The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 25 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story -Part IV


The Vision

Romantic Medieval Town of Marburg

Romantic Medieval Town of Marburg

In a letter to Biene I wrote: “A long period of time will come, when we can no longer quickly step on a train and come for a visit. We will have to wait for a long time, before we see each other again. Yet I am confident, dear Biene. For you are no longer afraid you could lose me. One day I will ask you to come. Haven’t we written each other for two years without seeing each other? How much easier will I be able to endure everything, when I know for whom I work and also know that you will come! Dear Biene, you wrote so kindly that it wouldn’t matter to you whether I am poor or rich, if you could be with me and help me. I do not yet know for sure what to expect in Canada. But one thing I know; it is a thousand times more beautiful, if we start our life together than if I could immediately present you with a house and a car. The joy will be much greater, when you can say, ‘Peter, we deserve this sliver of happiness, which we were able to secure for ourselves, because we love each other and you without me and I without you would be unthinkable. In my mind I am propelling us so wondrously into the far away country but without danger, because I firmly believe in our future.

Since you have made your decision. I am looking farther still, beyond Alberta, where I will study at the University of Calgary, over and beyond the mighty Rocky Mountains westwards to British Columbia into the land, which like Germany lies between the mountains and the sea. It is not without reason that people call this province God’s country. Far away from the big cities, nature is still unspoiled by city life and industrial pollution. It appears to me incomparably more beautiful than Germany. Dear Biene, do not believe that I shut out our home country from my heart. Not only, because you need to stay behind for a while, do I depart reluctantly, but also because I must depart from people, who are dear to me. However, the world has become too crowded for me. I am searching for freedom, in close contact with nature, and for meaningful work in my future teaching profession. And should I not find them, I would be bitterly disappointed. But dear Biene, we both want to believe that I shall find after an eager search this envisioned, yes, almost ideal world in the reality of our life.”

Banff National Park, Canada

Banff National Park, Canada – Photo Credit:

Biene replied: “My dear Peter, do you still remember your words, when you asked me to write to you one last time so that our friendship, which threatened to end in a discord, would dissolve in harmony. Sometimes I have to think about these words; for at that time they touched me deeply. For me it was as if this melody, which had always been in my heart, since I know you, must never fade away. Sometimes it only sounded rather timidly, but now my heart is full of music. I cannot express it in any other way. Was our correspondence during the two years not a good test whether the voice in our hearts that drove us together was genuine and true? Say, was it not also good that we had hurt each other and were saddened over it? I would rather be sad over you than feel nothing for you! Pain often carries the seed of deeply felt happiness. If we had never before been sad over each other, could we now fathom the happiness of having found each other?

I am hoping with you that you will find in Canada the freedom, for which you are longing, to be able to develop your abilities. But my dear Peter, you must not despair if you will be a little disappointed in certain things. Yes, you speak from my heart and soul when you say that it is far more rewarding and satisfying to build a future together based on our own strength than when everything just falls into our lap and one lives like in a golden cage. Through you I can now believe in a future, as I have always desired it. If we firmly believe in it and apply our strength, then our dreams, which we have always been dreaming, will become true.”

Biene had already written her final written exams before Christmas and sensing that she did well on them began the New Year in the knowledge that a major hurdle lay behind her and that her high school diploma was almost certainly within reach, although she still had to contend with a lingering anxiety about her upcoming oral tests in February. In contrast to the previous year when due to the emotional turmoil during her engagement with Henk and its sudden break-up her marks had dropped and for the first time in her entire school life she had been facing the spectre of failing the second last grade, now she was looking with a new sense of optimism into the future. She claimed that our love and the wonderful prospect of a life together as husband and wife in Canada gave her the strength and determination to face the challenges of the six remaining weeks at school.

The Two Brothers Peter and Adolf - 1965

The Two Brothers Peter and Adolf – 1965

Of course, the ring, Biene’s most precious possession, which she had sent to me by mail and which I wore on my little finger at night, occupied front and center our thoughts and feelings and gave rise to reflections in our letters on its deeper meaning apart from being an heirloom from Biene’s great-grandmother. The first and foremost meaning, which Biene now openly declared, was that it symbolized faithfulness to which both of us from now on were committed through our love for each other. But there was also a hidden meaning, which I in my blindness for Biene’s subtle and unexpressed stirrings of the heart failed to see. I am certain that my roommates with their keen sense of perception would have immediately noticed the ridiculous reversal of roles I would have put openly on display with the ring, if it had indeed fitted on my ring finger. I was blind as a bat to Biene’s unspoken desire to receive an engagement ring in response to her precious gift. I could have prevented a lot of pain in the months that followed, if I had chosen to take the conventional route and on our next rendezvous in March had bought two rings for us. That way at least privately we would have had a semblance of a formal engagement. Alas, this thought never occurred to me.

18 thoughts on “Chapter 25 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story -Part IV

  1. Inge Kind

    Dear Peter you and Biene certainly have had a roller coaster Romance, and yes Men can be a little dens in Love,
    But then some women also can be dens in Love–some times we need help from others what we are doing wrong,
    but people like to stay out of helping for fear if some thing goes wrong that they get Blamed for it.
    Oh what a life full of knots and Bolts–but Glories when we over come the big Hurdle. God be with you both
    with a life full of Luck and happiness that I wish for you. Inge.


