Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch 5 Part 17

The Golden West

Biene contributed this post.

To share some of their newly acquired wealth, West German people would send precious items to relatives and friends. We received large gift packages from my mother’s relatives at Christmas time. There were delicious sweets, chocolates, beautiful toys, well-made, stylish clothes and shoes for us. Fragrant “real” coffee beans for my mom and aromatic cigars for my father were some of the desired luxury items you could not get in the East. My brother and I were fortunate that we always had comfortable and well-made shoes because of my mother’s relatives who owned big footwear companies in the West.

Biene and her Twin-brother Walter at School

Books and other printed materials were forbidden because they could contain “propaganda” against the political system. Letters and parcels often were confiscated if they looked “suspicious.” My mom tried to keep a good relationship with the mailman so her letters and packages would not get “lost.”
In my imagination, the Golden West was a fairytale land where all the houses had golden roofs like the castles and palaces I had seen in the movie theatre. My father’s friend owned the “White Wall” movie theatre close to our home. My dad took us on many a Sunday to watch Russian fairytale cartoons and other movies. Since I had no concept of the “Golden West,” I thought it was a beautiful place in fairyland where you lived “happily ever after.”

14 Replies to “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch 5 Part 17”

  1. I’m always surprised to read things that we have in common, like having relatives in Germany sending us things like coffee and chocolate, things they thought we couldn’t get here in Canada. We did enjoy those parcels and always tried to reciprocate.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Certainly that seems to be what Putin believes—that all of what was once the USSR is really Russian territory. Incredibly scary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dein Beitrag hat bei mir wieder viele Erinnerungen geweckt, Biene!
    Meine Eltern und wir vier Kinder haben von unserer Oma, Uroma und Großtante mütterlicherseits im Laufe der Jahre viele, viele Pakete bekommen..
    Unsere Oma und Uroma sind vor dem Mauerbau
    ” in den Westen gemacht”, wie es so schön hieß.
    Für sie war es eine schwere, aber richtige Entscheidung..Unsere Großtante Maria, Schwester unserer Uroma, lebte dort schon eine Weile. .🙂
    Wir liebten Oma und Uromchen sehr, sie haben uns ja in den ersten Lebensjahren begleitet und waren für unsere Familie immer da.
    Das änderte sich auch nach dem verfluchten Mauerbau nicht.. Wir bekamen regelmäßig Unterstützung durch Pakete zu allen Geburtstagen und Feiertagen und auch ” zwischendurch”..Was muss das gekostet haben..Die Freude war immer groß! ..Aber so richtig, richtig bewußt , was diese stete, liebevolle Unterstützung bedeutete…. wurde uns wohl erst nach der Kindheit klar!
    Ich habe heute , im Alter von 67 Jahren, noch viele Briefe, (aufgehoben durch unsere Mutti), in denen wir uns alle für die schönen Sachen und Lebensmittel und vieles mehr bedankten…Und als wir endlich unsere Lieben dann und wann auch einmal wieder zu Besuch haben durften…das waren wunderschöne Tage…

    Liebe Grüße aus Sottmar an Euch beide!!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danke, liebe Edda! Ich habe deinen Kommentar gleich meiner Biene vorgelesen. Sie wird auch bald mal wieder schreiben. Morgen geht es wieder nach Vernon,, dieses mal zum Augenarzt. Bald schicke ich ein paar Bilder von uns. Peter

      Like

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