The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 36 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

21

98Mountain

Highway 1 near Banff in the Mid 60’s

Roses and Violets

December 26th Velbert

My dear Peter,

…With mixed feelings, but also in joyful anticipation, I arrived at the Düsseldorf Airport, where my mother, Walter and my friend Ulli received me with roses and violets. I was deeply touched! At home the same warm atmosphere welcomed me, which our apartment is always radiating. And when I then entered my room and found your letter on my desk, it seemed to me as if I had never been away. Yet the exciting new tidings stirred up my emotions. The photo of us in Michelbach rekindled all the memories and let me think of so many things. Only now did my mother notice that the other letter was addressed to her. Oh Peter, you should not have written the letter to my parents. I had wanted to prepare them slowly for everything.¹ I know, Peter, that only out of love to me you wrote the letter, and yet, Peter, you should not have written it. See, Peter, I always told you that my parents are acting out of love, and therefore we must not hurt their feelings. Your words hit my mother hard, because it sounded like hell was awaiting me here at home. In some way you are right, Peter. However, I implore you to apologize to my mother as quickly as possible. I know how proud you are; yet I ask you to do this for the sake of our love. So far my mother has supported our side to the extent that she was even able to change my brother’s mind. He was actually prepared to help us in case I wanted to come to you for a year.

Then Biene wrote that her mother had confided to her the story of a shocking tragedy. Out of religious reason Biene’s mother was not allowed to marry the man she truly loved. Because she was not yet of age, she wanted to force her family to consent to the marriage by having a baby. So Biene’s sister Elsbeth was born out of wedlock. But before she gave birth to the baby girl, her fiancé died in a fatal accident.

Biene also let me know in her letter that she had found employment with the American company Yale and Towne, one of the largest lock manufacturing companies in Europe at the time. She was hired as an office assistant responsible for translating technical documents into English. She had signed a contract for a period of two months with a monthly salary of 450 marks. So she would be able to save up enough money for the flight to Calgary, if her father was not going to provide any financial support. She also added that because of her work she would not be able to write me as often as before. Then she returned to the main issue.

In conclusion I earnestly ask you just one more time to write a nice letter to my parents and also to Walter. Don’t mention much about our plans for the moment. I will prepare them for everything.

In my thoughts I am already living with you, Peter. Don’t lose your confidence in our future.

In love Your Biene

Did you receive my Christmas card, on which I forgot to write By Air?

¹Please note: The sentences highlighted by me  in bold were like red flags in Biene’s otherwise affectionately written letter.

21 thoughts on “Chapter 36 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

  1. Amy

    Ah, not as bad I had anticipated. She is still committed to you and to moving to Canada. But I can see why you, as a young man, might have found the letter so troubling. Now I am anxious to learn what you did in response! Quite a wonderful story, Peter, even though we know it all ended well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      You understood the letter correctly, Amy. Biene’s love for me was never questioned. But in her attempt to accommodate her parents’ wishes she deviated too much from our original plan, which I found very disturbing. Thank you for your heart-felt comment, Amy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. taphian

    It was interesting and sad what Biene’s mother had experienced in her youth but just out of this she should have understood that her daughter wanted to love the man she chose and wanted to live with him. I really didn’t see any reason why you should have excused yourself. How difficult life was at these times! Have a nice weekend, dear Peter, kind regards Mitza from sunny !!! Hamburg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Dear Mitza, what you are saying about Biene’s mother and her demand to apologize will be the topic on the coming posts. We are of the same opinion there. Glad to hear that you finally have some much needed sunshine in Hamburg.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Edda

