My Name Is Marta

Compiled Writings by Marta Emma Kaete Betterman Titze

My Baptism-

  I was baptized with two of our sons auf June 1952 in Wuppertal, West Germany, with my husband’s permission. He and our oldest son were watching the ceremony. Brother Nauyox, a missionary, brought us together with a LDS family with two sons in the age like ours. They lived in the next town, so we could visit each other by a little train or could walk. We offered our homes for Sunday School by turns. The lesson material came from Frankfurt. Brother Paul did conduct the meetings. It was really a nice time and we learned to sing the church songs. I enjoyed that. Our only daughter was born in 1953 and we had been a happy family. My husband liked the meetings with the Paul family, but when he was asked for baptism he was never ready. One of my sisters, who joined the church in East Germany, emigrated to Utah earlier. She was willing to help us emigrate to Salt Lake City. So my husband sometimes said,” I will be baptized in America”. But he never studied the scriptures. When we received our visa to emigrate to Utah there was hope that he would join the church. Then here in Utah he brought us to church and picked us up again. We are grateful he went to Sacrament meeting sometimes and he did sing in the choir. I spent the rest of Sunday with him, so I was a good wife. I struggled trying to bring my husband to the church because I love my Heavenly Father. When we came home from our trip to Germany in 1977 we found out he had lung cancer with just a half year to live. He received a blessing from my son’s father-in-law. He died at the end of October. The next year I went, in March, to the temple for the first time in Salt Lake. Six of our relatives went with me. 
Baptized on June 8, 1952 by Elder Edward Horsley
Confirmed by Elder Wilhelm Falssmann
Ward Wuppertal, Altenmuehle, Werdohl, West Germany
My missionary Brother Noujox

My Sunday School
    1st Row; Ingo, Wolfgang Paul,-------, Peter
    2nd Row; -----, Marta,------,Renate, Tante Helene
    3rd Row; Goetz, Manfred Paul, Hans Paul

Marta Emma Kaethe Bettermann was born January 27, 1910. This story was written by Marta with commentary by her daughter and compiled for her as a Christmas gift in 1998, four years before she passed away.

   My mother, Marta, is an extraordinary woman. She will soon be in her ninetieth year. When I think of adjectives to describe her life I think of faithful, hopeful, and courageous. In her early years in America she answered the call to record her family history. In her book of remembrance there are pages and pages of pedigree charts and family group sheets. In the back of her book are pages of her personal history, written in english, not her native tongue. As I read through this record I remember how hard she worked at improving her english and I am amazed how well she expresses herself.

   My parents both born in Silesia, moved to Bavaria after their marriage. When I was eight years old my family moved back to Silesia. It was after World War I. I have two sisters and one brother. We all went to school in Rabishau where my father was born. My childhood was a very happy time. We didn't have the luxury we have today and in our vacation time from school we were very busy. We were gathering wild berries, mushrooms, potatoes, grains and wood. After finishing my school, I liked to learn a lot more things a young teenager should know. Sewing was very easy for me to learn, housekeeping and cooking as well. Later I had the opportunity to decorate women's hats and to create lamp shades.

Marta is a wonderful homemaker with tremendous organizational skill and the energy to finsh what she starts. She earned extra money with her professional sewing and I was especially blessed to have had a seamstress who could sew anything and who had a great sense of style. I remember our fall shopping trips to make new clothes for school. We would go to into the fabric stores and pick out patterns and material  and within a few short weeks those clothes would be hanging in my closet.

My mother was a very respectable woman and a good friend who was able to sing and laugh with us. My father taught us to love nature and went with us hiking.
In 1931 we moved to Hirchberg because my father changed his workplace. There I met my future husband. We were two years together before we became married. In this time we enjoyed our life very much. 
We went dancing, swimming, skiing, ice skating, bike riding and more. On the 15th of April 1933 we became married in the evangelic church. Two years later I delivered my first son. Five years later, my second and one and a half years later my third son. Both were born during World War II. In this time I was very much alone with my three children because my husband was drafted and later in Russia. There he became wounded and landed in a hospital. His knee was shot and when he got released he came home with a stiff knee and walked with a stick. But there was no more need for him to go back to war. Now I wasn't scared so much any more because we were together again. And for this I was very thankful to my Father in Heaven. I must say I wasn't raised without religion because my mother taught us how to pray and we went to church, too.

Now my husband got an easy job to do in the city department. But the time of suffering just started. At the end of the war when the Russian soldiers came to our land, for us the security was gone. We didn't have any right to live. There was no more food enough so my husband had to go out to the country to find something for food, but he was always in danger. My boys could not go outside anymore. There was no school for my first son. We lived a while like prisoners and when the Russian government send the Polish police to our land nothing became better, because they started to throw out the families out of their homes and put some Poland people in. Fourteen days before all the people of Silesia were driven out we went under hard circumstances on our trip to West Germany.

