Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family – Ch5 Part 9

The Anemic Yet Picky Eater

Biene contributed this post.

After their failed attempt to flee to the West, my freedom-loving parents had to survive in a totalitarian state. The communist regime had curtailed many of their freedoms. For example, my parents could not visit their friends and relatives on the other side of Germany and the rest of the world.
Before the war, my Dad had transferred to the police force in Gotha. Now, under communist rule, he could no longer keep his position as a police officer. Miraculously, one of my Dad’s old friends, a dentist, remembered that my father had worked as a dental technician in the past. He offered him a job to work in his dental laboratory.
Food supplies were very short for several years after the war, especially in the East. I remember my Dad taking us to small villages in the surrounding area. He would try to trade in his high-quality police boots, belts, leather gloves and other valuable clothing for precious food like flour, butter, eggs and cheese. I will never forget the tasty delight of a freshly baked heart-shaped waffle a kind farmer’s wife handed me on a chilly fall day. It was still warm and tasted heavenly!! I never had one before.

Biene and her Twin Brother Walter

Our diet mainly consisted of porridge, root vegetables, bread, molasses and some butter or other fat. There were strict government food rations. Since I was underweight and slightly anemic, a concerned doctor prescribed extra rations for me. But I was also a picky eater. It upset my Dad tremendously when I refused to eat or left something on the plate. He had experienced extreme hunger as a POW. My mother ended up feeding us children separately to keep him calm.


  1. wordsfromanneli · 22 Days Ago

    Hard times!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stella, oh, Stella · 22 Days Ago

    Those were tough times. My mother told me about it as well. When they took the boat to the farmers at the Elbe river to trade their valuables against food, the English soldiers took everything from them when they went home, because it was forbidden to trade like that. Everybody was supposed to live on the rations only. However, life under communist rule must have been the worst.


    • Peter Klopp · 22 Days Ago

      These were horrible times for the German population, no matter where they lived in the post-war era. My family were refugees in the French zone. We had to go begging for food in the neighbouring villages having nothing to trade.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy · 22 Days Ago

    Food anxiety is a terrible thing. I can imagine that living that way changes your attitudes towards food and hunger forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Biene, you have gone through really hard difficulties in those war times were food was rationed. Thanks god you have met Peter to have a great life together. Much Love to you Biene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · 22 Days Ago

      Thank you for your kind comment, Cornelia! I passed it on to Biene and she asked me to tell that it cheered her up.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ankur Mithal · 12 Days Ago

    Sad to hear personal tales of such hardship. I hope nobody should have to face the prospect of not having enough to eat.

    Liked by 1 person

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