    Das war ja alles wieder ein ziemlich harter Schlag für Dich, was, Peter? Du wollest doch Deine geliebte Biene so schnell wie möglich zu Dir holen. Das war das Wichtigste für Dich.. Aber es ist wirklich halt meist so: Man heiratet ja nicht nur den Partner, sondern im gewissen Sinne auch dessen ganze Familie mit. Und da ergeben sich manchmal ungeahnte Schwierigkeiten, die man wirklich nicht “gebrauchen” kann und auch gar nicht beabsichtigt hat..Biene hatte ebenfalls einen sehr schweren Stand: Einerseits wollte sie so schnell wie möglich zu Dir und andererseits sollte ihre geliebte Familie nicht traurig und verletzt zurückbleiben..Und ihre Mutter hatte ja in jungen Jahren wirklich Schlimmes durchgemacht. Biene muß damals einen schweren inneren Kampf ausgetragen haben. Es ist manchmal leider nicht zu vermeiden, geliebten Menschen weh zu tun, um seinen eigenen Weg zu gehen..
    Um so schöner, wenn sich dann am Ende doch noch alles zum Guten wendet..
    Herzliche Grüße aus Sottmar!
    Wir hoffen, daß Du Dich weiter gut erholst, Peter…👋👋👋
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, du hast die gesamte Situation so wunderbar erfasst, als hättest du jede Rolle in Gedanken einmal durchgespielt und die Probleme aller Beteiligten selbst erlebt. Rückblickend kann ich keiner Person mehr böse sein. Sie haben alle wirklich das Beste gewollt. Für Bienes Papa war das Beste wohl sein Geldbeutel. Aber auch mit ihm bin ich später immer gut ausgekommen. Doch zur Zeit, als unsere Pläne zu scheitern drohten, war ich natürlich sehr besorgt und habe auch so manches harte Wort gebraucht, um das Schlimmste zu verhindern. Nun davon mehr in den kommenden Kapiteln.
      Vielen Dank für deine einfühlenden Worte und deine guten Wünsche zu meiner Genesung, liebe Edda!

      Like

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Her love to me was never in doubt. The real problem was that she began to make concessions to her parents, which ran counter to our wedding plans. Thank you, Nurul, for your kind words! They are very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. corneliaweberphotography

    Now I understand more about Biene’s mother’s reaction, since she had experienced so much pain in her own live, seems like she was mirrowing her own life experience with her daughter Biene, trying to protect her from an unkown future. That’s what mothers do, but not thinking of their child’s true desire. Another exciting part of your love story. Thank you Pete for sharing it with us. Wish you being well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      You raised an interesting point, Cornelia. It makes a lot of sense to link the tragedy of Biene’s mother to her overly zealous desire to protect her daughter from future harm and unhappiness. Thank you so much for your kind and insightful comment! Have a beautiful Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Coleman

    It sounds as if Biene had good reasons for waiting, at least on her end. And that her mother had good reasons for her feelings as well. The course of true love so rarely runs straight, but as long as we get there in the end, that’s all that really matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      I had to smile when I read your sentence “The course of true love so rarely runs straight”, as in the days of great stress I expected and insisted the course to run straight. Thank you, Ann, for your insightful comment! Have a great week!

      Like

  6. Bun Karyudo

    Oh well, it looks like Plan A has been chucked on the bonfire of thwarted intentions. It must have been a terrible shock at the time given the massive effort you had put into creating a study and immigration schedule to carry things forward.

    I’ve known right from the beginning of your story all those posts ago that the two of you must have triumphed over all adversity in the end. I can’t say I expected there to be quite such a mountain of adversity to overcome, though!

    Ann mentioned in her comment that the course of true love rarely runs straight. She’s right, of course. But my goodness, your love story with Biene seems to twist and turn like a trek through the Alps. I’m very keen to find out how you both negotiate this latest obstacle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, dear Bun, for sharing your thoughts and feelings on our bumpy road to destination marriage! Commentator Edda wrote in German that when you marry you marry willy-nilly into the family of your partner. For me having immigrated into a distant country turned out to be quite an advantage.
      By the way your language is so vivid and colourful that I think you really could spice up our story to attract many more people to the charms of our love story.

      Liked by 1 person

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