Chapter 39 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I


Calgary with the Rocky Mountains in the Background – Photo Credit:

Biene Hitting Rock Bottom

“I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom, and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful, and strong.” – Anna White

Biene in Distress

February 6th,1966, Velbert

My beloved Peter,

I have not been feeling well for quite some time. I must come quickly to you. Every day I am expecting news from the embassy. I received my first salary today and now have saved up over a thousand marks.


Biene wrote this letter at the back of this early Picasso card.

At the moment I feel so depressed that I am not as strong as you would like me to be. But this time will also pass. I don’t want to see anybody and yet I have to put up a nice front every day, which is getting on my nerves. I feel totally run down. But Peter, I must quickly come to you. Do not be distressed; otherwise I become really sick.  Hopefully my father didn’t write you anything bad. I can’t take it any more! Dear Peter, if you don’t lose your trust in me, I will find it also again in me.

After all I belong to you! Your Biene

February 13th, 1966, Velbert

My dear Peter,

In what kind of painful unrest must you have been through my silence! Peter, please forgive me. Now I feel better, and it seems to me as if I had gone through a dangerous illness. Peter, my nerves and my entire being were completely out of balance to the point that I had almost lost myself in something at the end, which would have ruined our entire life. But now I have overcome this weakness and I feel my faith and strength return again. How I yearn for that day, when the long wait will be over! O Peter, I am ashamed of myself that I almost did not succeed in fending off the insidious indifference, which suddenly appeared as an enticing way out. But now, Peter, you need not be worried about me any more. I only hope that you are fine and that no treacherous temptations seek to lure you, when you suffer too much from loneliness.

When I am with you, Peter, it would be perhaps best to go and see a doctor to get some professional advice. For I feel we should not have a baby for the first little while. Do you think, he might be able to help us?

My dear Peter, when you are lonesome, always think that one day it will be like in Michelbach again, where together we were happy and sad. And for our wedding, Peter, we two drink a bottle of Moselle wine just like we did on that evening in the thunder and lightning storm.

All my desires and dreams still live in me and still have the same power.

Yours in love, Biene

26 thoughts on “Chapter 39 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

  1. My heart breaks for her. I can hardly imagine what she was going through—alone, her family unsupportive, you so far away and anxious as well. And how you must have felt reading this. What a strong bond you two had to endure and survive so many obstacles.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Amy, for your encouraging comment! You show how much the story has touched your heart. Even though most of the letters have been translated into English, its emotional impact has been maintained and has NOT been lost in translation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think love translates well into all languages. Plus your fluency and skills with English no doubt make your translations particularly effective and poetic.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! Biene’s agony, anxiety and love flows out of her writing. Her imagination had almost stopped the relationship, yet her commitment is still there. These letters must have been a welcome relief to you, Peter, while you were studying at the university and also anxious.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Powerfull letters from her! It seems to me she suffered from depression. What I also don’t quite understand why love can’t be destroyed even wehn you suffer from depression.
    What a longlasting struggle you were both in.
    Thank you for the insight, Peter!

    Liked by 3 people

      • It was her love that carried her through one of her most difficult times in her life. The situation with her parents whom she truly loved was definitely cause for all her troubles. Depression in a clinical sense, however, was fortunately never part of the equation.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome. Thank you for raising such interesting questions from a male point of view. Such questions about the female psyche are very difficult to answer and the answers if they exist at all will be forever a mystery to us. Thank you, Gerhard, for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, How can you not love this woman with all your heart? She is a treasure and the way she writes to you! Her love just comes through the letters. “After all I belong to you! Your Biene” That is one female with no guard on. “I only hope that you are fine and that no treacherous temptations seek to lure you, when you suffer too much from loneliness.” Poor thing was worried you would look the other way. She needed to be scooped up on a shiny white horse and never let go right there. Did I mention, I loved the sensual and tasteful Picasso card?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that wonderful Picasso card, on which her short, passionate letter was written all over the place! I dug it up from all her letters to publish it together with her words that were comfort to my soul. Thank you for your kind and compassionate (mitfühlend) words, Brigit!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. She is a remarkable woman, no doubt about it! And she was – so to speak – alone behind enemy lines …

    I am sure she could see that indifference would not have been an easy way out anyway, because after that would have come deep regret and chagrin. It was just a moment of weakness because of the constant pressure. It must have been awful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Brigit! I will pass on your comment to my wife. Your response to her letter is very touching and full of the admiration she deserves. Greetings from BC, the western province of Canada!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love conquers all!!! Wonderful that you translated these powerful words from German to English without loosing the feelings that they held. That is a true compliment to your English.


  7. Ich kann es nur wiederholen:Was für eine wunderbare, tapfere Frau Biene doch ist und war!! Daß sie nicht zusammengebrochen ist, grenzt an ein Wunder! Natürlich wäre es verlockend gewesen, alles loszulassen und endlich (scheinbar) zur Ruhe zu kommen..Keine Kämpfe mehr….Aber ich bin überzeugt, nach ganz kurzer Zeit wäre es Biene doppelt so schwer ergangen, denn die Gedanken daran, Dich ganz allein gelassen zu haben, hätten sie sicher ein Leben lang gequält..Es ist doch wirklich fast ein Wunder, daß sich am Ende ” im Großen und Ganzen “alles so ergeben hat, wie Ihr es Euch ersehnt und vorgestellt habt..Ihr habt es Euch beide wirklich hart erkämpft!

    Wir wünschen Dir ganz schnelle Erholung, lieber Peter!!
    Seid beide herzlich von uns gegrüßt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Edda, ich bin noch bei Michael und Angie. Wie sehr habe ich mich heute morgen über deine lieben Zeilen gefreut, die mir zeigen, wie groß dein Mitgefühl für Bienes damalige kritische Lage ist. Wenn ich wieder zu Hause bin werde ich ihr deinen rührenden Kommentar vorlesen. Sei herzlich gedankt für deine lieben Worte, liebe Edda!


  8. Poor Biene! It sounds as if the stress of the separation and her parent’s opposition to your plans almost wore her down. But I think it was her love for you and knowing that you would be together that brought her through the depression. And I think it’s telling that she was honest with you about her feelings and struggles, even though that must have been hard for you to read. With those we love the most, we always have to be genuine and true. It’s no wonder you ended up together…you two make each other whole!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Ann, to look at our painful situation of many years ago with such compassionate eyes! Looking back at the art of letter writing, I am convinced that it allowed us to express our thoughts and feelings much better than if he had been able to discuss them face to face. Have a great week and best wishes! Ann

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Each week it’s a new twist or turn that I did not anticipate. Because you are both such amazing writers, you captured your feelings at a pivotal time in your lives that would be really difficult to create, were it not reality. It’s amazing to me how the truth is often so much more interesting than fiction!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Des, for the compliment! Authentic writing indeed is often more captivating than fiction. I wonder if really good fiction is actually part of life that has been experienced in real life. Best wishes! Peter


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