The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 35 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III


University of Calgary – Winter 1965

Waiting for a Sign of Life from Biene

During the long wait for Biene’s first letter from Germany I jotted down a few ideas, bits of advice and the latest news from Canada Immigration. I intended to compile my notes and send them to Biene on the first sign of life from her. But there was no sign of life, not even a Christmas card, and I was increasingly getting more worried as the days were dragging on.

December 15 My dear Little Bee, I know, you will experience a hard time when you will have returned to Germany,, and if you don’t mind, please take my advice. There is only one argument in support of your coming to me, which is  that we belong together as husband and wife. No matter what the conditions here in Canada will be at the beginning, no matter how poor the prospects will be for me being  still a student and  having no professional income at all, no matter how insecure the future seems to us or to your parents, the only reason, which remains powerful regardless of all these obstacles, is that we love each other. We are convinced that this love is true and, therefore, all the obstacles can be overcome by the strength of our love in marriage. Consequently, please, when you arrive at home, argue with the sincere and great power of your emotions, because in them you are completely safe. Reason is – in the minds of your brother or your parents – not used to show you the right way to reality, but is a vital instrument for their own emotions. Thus, actually, emotions are fighting against emotions: theirs to hold you back, because they want you to stay, ours to come together and to get married. You must have this in mind, when you come home. For we talk about emotions on both sides, and ours are morally on a higher plane and should, therefore, win the victory. Thus, stand firm on the ground of your emotions and don’t venture out into the field of reason wrapped in the skilfully disguised emotions by your relatives.

December 18th  My dearest Biene! So many exciting news I have for you! Oh Bee, love without being able to love is illness. Believe me, I need your healing presence. I am terribly excited, because my mission is finished on the Canadian side of the ocean. Now it is your turn, brave girl! First of all I have to tell you about the last events at the Calgary Immigration Office. To some extent I feel sorry for your parents. For your time left in Germany must be cut short to a maximum of three months. Here are the details: The officer was a really friendly man and helped me portray our situation in a most positive light. Each aspect of your coming was shown in a favourable light: you had become a stenographer, the money I possess here and in Germany, the money you would probably bring with you, the money I would earn next summer, everything was summed up and spoke in favour of your coming. Even the fact that my brothers and my sister will support us was stated. Finally came the great surprise when the officer asked me, ‘When do you want her to come, in two or four weeks?’ I was struck as by a thunderbolt and answered that I didn’t know that your admission to Canada would go that fast and that I really expected you much later when I would have finished my first university year. The officer was not very pleased to hear that, because all the facts, which we have stated, wouldn’t be up-to-date in May any more. Now listen, dear Sweetheart, we finally compromised on the end of March or beginning of April and he gave me 45 days to marry you.

This will involve a lot of new problems, I suppose, because I didn’t really expect you earlier than May. But actually, the problem starts right here in Canada. For you will have to live at my brother’s and assume a good job, maybe in a household for the beginning, whereas I shall be completely involved in the final exams of the winter term. Thus, it will seem as if you have come into a strange, cold (March, April) and unfriendly country where even your dearest Love will have no time for you. I have to confess to you something; I am even studying on Saturdays and Sundays in order to cope with the requirements of the university. A few hours a week will be all we can spend together till the exams will be over, and our wedding will be only possible four weeks after your arrival maybe with yet unfriendly weather. If you see the hard work at my studies before the exams in terms of love, that is, if you recognize in each hour I spend for the progress of our future my great affection for you, as the warmest kiss would ever show you otherwise, you will have fully understood me.

Dec 26th My dear Sweetheart, I felt a little sad when I got no Christmas greetings from you. I spent Christmas Day with my brother Gerhard and his wife and their little son Wayne. It was really a nice time though I would have preferred to celebrate Christmas with you under a genuine Christmas tree.

