and assisted many refugees coming through town. I was always thinking about leaving. I had a very sturdy wagon in which I hauled stones. We packed it with our bedding, food, and even rabbits in a cage. In the middle of the night, about 3am, I went to my mother-in-law's house two streets over. As I knocked on their window a bomber flew over and shook the windows. Before daylight we began our trek. For a while we had some horses to pull the wagon but it still went only step by step towards the mountain. Along the roadside we passed refugees and soldiers. Two sons sat on top of the wagon. Oma pushed the youngest, Ingo, in the carriage. In Petersdorf we found a little house and slept on the floor the first night. During the night the Russians came into Hirschberg and by morning we were stopped by them and told to go back. We slept the next night in the straw of a barn.
   The Russians were allowed to plunder in Hirschberg and rape the women. After some days I walked back to our home in Hirschberg. The Russians were in our apartment. No one was allowed to go into the streets to assist those who were assaulted. Daily people were shot and robbed. Many committed suicide.
   Getting food was a daily struggle. For hours I would search for food to bring to my family. Only my injuries kept me from being rounded up as a German prisoner of war. Many Germans soldiers were put on animal cars and sent to Russia. My father who worked on a railroad had to escort a train of prisoners out of town. Many German soldiers were just shot. I found a kind of Russian secretary who stamped my registration card and this stamp released me from prison a the day I was rounded up.
   Every German had to take a Polish refugee soldier into their home. Some Germans were forced out and had to leave without anything. For a whole year we lived with a Polish man. He and I went to the farms to get milk, potatoes, and once he got shot for fraternizing with a German. My coat was stollen and I was shot at twice.

   At the end the Polish man helped us prepare for our flight out of Silesia to the west. He bribed a railroad employee with liquor. We packed again, our bedding items and provisions. The rabbits were stollen out of the basement. The Polish man was afraid to help us further. We had endured Polish rule for one year. Two weeks after we left the rest of the Germans were expelled with nothing in their hands. We were happy to arrive by train in West Germany after many days in a cattle car.

  In the refugee camp we received two small rooms. It was interesting there. Everyone was mixed together and slept on bunks. We didn't work except to help in the communal kitchen.
   Soon I started my gravestone business again. In 1948, the money was devalued and I received only 10% of the former value. On a farm I found an old vehicle. With that I brought home good food. Germany started rebuilding and I found a little house in Alten Muehle.

  The owner of the house sold me the land so I was able to get a government sponsored loan. I almost finished with the roof when the bureau stopped my permit. I was only given a five year lease on the land. In Werdohl it was not possible to own land and I tried to get land in Hannover where my mother lived but I was not allowed. 

     Disappointed with the situation in Germany, we decided to emigrate to the United States. Although Hanni did the paper work it still took us two years to get visas. In the meantime competition grew in my business and it was hard to get work. As it came time to leave I was not able to sell the house because the property was not mine. I found someone to rent the house. Ten years later I sold the house for three times as much. As we emigrated we had more money than we could take with us legally. I deposited the money in a bank. On a trip to Germany five years later the 10,000 DM had earned 2,500DM interest. I was able to bring beautiful gifts home with me.

                                                           The Emmigration

    I took the car with trailer all the way to Bremen. A cousin accompanied us to the boat. 

The SS America was one of the biggest commercial ships in the world. Most of the time the ship band played "Nur Adieu Mein Lieb Hiemat Land".

 My mother and sisters were sad to see us go. Today as I write this I have purchased airplane tickets for me and my wife. My mother and one sister are no longer alive.

                                                   (A farewell to those left in Germany)

    If you discount the days of sea sickness we had a wonderful voyage. Ingo and Goetz played their accordion on deck. Other German women joined us and we felt we were back in the homeland. Gaby was at an adorable age and she ran up and down the passageways while we were sick in our beds. A black porter took her with him to help us.

                                                 (A party on the ship with Gaby up front)

 We had not seen so much good food and we could only eat half the portions. In the evenings we had movies and dancing where my son Goetz attracted a beautiful woman.

   We saw the statue of liberty. We were picked up at the harbor by a member of the church and taken to the bus station. We felt strange as we tried to order some food with the few English words we knew. The custom official forced us to damage our cameras and accordion so that we could not resell them. The accordion was well used on the long trip across country. My biggest surprise was how big this country was and how it was so sparsely populated. Hanni, my wife's sister, greeted us on arrival in Salt Lake City. My wife's mother had already arrived. I did not feel so forsaken because I had my two year old Gaby to comfort me and we played together when I came home from work.
 After three days Geotz and I found work. Soon we had a gorgeous car. Then I bought a three family dwelling so that during job lay-offs I would not not have to make the payments alone.

  In the winter when I was layed off from work I used the time to hang wallpaper and improve the property. We joined a German choir and participated in a sports club where I was youth coach. On the weekends the boys and girls played at Fairmount Park. We also gave dance lessons. Since there were few men I had to dance with other women which my wife did not like. In those days I could still dance, jump,laugh and sing.

We also founded a soccer club called
"Fortuna",  traveling to Europe, England, Holland, Greenland, Hamburg, Berlin, Zurich, and Paris. I visited my relatives there. Years later the club traveled to San Francisco.

      As I started building the new house I no longer had time or money for these things. I did almost all the work on the new house alone. The boys were gone and Gaby, our baby, could not help much.

  We found the property on a sunny corner on 900 East. The owner wanted to sell the whole piece of land. I purchased it for a good price, $4000.

 I talked over the blueprints and timing of the move with my wife. We never regretted the live-in kitchen off the entrance.

 Permits were easier to acquire because I had no lien on the property and did not need signatures. The first winter we built the basement and put in the water and gas. We finished the upstairs the second winter with a loan from Ingo. We moved in the spring of 1965.  I sold the other house and was able to add on the other apartments next to us. 

There was much work to do. My legs felt heavy from the labor. I built a wall around the property. My wife had much to do to take care of the gardens. We looked forward to the visit from children and grandchildren. My wife and I scratched enough money together to take a visit to the homeland.
                                                        THE END