  2. taphian

    Lieber Peter, da Du nun öffentlich über Dein Leben schreibst, liest man es ja auch und fragt sich ab und zu: warum reagiert er so oder so? Ich hoffe sehr, dass Deine Beziehung zu Biene irgendwann einen richtig guten Weg gefunden hat und Du auch verstanden hast, was sie möchte. Liebe Grüße aus dem kalten Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Mitza, zunächst einmal ganz herzlichen Dank für deinen ausführlichen Kommentar! Du wunderst dich sicher, warum ich so offen über meine kleinen und großen Fehler schreiben kann. Das hat zwei Gründe. Erstens, hat man erst den nötigen Abstand gefunden, (über 50 Jahre in meinem Fall), dann kann man auch über viele Dinge reden oder schreiben, über die man sich sonst schämen würde. Zweitens, indem ich meine eigenen Schwächen und Fehler bekenne, habe ich auch das Recht, Missstände und Ungerechtigkeiten anzuprangern. Nach einigen wunderbaren sonnigen Wintertagen haben wir wieder graues, nebliges Wetter. Herzliche Grüße aus Fauquier, BC!


      1. Ann Coleman

        I know what you mean! Sadly, your future wife didn’t know how to add the fence post…. But the good thing is, obviously you two connected in the end, and it has been fun reading your story. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Edda

    Ich denke,gerade einen Menschen,den man liebt,kann ein irrtümliches Nichtverstehen unausgespro-
    chener Wünsche und Sehnsüchte ungewollt verletzen.Deine Ausführungen,
    Peter,haben mich doch wirklich auch an etliches erinnert,was bei uns am Anfang unserer Beziehung unbeabsichtigt ab und zu mal “schiefgelaufen” ist,nur weil wir uns nicht trauten,darüber zu reden.
    Du hast schon Recht-nach so vielen Jahren kann man doch mit einem Lächeln darüber reden. Zumal das ja schon sooo lange her ist.😉😊
    Und ich denke ja auch,dass noch weit stürmischere Zeiten auf euch zukommen..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Klopp Post author

    Liebe Edda, wieder habe ich mich sehr gefreut über deine lieben Zeilen. Es ist gut zu wissen, dass es Menschen so wie du gibt, die sich für eine 50jährige Liebesgeschichte interessieren. Die nähere Familie, unsere Kinder, stehen mitten im Leben und haben ihre eigenen Sorgen. Doch hoffe ich, dass eines Tages das Interesse erwacht und sie dann mit derselben Begeisterung unsere Geschichte lesen werden, wie du und deine Schwester Anke die wunderbare Story von euren Großeltern Bruno und Johanna aufgenommen habt. Onkel Bruno war im Vergleich zu mir ein forscher junger Mann. Mit meiner Scheu hätte er gewiss seine geliebte Johanna nicht gewonnen.


  5. Edda

    Ja,vielleicht-vielleicht aber doch!
    Schüchternheit ist ja leider in den Augen vieler Menschen, besonders gegenwärtig,
    eine Schwäche.
    Es würde der Welt nicht schaden,gäbe es
    es noch mehr
    Es muss nicht immer eine grosse Klappe sein,womit man den anderen beeinflussen will!
    Und unsere Kids
    werden sicher später ganz sicher gern viel über unsere Vergangenheit wissen wollen,Peter!
    Herzliche Grüsse!👋👋👋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Vielen Dank für deine ermunternden Worte, liebe Edda! Ich habe zu spät erkannt, wie wichtig es ist, mit seinen alten Tanten, Onkeln und Verwandten über ihr Leben zu sprechen, bevor sie alle verstorben sind. Ich habe jahrelang mit Tante Mieze und Mutter in Wesel eine kleine Wohnung geteilt. Aber an ihrer Lebensgeschichte hatte ich als junger Mensch wenig Interesse. So denke ich wird es auch mit unseren Kindern sein. Dann werden sie sich freuen, wenn sie diese und andere Geschichten lesen können. Ganz liebe Grüße an dich und Dieter!


  6. Norbert

    Genau das meine ich auch. Schade, das Biene nicht auch noch einige Beitraege aus ihrer Kindheit beisteuert. Mir fehlt die Erinnerung an meine Mutter, ihre Schwester. Ich kann auch niemanden mehr fragen!!
    Wir werden ein schoenes Wochenende mit Robert haben. Er ist das Bindeglied zwischen unseren Familien.
    Schoenes Wochenende

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Lieber Norbert! Biene und ich hatten uns schon in Deutschland fest vorgenommen, eine lebendige und authentische Geschichte unserer Familie zu schreiben. Aber du weißt ja selbst, wie das so ist. In den Anfängen seiner eigenen Familie findet man nicht die Zeit, sich mit vergangenen Dingen zu beschäftigen. Mein erstes Buch endet mit Bienes Ankunft in Kanada. Dann werde ich mich um Bienes Familie kümmern und muss mich auf Bienes Blog stützen und meine paar eigenen Recherchen aus Bildren und Briefen. Habt viel Freude mit Robert!


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