Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 5

A Visit to Aurich

Biene wrote this post.

Every day is a new experience for children, and I enjoyed every day of my new life—no time to think of the past. The school was exciting because of our inspiring and kind teacher. With so many families living nearby in the camp, my brother and I had many friends. We spent most of the time outside playing in those endless meadows surrounding the base. There was never a dull moment because someone would always come up with an exciting activity or game. We skipped rope, played ball games, did yoga-type gymnastics and often invented new poses. We had talent shows singing and performing songs we had heard on the radio. We played old-fashioned games like marbles, hopscotch, hide and seek, catch or make-belief games. Sometimes we would collect daisies, dandelions or other flowers for braiding wreaths or lie back in the lush meadows and daydream.

Looking back now, from an adult perspective, life for my parents was not that idyllic. They were eager to have a place again to put down roots and call it home. But time dragged on. Sometimes my mom would take us to the picturesque town of Aurich, where my dad had found a temporary position as a dental technician at the local dentist’s office. My mom would slip quietly into the beautiful old church to kneel and pray for a few ‘Our Fathers’ on those outings. Often it looked like she was crying. My brother and I loved these town outings because my mother would buy us cones with whipping cream, a region specialty known for its sweet and rich cream from happy cows grazing on those lush pastures. My mom would drink East Frisian black tea with little “clouds” of heavy cream, also a specialty of the region.

11 Replies to “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 5”

  1. Despite all the disruptions in your life, Biene, you were able to have joy in life. Your parents took all the worries. On the big picture it was better to be in West Germany but the transition was very painful for the adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is nothing quite like the innocence of children. Your mother’s tears revealed her true feelings, but she obviously did a good job of protecting you from her sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Children seem to adapt much easier to new situations, as long as they have friends and activities. They don’t have the responsibility of taking care of a family, building a home and planning for the future of their kids. Your parents gave up and invested a lot to give the family a better new start in the west. I hope they found that it was worth the while in the end. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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