The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

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

28

A Letter from Biene’s Twin Brother

Mutti2

Key Player #5: Elisabeth Panknin, Biene’s Mother

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.

November 8th 1965 Calgary

My dear Biene,

I would like to embrace you and kiss you a thousand times for your decisive letter on Monday. If it had only arrived on Saturday! Then I would not have gone through the hell of emotional turmoil. My brother Gerry brought your brother’s letter from the Fyffe Road. It had been sitting there for the past fourteen days, Dear Biene, not even during the worst time in the German Army had I been so devastated! I was incapable to do anything sensible. But one thing at a time in the right order! How great you have become again in my heart. I know now what made me happy. In my mind you have already been with me all this time. We celebrated your birthday together. I played your Don Giovanni record, while getting up in the morning. I did all kinds of repairs, bought a picture to decorate our little basement room, and you helped me choose it. You spurred me on at my studies. Imagine I wrote one of the best essays on the Canterbury Tales with very few mistakes. Here too my independent individual opinion was being admired. In Math there have been only very good results on tests and assignments. I have been welcomed into the social life. Everywhere I have gained friends not just with my professor, who is already looking forward to meeting you, but also with my fellow students. I am helping some in Math, others in History. And I did all this as if you were already living with me and made me happy. Dear Biene, quite frankly with this certainty in my heart I could have waited another two or three years. But now I am completely cured. Biene, how good it is that you want to come. Otherwise I would have to ask, yes indeed I would have to beg you to come!

But now let’s look at this letter. If I hadn’t developed in my life so much sensibility, I would have perceived the letter as completely harmless. He had taken my letter to your parents apart into thousand fragments and quoted, quoted, and quoted. In his opinion there was nothing that would keep me in Canada, the prospects in Germany were a thousand times better and so on and so forth. After he had completely blackmailed me morally, he added injury to insult by threatening with financial blackmail. Imagine, I was so dumb as to believe that these were his own ideas. I deemed your father too good to threaten me. Still awake in bed at three o’clock in the morning I could no longer take it anymore and wrote till six a long letter to your parents and presented piece-by-piece positive arguments. Above all I mentioned that the Alberta government will pay for the second year at university, that all my relatives here in Canada had offered financial assistance, that there are still 1,500 marks left in my German bank account, and that thanks to you I have great success in my studies here in Calgary.  O Biene, it is no use. If they are not willing, then even the best arguments will not help. I will have insulted your father; for I attacked your brother by stating that I hold myself too good to accept such mean-spirited blackmails. They will mark me as an evil character. O Biene, be firm and strong and hold on to me. I feel you are almost stronger than I, because I have been deeply insulted. But a determined will can bring them still to reason. Besides I think much of your mother’s influence, when the time for action will have actually come. Again thank you for your letter! I am stuck in the midterm exams and need peace, inner peace. How strong has your unshakeable determination made me!

Now that I can breathe more freely again, I will outline precisely, what needs to be done. With your approval I will go to the immigration office in the next couple of days. But I think that in spite of it all I should wait for a reply from your parents. Should I give to the immigration official your address in Velbert or my mother’s address? Don’t do anything, until you receive a message from Cologne. They will set a date for giving you a physical examination in Cologne. Be accurate with all information regarding your relatives in East Germany. When they notice that you were not telling the truth, they may reject your eligibility for immigration. Beforehand you have to get your lungs x-rayed. You need a valid passport as well, for which you must apply in due time. For the voyage you must been inoculated against small pocks, if this has not been done during the past two years. As soon as you are done with these preliminaries, you must see a travel agent to make arrangements for the trip. There will be no immigration visa without a ticket! If it is an efficient travel bureau, you will have no trouble with your luggage crate. They will pick it up and take it to the railroad station. Only in Montreal you will see it again. You yourself will be lost there without any help, because there will be nobody to look after you, when you have been cleared by customs Canada. I will have to be there, when you come. But that much money I will have left over. O Biene, it is not the most beautiful prospect that we both have to work very hard to have things work out for us. But on weekends we will be able to travel to the mountains for a few days  for sure. Oh, how I feel well again.

Many thanks for your letter! I still have so much to tell you.

With a thousand dear kisses,

Your Peter

28 thoughts on “Chapter 34 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part V

  1. thecedarjournal

    Peter- I needed a box of tissues on this one! I am glad you are giving this out in small amounts as I can feel the pain you both must have been put through.

