Chapter 24 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

Happy New Year to Bloggers and Friends Far and Wide!

*****

A Tale of Two Castles

panoramiocom
Marburg Castle – Photo Credit: Panoramio.com

 In contrast to Koblenz soldiers relatively small in numbers did not overcrowd the medieval city of Marburg. The only barracks was relatively small and like Maxhof in Bavaria served as a technical training center. To go to the city center I had to descend from the hilltop where the Tannenberg barracks was located on steep roads or if I wanted to take a shortcut on even steeper stone staircases. In the narrow streets below there was hardly enough room for cars to pass each other. It was not uncommon to see vehicles parked right on the sidewalks as not to impede the traffic flow. On my free late afternoons and evenings I often strolled by the many quaint shops. Sometimes I dropped in at one of the numerous bookstores, which always have exerted a special attraction for me. With shelves upon shelves reaching all the way to the ceiling these stores looked more like libraries, which is not surprising, if one considers that Marburg is a well- known university town. Here I discovered and bought a copy of the New Testament in Latin. The young saleslady might have thought that I was a first year student enrolled in the faculty of theology rather than a common soldier from the local barracks.

Marburg Castle - October 1964
Marburg Castle – October 1964

In the downtown area there were also many cozy pubs. In one that was catering to the students of the nearby university my friend Hans and I frequently got together for a chat and a refreshing local beer from the tap. Naturally in such congenial place we did not limit ourselves to just one drink. After the third beer I felt ready to give my old friend a progress report on my relationship with Biene. Through our correspondence Hans was well aware of the trials and tribulations, but also had also been very skeptical about my love to her. He shook his head in disbelief when I told him that I had met her only two times earlier in the spring. Having gone through several love affairs, all of which have ended in disaster, he could not believe that I was still on my first.

            “We are planning to meet again in November,” I said noticing the same doubtful expression that I had seen so often in Dieter’s face.

            Ignoring my statement, Hans bluntly asked with a sardonic grin, “Have you kissed her yet?”

            “Yes, I have,” I answered curtly getting quite a bit uncomfortable with the direction our conversation was taking.

            Making use of his own peculiar metaphor, which he had used in his letters before, he ventured another question. “Have you conquered the castle or has she voluntarily open the castle gate to you?”

            I felt quite annoyed with the embarrassing questions, which so glibly popped out of his mouth. With a hint of rising anger I managed to reply firmly, “Whether it is open or whether it is locked is none of your business! But to satisfy your juvenile curiosity, I will wait to marry her if and when she is ready.”

My Friend Hans giving a Guitar Concert to Fellow Stundents
My Friend Hans giving a Guitar Concert to Fellow Stundents

            “Ede,” using my nickname and almost shouting now, “you must be kidding me …” He stopped in mid-sentence, when he glanced at my angry and determined face. Whatever was his opinion on this delicate topic, I did not care to hear anymore from someone so disillusioned as my friend was through all his failed relationships. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to change topics, before the matter would escalate into a real fight. I told Hans that I still had the set of walkie-talkies, which I had bought from a roommate and had occasionally used in Koblenz to transmit music within the short range of the barracks environment.

“ Wouldn’t it be exciting if we tried them out over a longer distance between the castle and the barracks?” I suggested to him. He happily agreed. And so we turned our attention away from the contentious issue of a few moments ago and focused on the number one common interest in electronics that had once formed the foundation of our friendship. Opposite to the Tannenberg barracks was an even higher hill, on which the Marburg castle and the Museum for Armory were located. Three kilometers or perhaps even four separated the two hills with a direct line of sight high above any obstruction, which might have impeded the radio signals. We agreed to test the radios at five o’clock on the very next day. To add an air of adventure, we recalled from the time before we joined the European scout movement our old code words we had used in our twosome secret society ‘The Black Hand’. However, what we in our excitement did not consider was that the fantasy world of our boyhood adventures was not so far removed from the reality of the Cold War era, where spies and agents from East Germany were roaming about looking for valuable information of military significance in West Germany. Precisely at 1700 hours Hans and I established a communication link with our walkie-talkies between the two hills. An exchange of short and snappy statements ensued taking on a distinctly clandestine character and went approximately like this.

            “XU73 calling Ede Wolf. Over.”