The following transcription is from Marta's journal, written in English, and transcribed by Rebecca

My Dear Husband died in October 31rst 1977 on lung canzer – 66 years old.
Two weeks after we came home from our trip to Germany he started to cough a little bit.  I didn’t like the sound of it.  We dicidet to go to the Doctor for an X Ray.  It was not a good picture of his lungs.  To much white stuff on it.  Doctor Kleine transferred my Husband to a Lunge Doctor in that new Saint Marks Hospital.
After more X Rays the result was a tumor in his Lunge, rigth side.  It was bad news for us, this sitouation.  For many weeks he was treaded with chemoteropie.  But Kurt ditnt get better.  The whole summer was not pleasent for us.  He felt bad and weak.  His appetit went away.  
We had visitors from Berlin.  Renate and Klaus Biener and their to children.  They were a lot in Goetz and Sigrids home too.  And so we made trips, because they wanted to see a lot of Utah’s beauty.  Klaus always drove the car, so my Husband could relaxe more.
The Trip to Germany, to see all his Relatives and my Brother and Friends, and then our guests of Berlin meant very much to Kurt.  The Trip to Germany was plant, two years ago.  He always said “We will go when I am ritired.”  And I am glad we dit it.
It was realy not more much Time for him. I still see his sad Face when He tried to help me a little bit in the yard.  He build this big House and we fixed This place so nice.  The Wall surrounding and all the cement work was done.  And even he left me some nice pieces of art, he created years ago.  We were 44 years marrid.  I always wanted him to get bamptiest, but he dit not believe in a life after.  
When the year 1978 started, Gabriele, my Daughter, was mad at me, because I still was depressed and down because of my Husbands Death.  So I tried to prepare myself for going to the Temple for my Endownment.  I paid Tithing since my Husband Death.  By Interviews from the Bishop and Stake Presidency I received my Temple recoment.  On the 3rd of March 1978 I could go through the Temple in Salt Lake City.  Its a beauty full Temple.  Gabriele helped me very much. Liesel and Ruth, Peter and Diane and her Father, and Rose and Walter went through the Temple.  
Many weeks before, my Husband came to me in a very clear dream.  He was dressed in his coat and hat, looking good and happy.  We talked in German words together and had a very warm Handshacke.  I felt much better after that Dream because I did know he wanted to be baptiesed.  So my son Peter did the work for him a year after his Death. 
October 20, 1978
After so many sunny Days, a very dull one.  I am in bad mood all Day long.
Gaby called in the morning.  They will come up in tomorrow.  Their will be more life in my house.  I am very lonsame.  Hanndren and Liesel gave me a Telefoncall.  Bougth some stuff for macrame but I don’t like to do it.
October 21, 1978
I did not do the macrame.  Gaby with her Family came to visit.  The Baby Andrew has grown alredy.  His face was much ronder.  He was good all Day long.