    On a high note, not much has changed on the immigration thing over the years. Maybe a bit easier with cell phones to be in constant contact if something went wrong along the way. But, anyone who has been through this process in any country we know it is never a guarantee we will be admitted and allowed to stay.

    At that time I am sure that WWII was still on the minds of people and I am sure that also added to the weight of stress.

    So good to see a true story that reads with conviction. Shows us each the true meaning of love, struggle and moving on.

    Should I have a tissue ready for the next post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      I am afraid to advise you that you might need two boxes of tissue to prepare yourself for the next chapter or two. I thank fro the bottom of heart for the kind words and your continued interest in our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy

    I am so moved by your love and determination. A true Romeo and Juliet story. Have you decided to spare us her brother’s letter for privacy/copyright reasons?

    Like

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      I am glad you asked about this letter and all the other so hotly written letters. In an effort to reach reconciliation within the entire family we agreed to destroy all correspondence between Biene’s relatives and us. Thank you, Amy, for your continued interest in our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Edda

    Es ist wirklich wahr- beim Lesen Eurer “Lovestory” könnte man vergessen, daß diese Begebenheiten schon etliche Jäährchen her sind.. Kaum zu glauben, daß sich diese Liebe nicht an den vielen Schwierigkeiten aufgerieben hat, die Euch von Anfang an in den Weg gelegt wurden. Aber es scheint ja so zu sein, das gerade die Widerstände seitens Bienes Bruders, Vaters und anderer Verwandter Euch erst recht dazu angetrieben haben,allen zu zeigen, wie Ernst es Euch miteinander war…
    Und auch ich bin weiterhin ganz gespannt auf die Fortsetzung ..
    Liebe Grüße an Dich und Biene, Peter.Weiter schnelle und gute Besserung!!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, es freut mich immer wieder aufs Neue, wie sie sehr du unsere Geschichte mit verfolgst. Ich denke an den Kasten mit unseren Briefen. Wie gut, dass ich sie jetzt in dem klopp-family Blog verarbeiten kann und somit unseren Kindern und Enkelkindern etwas Bleibendes hinterlassen kann. Diese Briefe fast all in Deutsch geschrieben hätten für unsere Nachfahren keine Bedeutung. Danke auch für die guten Wünsche! Es geht jetzt zwei Wochen nach der Krebsbehandlung endlich aufwärts.

      Like

  4. taphian

    Jede Woche warte ich auf die Fortsetzung Eurer wundervollen “lovestory”, lieber Peter. Ich bin froh, dass Ihr Beide es geschafft habt, Euch frei zu machen von den Eltern und Euer Leben zu leben. Das ist das Wichtigste im Leben, selbst sein Schicksal in die Hand zu nehmen.
    Alles Gute für Euch in Canada, liebe Grüße aus dem immer noch kalten, aber sonnigen Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Vielen Dank für deinen lieben Kommentar, liebe Mitza! Es war für uns wichtig, uns von den Meinungen anderer zu lösen und unsere eigenen Wege zu gehen. Wir sollen nun auch einige sonnige Tage bekommen. Im Sonnenschein kann man die Kälte auch viel besser vertragen. Viele liebe Grüße aus Fauquier, BC!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Inge Kind.

    Peter so good to hear you and Biene ‘s turbulent Love story , Hats of to both of you for
    being so strong in your Love to each other.
    can not wait for more ,
    Please stay Healthy Heal well .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bun Karyudo

    That unexpected slap in the face of a letter from Biene’s brother seems only to have increased your resolve, Peter. It seems a major tactical blunder on his part. From what I’ve read of your story so far, I can’t imagine the sly insults and emotional bullying of a letter like that ever having the slightest chance of success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      You are completely right in your assessment, Bun. It only increased our resolve, whereas the letter from Biene’s brother was to bully us into submission. However, in this debate we must never forget that everything in this world is measured by the success or failure in the end. If we had failed for whatever reason, all the opposing relatives would have been able to say, ‘You should have listened to our warnings’.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Coleman

    You and Beine had more challenges to your relationship than anyone should ever have to endure! But your love for each other comes shining through, and so I’m not surprised that true love eventually wins out in this story. Even so, I’m sorry for all that you two had to endure….

    Liked by 1 person

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