I thought it was a good omen to get the final decision concerning your immigration to Canada on Christmas Eve. I enclose this letter to show you how far things have advanced by now. Since I cannot meet you in Montreal because I still study in March and April and I don’t want you to endure the early spring storms on a passenger ship, I would like  you to come by airplane and fly directly to Calgary where I can meet you at the Calgary Airport. Put the most necessary things into your suitcase and all the rest especially heavy things into a wooden crate, which will come by ship and train half a year later. Every travel bureau will advise you what steps to take.

Although I haven’t had any news from you for such a long time, I will no longer wait and send you all my letters off to you.

Hoping that all is well I send you a thousand kisses. Your Peter

44 thoughts on “Chapter 35 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III

  1. thecedarjournal

    These always rip at my heart strings Peter. I know the pain you must have felt being separated from your love and not hearing from her had to make you feel almost hopeless. Again, I don’t think most people can really relate to the trouble, money, and headache it takes to risk it all to move to another country. I really admire you and Biene for the journey you have travelled together. Wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. taphian

    What I like about you, dear Peter, is, that you explain everything very frankly and open to Biene so that she knows what is expecting her. I think that’s the best, one can do. Did you keep all your love-letters? Really astonishing what good memory you have. I’m always looking forward to the next chapter. Have a nice day, kind regards Mitza

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      What shall I say, dear Mitza? On the one hand I like your praise for my frankness and openness, on the other hand I sometimes regret having caused with it much grief and pain. You will understand what I mean when you get to read the next couple of chapters.
      Yes, we still have all our love-letters. They are the main source for all the posts in the P. and G. Klopp Story. The letters could easily one day land on a junk pile. So it is my hope that I create a lasting record for the family with this blog on the Internet. Happy spring time for you in Hamburg! Peter

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pure Glory

    Peter, it is so good to see how your love for Biene has blossomed despite all the obstacles. It is amazing that the immigration officer wanted to speed things up faster than you thought possible. Even though you were not hearing from Biene, I am sure her heart was leaping in joy at the news. Your next chapter is awaited with anticipation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Oh yes, our aim was to get together as quickly as possible. But it was nevertheless a shock for me to learn that Biene was supposed to come, while I was still preoccupied with my studies at the University. Thank you, Hazel, for your interest in our story. It is truly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dina

    Not receiving a sign of life from your beloved Biene sounds terrible, Peter. Now I can’t wait to read how long you were under suspense.
    Hope you are feeling better each day,
    sending you warm greetings. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for your good wishes! It is good to know that you, Klausbernd, and the sweet Book-Fairies care so much. Indeed I am feeling a little better everyday. I am rediscovering the joy of going out for a walk and become passionate again with my photography hobby. Warm greetings from across the Ocean!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Nurul, for your understanding comment! Waiting for news was indeed very painful. How easy is it today to grab a phone and text a message or write an email and get an INSTANT reply.!


    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      In the 60’s it still was. My voyage from Rotterdam to Montreal was only US $200. We were royally treated on the Dutch-America line for a total of ten days. That was cheaper and more fun than coming by plane. Thank you, Arv!, for following our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Edda

    Ist das eine unglaubliche “Geschichte”, Peter, der reinste Nervenkitzel!!
    Wenn ich es nicht besser wüßte, würde ich nicht glauben, daß alles ein gutes Ende nimmt…Wie habt Ihr das nur ausgehalten und überstanden..
    Ich hätte an Eurer Stelle auch 1000 Ängste ausgestanden.
    Und Ihr habt so fest zueinander gestanden, das war bewundernswert!
    Herzliche Grüße von uns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, diese Episode in unserem Leben hat uns gelehrt, dass man trotz Meinungsverschiedenheiten fest in Liebe zueinander stehen kann. Indem ich auf meinem Blog alles so ausführlich beschreibe, gehe ich auch das Risiko ein, meine Leser zu langweilen. Doch sehe ich an deiner Reaktion, dass das Gegenteil der Fall ist. Für dich und all die anderen, die mit Interesse unsere Geschichte lesen, ist die lange Wartezeit auf Post von Biene genau so schmerzhaft wie es für mich vor über 50 Jahren war. Ganz liebe und herzliche Grüße aus Fauquier, BC! Morgen öffne ich eure liebe Mail. Vielen Dank schon im voraus!