We had Dinner on 5 o glack und after washing Dishes, we went to the Visitor Center on Temple Square.  It was a beauty full Night when we came out, with all the lights on.  Genie and Jamie were exited and I was happy to be with them.  They went some to Provo at nine o glack, so that Day was gone and much more nice for me.   
October 22, 1978
Sunday!  Went to Church for Sunday School.  Its nice to see all the peaple in the ward.  But I had to much time in the morning and afternoon.  Werner Rosemann picked Liesel myself and Hannchen usd Albert up for Aunt Limas Birthday Party.  She is 87 years old now, what a good age.  Rosemanns Haus was full of friends and we never can be alone with our Relatives.  At last we were singing Folks songs.  We were home 11:30 at Night.
October 23, 1978
Monday!  Leisel and me went to the Temple by bus.  We always have a good time together.  After Temple session we go to the Cafeteria to eat and we are mostly satisfied.  But I am alway tired when I come home.
October 24, 1978
Tuesday!  I finished the Blouse for Wlefare.  Then I diigged a part of the Vegtibele patch, put a lot of leave in.  Then I was cutting something, cleaned up and filled two garbage cans with green staff.
There was Gaby’s Birthday today too.  She is 25 years old now, and has 3 children.
With 25 I had just one Child.  I gave her a Telefone call in the morning.  I think she is happy.
I fixed a pant for Gaby.  Goetz and Sigrid have visit me from 7-9 at the Evening.
October 25, 1978
Wednesday! I did the same thing in the garden then yesterday.
At the afternoon I have sewn 2 Sleepers for Baby Andrew.
The night are always long for me alone.
I played a little piano and did some embroidery on the picture.  Then I even ditnt watsh a show.
I received a letter from Rosie with a little picture of her Baby Brandon.
October 26, 1978
Tuesday!  Relief Society Day
The India Song worked better then we thought.
Lynn Van Natta gave the Lesson very beautiful.  She is a pretty yung Ladie.  I delivered the Blouse I made.  After my hour of Rest I will clean up the Basement.
October 27, 1978
Friday! Nothing Special!
I clean the upstairs, went Food shopping, waterd some of the Lawn.  Usualy, infertanments at Evening.  Weather is still nice and dry.  
Haunchen came with Magazines and Stamps and took some grapes.
October 28, 1978
Saturday!  Vikie and Kelly Crider moved out from the upstairs Apartment.  They lived here vor 13 month.  I like them and the Baby too.  Vickie cleaned the Apartment very well.  I hope I can get along with the new cuple too.  They will move in on Monday, but first I have to paint the Bathroom.  This Apartment is still very nice.
October 29, 1978
Sunday!  I did not go to our Ward, Becouse Gabys new Baby Andrew was blessed.  Goetz u. Sigrid went with me to Provo for that Occasion.  I licke Gabys Ward and the people in it.  I like to be with my Children, and I am very thankful to have them.
October 30, 1978
Monday!  I worked very hard in the Apartment.  Painted Bathroom and the little room and fixed little things.  Some Drapes were cleaned.  At the new evening the new cuple moved in.  There are very yung and I hope they can make it.
October 31, 1978
Tuesday! I worked hard again in the yard.  Some diffing and raking Leaves.  Goetz and Sigrid came in the afternoon.  Goetz pruned some Fruit trees.  Sigrid and me enjoyed the Sun, laying in chairs.  Then we went to the semetary to bring some Flowers to Fathers grave.  Today one year ago he died.  That year went very fast.  But I was very lonly.  Just the Time and the work let me sometimes forgett what I lost.
November 1, 1978
Wednesday! Working in the Yard.  Sewing in the morning.  The leaves are endless.
In the Evening I attended the Scouts Dinner, Karen Gardner picked me up.  The pumkin pie was not good.  Home I went with Bebees.
November 2, 1978
Thursday!  Relief society Day.  Narda gave me a Ride, because it was raining.  Init something, we had rain all night after.  So many weeks dryness.  Our Farther in Heaven has blest us.  At the afternoon Frank Poulsen came and fixed something in the upstairs Apartment.  The heater was out and sow.
November 3, 1978
Friday! Cleaned my upstairs.  Went shopping.  Now my tree in the front is gone.  I am not realy quite happy.  What wold Kurt say?  Sister Belle, my niehbor has sent 2 tree cutter to me and now it Happened.  It’s a lot of mess to clean up.
November 4, 1978
Saturday!  A had Morning in the Yar, clean up the Front.  At noon a Bath and a Haarwash.  Two Hours Rest.  Afternoon the two man have cut the Elm tree.  We cleaned up and I gave them a Check for 80 Dollars.
November 5, 1978
Sunday! I went very early to that Corner 45
th South 7th East to see what is going on there.  And I was rigth, the hole place is baaren. 
I latter listened to the Tabernacle Choir.  12:30 Sunday School and afternoon 4 O Clcok Fastmeeting.  A talk with Gaby, then with Goetz, Hannchen too.

November 6, 1978
Monday!  Temple Day for Liesel and me.  We went to the 11 o’Clock Session. It worked nice again with Bus. After the session, Dinner in the Cafeteria.  I ate Fish, Vegetable, Mashpotetoes with gravy and apple pie.  Home an 4 O Clock.  Changed by clothe and went into the yard to work on Hour very hard.

November 8, 1978
Wenesday!  I digged the last piece of the vegitable patsh.  I am glad its over.  I racked a lot leaves and filled again three plastic sakes.  Gotz and Sigrid have visit me.
November 9, 1978
Tuersday! Relief Society Day.  I was in the Nursery.  I gave a Lesson to three Children, they were very good. 
Later we had Lunch, casseroll, salad and good Pumpin pie with Crème.  I walked home, because the wether was still nice, but now its raining.
Its Rosi’s Birthday today.  21 years old.

November 10, 1978
Friday! I liked to clean my House.  In the night before it stardet to snowing.
The tree cutter same to cue another tree, but I dtint let them, because of the wett ground.
Peter and his Family did realy come to Salt Lake in such a bad wether.

November 11, 1978
Saturday!  Peter and I went to Provo it stoped snowing.  Peter went to a meeting and Lunch, I to Gaby for six hours.  The dress fits better I aut shouth.  We cut some Pajamas, together.  I had fun with Jami and Genie.  The baby has grown again.  The are all pretty.  Gennie is much nicer to me now.

November 12, 1978
Sunday!  Peter same with Family to visit.  I toock the mesherments of all three girsl.  They licke to come to my House, running up and down the stairs.
I went to Sunday School with my new Renters.  I don’t think they like our Ward so fast.  Pat picked me up for Choirpractice.  5 oClock Sacrament Meeting.  I sat with Beebes and went home with them.  It was snowing all afternoon and will all nigth. Peter with Family is home now Thanks to God.

November 15, 1978
Monday!  Finished my Picture.  Went shopping.