            “Ede Wolf acknowledging call from XU73. Over.”

            “XU73 to Ede Wolf. Confirm validity of call by providing code word between XU73 and Ede Wolf. Over.”

            “Code word is: ‘The Black Hand’. Over.”

            “Roger from XU73. What is today’s message? Over.”

Now came the moment when our game reached its climax. Even though we had rehearsed the script in the pub the day before, I felt just as excited as if the whole scenario was for real. “The message for XU73 from Ede Wolf is: Five black umbrellas in Italian ice cream parlour. I repeat …”

tannenberg-kaserne_in_marburg
Tannenberg Barracks at Marburg – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

I could not repeat the sentence. In the twilight of the early November evening hours I saw a police car with a directional antenna on top racing up the winding hillside road. Almost in panic I pressed the send button one more time and warned my friend, “Danger! Turn off your radio at once. I explain later.”

            While the police car navigated a few more switchbacks, I had barely enough time to jump off the road and hide in the dense brush below. A minute later I heard a car passing by at high-speed no doubt in search for that elusive radio signal carrying those mysterious messages. If I had been caught, Hans and I would have been in a real pickle as to how to explain that the conversation between a student of the local university and a member of the Armed Forces was just a juvenile game apart from the disturbing fact that we had been using a communication device without a license.

Autobiography Book Bundeswehr Germany The P. and G. Klopp Story Writing

6 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Peter -das ist wieder ein so interessanter Bericht aus deinem Leben…Die Gertrud-Biene hat sich so richtig fest in dein Herz geschlichen -das ist einfach schön! Außerdem kann ja heute herzhaft darüber gelacht werden bei der Vorstellung,wie du “Fersengeld” gegeben hast,als die Polizei euch Spione gesucht hat!😉👍 Ich finde die Vorstellung jedenfalls sehr erheiternd…😄 Mal sehen,wie es weitergeht! Viele Grüsse! Edda

    Von meinem iPhone gesendet

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Da hast du ganz recht, liebe Edda. Heute kann ich auch über viele Dinge lachen, über die ich mich noch vor zehn Jahren geschämt hätte darüber zu schreiben. Es ist so schön zu wissen, dass es auch Familienmitglieder im Kegler Clan gibt, die sich für unsere Liebesgeschichte interessieren. Herzlichen Dank, liebe Edda!

      Like

  2. Using the radios sounds like fun. I’m glad you didn’t get caught, though. As for Hans’ question, I guess he at least disguised it a little, rude though it still was. I remember at about the same age, some of the young men around me didn’t bother with metaphor.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

valeriedavies

Author of The Sound of Water and other books

dunelight

Life in the dunes along Lake Michigan

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

silkannthreades

about the little things in life

Schwedenlichter

Alltäglich(t) Leichtes, Knirpsbuchwelten

POINT BLANK

...come closer

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

valeriedavies

Author of The Sound of Water and other books

dunelight

Life in the dunes along Lake Michigan

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

silkannthreades

about the little things in life

Schwedenlichter

Alltäglich(t) Leichtes, Knirpsbuchwelten

POINT BLANK

...come closer

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Theresa Barker - Lab Notes

sketches in fiction and poetry

WordsVisual

Mostly photographs with some words by this arty scientist...

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

ruthfreter

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

pastpastoring

By a Pastor, for Pastors, for church leaders, and for all Christians who love their Church

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

photoartstuttgart

Präsentation by wordpress

A Suffolk Lane

A diary of my life in rural north Suffolk.

EUROGECKO

exploremore!

A Voice from Iran

Storytelling

Safira's Journey

Create Your Own Happiness

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Mrinalini Raj

I LEAVE YOUR ROAD TO WALK ON MY GRASS.

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

corneliaweberphotography.wordpress.com

This photography blog is about art, passion, people and places

Ultimatetravel

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

To Live as Kate

A modest attempt to share my life with you as I try to find myself.

My Blog

Losing myself in reverie

Karen Painter

Historical Fiction Author

Denney Home Place

~ et mea Messis erit ~

Pure Glory

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Psalms 19:1

Ellie's Blog

Personal Blog

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Simply Photography by Ileana Alberti

“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.” Ernst Haas

%d bloggers like this: