The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 34 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II


Ominous Rumblings from Biene’s Home Front

Peter copy

Key Player #2 in Chapter 34: Peter Klopp

As the drama unfolds I will introduce for each part of this chapter one person, who played a major role in our desperate struggle for being reunited in Canada.

After having dispatched my letter to Biene’s parents I felt very much at ease. With vim and vigour and guided by an indomitable desire to achieve high marks in my academic endeavours, I embraced a regime of self-denial, a kind of mental forced  labour. I cut my leisure hour of guitar practice in the evening, shortened my social lunch time with friends and fellow students at the university, and allocated an extra hour   to my studies at home in the morning. I had no idea about the potential danger to my health by placing so many burdens on my shoulder. But I was happy in the sweet knowledge that all the hard work would pay off in the end. Little did I know, however,  of the storm clouds gathering on the other side of the Atlantic and of the ominous rumblings coming from Biene’s home turf.

October 20th, 1965 Didsbury

My dear Peter, Life is like a brilliant symphony. Again and again I feel this. Every day has its special tune and color and atmosphere and you need to be a poet in order to give a vivid and colourful picture of it. Sometimes the melody of the day is light and joyful, in other times dark and full of melancholy.

Today was a bright and sunny October day, and pushing the carriage with the little laughing Paul through the park, I felt happy and at peace with the world. Here in England I have gained new aspects of life and I really feel for the first time free and independent. Two letters, which arrived with the second post, made me hurry to the place, where I usually have a little rest in the sun. I got your letter as well as my mother’s and I have a lot to tell you. At first, Peter, be assured that my parents got your long letter. Don’t worry about not having received an answer until now. I am going to tell you the reason although I rather would not like to speak or even think of it, because it makes me feel unhappy. My aunt (you know, I sometimes talked about her, because I loved her very much) died a fortnight ago. My parents went immediately to Berlin and stayed for a week to arrange everything for her funeral. All the tasks connected with my aunt’s death caused my parents much grief and my mother felt mentally and physically exhausted after the journey and she was not even able to write to me. As soon as she feels better she will let you know what decisions she and my father have made. She asks me to tell you that this is the reason for their long silence. My mother had to tell me so much about the last happenings that she only gave notice to me of the mere fact that she got the letter from you. Yet she did not discuss it. She only reassured me that she would stick to her promise and try to help us in any case…

In love yours forever, Gertrud

A day later, having not sent off the letter, she continued on in German, which I took as a bad omen, and so it was.

My dear Peter,

Today I received a long letter from my brother, which contained the main thoughts and arguments, which he as he told me had written also to you. It is quite impossible for me at the moment to delve into all the details. I didn’t know at all that you don’t find it easy to stay in Canada. This is in any case the way my brother interprets your words. As soon as I have answered my brother, I pass on his letter to you. Dear Peter, my decision is firm, and nothing can detract me from what I recognized as the right thing to do. I have no fear of an uncertain future. This just for today! As soon as I have a little more time and leisure I will write you everything, which I have considered and decided.

Your Biene

I knew all along that, when this moment came, everybody would be against our plans.

For the moment it was very easy for Biene to stick to her decision. To join me in Canada was not only the right thing to do, but also fulfilled the promise of love between the two of us. She was still far removed from the source of disapproving views on getting married to a young adventurer with an uncertain future in the far-off and hitherto unknown country of Canada. Thus, she was able to take a firm stand against the first volley shot by her twin brother Walter across the English Channel.

33 thoughts on “Chapter 34 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Today we live in a totally different world. Many of the problems could have solved by a quick phone call, an email or by texting. But you are right, the psychological burden and the stress factors as you call them have greatly increased. Thank you Arv! for taking the time to read our story!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Edda

    Das hört sich nun ganz danach an, was Du ja schon öfter angedeutet hast:
    Gewitterwolken am Horizont -und was für welche..
    Wenn man gerade denkt, jetzt ist das Schwierigste geschafft, geht es erst richtig los und das tut dann um so mehr weh..
    Was für Gedanken und Sorgen sich liebende Eltern um die Zukunft ihrer Kinder machen, kann man dann als jung Verliebte(r) erst verstehen, wenn man selber welche hat…
    Euch muß es sehr getroffen haben, nicht sofort die Zustimmung der Eltern zu bekommen (denn darauf läuft es ja wohl hinaus..). Zumal Du ihnen ja so offen und ehrlich geschrieben hattest.
    Von Walter als Zwillingsbruder Bienes hätte ich gar nicht gedacht, daß er sich zunächst einmal gegen Euch ausspricht..Aber später wird er ja seine Meinung geändert haben, denn in den Videos und Fotos von Euch ist zu sehen, daß er wohl ein ziemlich festes Mitglied Eurer Familie geworden ist und so liebevoll mit Euren Jungs umgeht…
    Dann ging es sicher turbulent bei Euch weiter..
    Liebe Grüße!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, ich möchte heute nur zu Bienes Zwillingsbruder etwas sagen und erwähnen, dass er sich da eine Rolle angemaßt hat, die ihm nicht zustand und die Situation wesentlich verschärfte. Ich bin immer meiner eigenen Fehler und Schwächen bewusst gewesen. Aber nachtragend bin ich nie gewesen. Das war bei Biene auch so. Ja später bei seinen Besuchen brachte Walter stets Leben in die Bude. Mehr davon später in einem anderen Buch. Vielen Dank auch für deine lieben Worte über Bienes besorgten Eltern. Sie hat in ihren Briefen, wie du sehen wirst, sich ähnlich ausgedrückt. Liebe Grüße!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. taphian