  6. Amy

    I can’t imagine how awful it was not to hear from her for so long. Was she receiving your letters? Was she having doubts? I can hardly wait to see what happens next even though I know you ended up together. Your letters are so touching. Someone above asked if you had the actual letters—I have to believe you do and that these are not just what you recall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      There are so many twists and turns we encounter as we travel through life. Wisdom tells us never to jump to any conclusions. The reason for not getting any mail from Biene was simple and straight forward: She had forgotten to write by air on her Christmas card.
      Many memories have been sparked by rereading these letters. So the main source of our story are these love letters. By writing the Klopp Family Blog I want to make sure that these precious memories are not lost (at least for as long as we have Internet). Thank you very much for your insightful comment, Amy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amy

        I am sure your children know this story. And now your grandchildren will know it as well if they don’t already. But I do hope you are also preserving the original letters as best you can!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Peter Klopp Post author

        Yes, our five ‘boys’ know the story. The grandchildren being still quite young will have to wait till they will show some real interest. The problem with the letters is that most of them are written in German, which will be a new obstacle for our grandchildren who grew up in Canada. But as long as we live we will keep a good eye on the box containing these precious documents.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      “What a distance to run in words like a marathon to come closer.” I really like the way you expressed your feelings. Yes, the box of love letters proves how many thousands of words were needed to bring us together. Greetings from Western Canada, our home for more than half a century!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      The only changes we make to the original letters are leaving out details that are not relevant to the story. Also do not forget that most letters had been written in German, so what you are reading, Sidran, is a translation into English. Not always an easy task! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. entdeckeengland

    Dear Peter, your story is as suspenseful as any novel. I can‘t wait to see how it plays out. How easy it seems nowadays with email and other fast modes of communication. I send you some virtual sunbeams from Dubai, Peggy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Peggy, for your kind comment! Also your virtual sunbeams from Dubai are truly appreciated in a land that is still covered in snow and winter refuses to make room for spring. Warm greetings from Canada!


  8. kopfundgestalt

    I feel it kind was “a different life” you led at those times. There were rules and circumstances, which usually don’t belong to a normal life. If felt somewhat surreailstic, maybe in some quite moments.
    But what can you do? You have to accept this kind of strange as it may be.
    That’s my feeling when I read these memories. 🙂


  9. kopfundgestalt

    In deutsch: Es kommt mir vor, daß Bedrängnis und Lebensumstände allgemein eine Art Aura schaffen können, in der man fast in einer Art Paraallelwelt, in einer Art Traum, unterwegs ist.
    In diesen Tagen merke ich, daß das auch eine Qualität sein kann. Sozusagen herausgehoben zu werden aus normalem Empfinden und Tun in eine Art Gegenwelt, einer Woge unvorhersehbaren Lebens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Eine hochinteressante Perspektive, lieber Gerhard! Dazu gibt es noch das Folgende zu bedenken. Die Geschichte ist nun schon über 50 Jahre alt. Viele Sitten und Gebräuche haben sich stark geändert. Ich bin deswegen nicht erstaunt, dass gerade Menschen über fünfzig sich an meinem Blog erfreuen. Zum zweiten waren Biene (Gertrud) und ich vom inneren Wesen und Charakter her gesehen kein gewöhnliches Liebespaar. Viele meiner Bundeswehr-Kameraden hielten mich verrückt, Biene weiterhin zu umwerben, obwohl sie bereits mit einem Holländer verlobt war. Und drittens war (und ist immer noch) unser Fall auch total ungewöhnlich. So lebten wir in der Tat in einer anderen Welt, aus der wir erst durch unsere Hochzeit herausgerissen wurden. Erst in der Realität des Lebens kann man sich richtig beweisen.

      Liked by 1 person

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