    One can only be happy that things are “a bit” more easy today, dear Peter. Nobody needs the consent of parents to get married or to emmigrate to another country. If nobody would risk anything America wouldn’t have been found:) I’m glad that your story seems to have a happy ending with Biene, have a nice weekend, regards from white Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy

    Although I am tuning in late to your full story (and finding it hard to find time to read all the earlier chapters), my heart is aching for you and your beloved. It is hard to imagine in 2018 that parents would have so much control over adult children, but I suppose in many ways it is still true—there is always the desire for parental approval even when we don’t need their consent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      I believe that although Biene was an adult there was still the bond between her loving parents and herself, which allowed the parents to exercise a lot of control. This is still true today. Thank you, Amy! No need to go back to previous chapters. You have your very own and important family project to take care of.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amy

        Yes, as I said, even as adults we want our parents’ approval. I understand that completely. And I will eventually pick up the earlier parts of your story!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pure Glory

    Oh, the twists and turns of life. It is hard to envision the future when caught up in the disapproval of loved ones. It is good to know it turned out in the end, although it must have been very discouraging at the time. Looking forward to the next chapter.


    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for the kind words of understanding in your comment! In real life one often looks back with less gratitude what divine Providence has provided to overcome all the challenges and obstacles that tried to stop you from reaching your goal. Man is inclined to credit himself with the successes and blame his failures on others. My wife and I are convinced that it was a miracle with capital C that we two found each and that after a four-year long struggle we were united as husband and wife.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pure Glory

        Yes, God definitely has blessed you. Completing your university coursework and Biene working in England and learning English and the graciousness of God to bring you together and married. I am sure your heritage will be carried on with your children and grandchildren.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. kopfundgestalt

    “I had no idea about the potential danger to my health by placing so many burdens on my shoulder”
    Sometimes you don’t sense the danger. You think if you work hard enough you deserve a bright future.
    What I also think: The brother of Biene shouldn’t have interfered. Only your parents and you as a couple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      You are 100% right in raising your objections to Biene’s brother meddling and interfering with our plans. I express that the same thought in my reply to Biene in the next post. Vielen Dank, lieber Gerhard!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jodi

    Oh Peter – this reads like a Jane Austen novel. It is so hard to believe that only 50 years ago, life was so different and communication was so delayed by letters like this. Since I’m coming in late here, is your wife’s name Gertrude or Biene? Are you going to publish your story? Is she still alive? I may need to find time to go back to the beginning. Does the story start from Chapter 1 here on your blog?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jodi

    Ok – I answered some of my own questions by going back to your “About” page. I now understand Biene is Gertrud’s nickname. I can’t wait to go check out the link that you provided that might be her blog. So intrigued! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      I am glad you found some of the answers on your own. It shows to me your genuine interest in our story. But first of all I must thank you for your great compliment, in which you compared my writing with a Jane Austen novel. In some modest way I confess that authors like Thomas Hardy inspired me to try a language that goes to the heart. I am presently reading his fascinating autobiographical novel ‘A Pair of Blue Eyes’. Now to the unanswered questions: If you were just interested in our often turbulent love story, I suggest you start at Chapter XIX (19). Chapters 1 to 18 broadly cover my family history starting with my grandparents. A good chunk of it describes through various sources my parents’ flight from the Red Army, their misery of not making it to the west and then in 1946 being expelled from their ancestral homeland. But miraculously my parents and their five children were reunited in West Germany. From Chapter 7 on it is more or less my autobiography of my childhood. Now to your last question. Yes, I did self-publish this book for my family, but I am thrilled about the interest I created in the blogging world. Thank you once more, Jodi! Your interest keeps me motivated to keep this project alive.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. corneliaweberphotography

    Oh, another heart breaking interference in your love story. Back than parents were just so much more worried about the future of their daughter wanting to marry a man far away overseas. I so understand all your disappointment. Back than I had a little similar story of my life, my family being against the man I was in love with, but we were strong and overcame all their negative words and behavior. Love makes you strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Interesting to read that you have gone through similar experiences. What made our particular case even worse in the eyes of Biene’s parents is that they did not know me at all. So their reaction was quite understandable. Without giving away any details at this time, there are more problems surfacing as the story is unfolding. Thank you, Cornelia, for sharing your personal experiences!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. myexpressionofthoughtsblog

    Earlier people had grown with humble nature and selfless as all had gone through some kind of hardships where as today’s or upcoming generation don’t have to face much problem as many are born in silver spoon. The experiences shared by you have taught a lot with a great message . Undoubtedly, one have to be emotionally strong as I suppose more than time people have changed.
    Thank you for sharing and I am glad I came across such a wonderful blogger!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. thecedarjournal

    Finally got time to sit and read this chapter this morning. Wow! Don’t you sometimes wish that people would communicate like that these day? Let the heart flow with the language of words on paper ( I would love to see a actual heartfelt email or text). Your story has all the elements of good romance, struggle only makes the reward so much better. As for her brother and his interference- being a twin me get explain a great deal. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you so much for your insightful comment! My question to the young generation of today, can you really explore the love that you feel for each other by texting gibberish? The art of letter writing has been lost through the overuse of digital devices, so it seems to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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