Eine ergreifende Liebesgeschichte – 6. Teil

Gespräch über „Gott und die Welt“

Gisela und Hartmut (Kegler Stammbaum Chart II a – III) lernten Albert während ihrer Verlobung kennen, die in Quitzöbel gefeiert wurde. Hier sorgten Vati und Jürgen, Muttis jüngerer Bruder, für lustige Unterhaltung. Hartmut führte an diesem Tag ein langes Gespräch mit Albert, das er bis heute nicht vergessen hat:

 

Eddas Taufe 1955 mIt Jürgen Hartmut Gisela

Eddas Taufe 1955 mit Jürgen, Hartmut und Gisela

Hartmut:

„An Eberhards Vater erinnert mich ein endlos langes, heftig geführtes Gespräch über „Gott und die Welt“. Ich vertrat damals die kirchliche Seite, er dagegen war überzeugter Atheist. Als ich später Ludwig Feuerbachs denkwürdige Schrift über das „Wesen des Christentums“ las, wuchs mein Respekt vor jenem streitbaren Gesprächspartner. Er erwies sich als ausgezeichneter Kenner der Bibel und argumentierte auf dieser Grundlage so folgerichtig, dass ich ihm mit meiner stümperhaften Theologie nicht gewachsen war. Das ärgerte mich auch gehörig, trug aber, als ich etwas vernünftiger wurde, auch zu meiner kirchenkritischen Einstellung bei. Ein einfacher Kutscher hatte einem jungen Akademiker geistig auf die Sprünge geholfen!“

 

Albert lebte vielleicht ein Jahr bei unseren Eltern. Als Eberhard an die Schule nach Baek versetzt wird und Familie Trampenau nach Gulow zieht, geht er in ein Altersheim nach Mecklenburg. Elisabeth hatte sich durchgesetzt!

 

In dieser Zeit hatte sich unsere Oma Hanna an der Hilfsschule in Bad Wilsnack als Lehrerin beworben und war auch dorthin versetzt worden. Sie bekam dort eine kleine Wohnung, zwei Zimmerchen mit Küche im ersten Stock, die nur über eine steile Treppe erreichbar war. Für Opa Manuel, der ja nur mit Krücken laufen konnte, war der Weg in die Wohnung sehr beschwerlich. Aber da es in der Ehe von Johanna und Emanuel ohnehin gerade ziemlich kriselte, wohnten Oma Hanna und Omchen zeitweise allein in Bad Wilsnack.

Edda 1956

Edda 1956

Auch Elisabeth, Eberhard und die kleine Edda besuchten sie hier von Zeit zu Zeit. Einmal, als auch Jürgen gerade dort war, wurde Edda, die gerade laufen konnte und daran gewöhnt werden sollte, ihr Geschäft auf dem Töpfchen zu verrichten, auf dasselbe gesetzt. Sie wollte aber nicht sitzen bleiben, stand immer wieder auf und tappelte zu Großmutter in die Küche. Jürgen setzte sie wieder hin, und als sie sofort wieder aufstehen wollte, brüllte er sie an: „Setz dich jetzt hin!!“. Edda, die sonst von Jürgen nur lustige Töne gewohnt war, plumpste mit fassungslos aufgerissenen Augen wieder auf den Topf, erledigte umgehend ihr Geschäft, und alle lobten Jürgen ob seiner pädagogischen Fähigkeiten.

Emanuel kam in Mellen sehr schlecht allein zurecht.

Dorfkirche mit Friedhofsansicht in Mellen - Photo Credit: Panoramio

Dorfkirche mit Friedhofsansicht in Mellen – Photo Credit: Panoramio

Jürgen(Kegler Stammbaum Chart II a – III) :

Nachdem Emanuel mit seiner ständigen Nörgelei allen die Nerven zersägt hatte, kam Hartmut bei einem seiner Besuche auf die Idee einer Scheidung. Wir, Elisabeth und ich, griffen das begeistert auf, Omchen schwieg sehr beredt dazu, denn Scheidung war in ihrem Lebensbild etwas Unanständiges. Hartmut drängte mit Argumenten, Elisabeth und ich emotional. Schließlich fuhr das scheidungswillige Ehepaar zum Amtsgericht in Perleberg vor den Scheidungsrichter. Ich war bei dem Termin dabei. Es gab keinen, der nach dem Gesetz schuldig war, und so wurde nach Scheidungsgründen gefragt. Weder Emanuel noch Johanna wusste so richtig darauf zu antworten, denn Nörgelei war kein Grund, und dass die Kinder es so wollten, auch nicht. Also entschied der Richter, sie mögen doch zu Hause noch einmal in Ruhe darüber nachdenken und schloss die Sitzung. Sichtlich erleichtert fuhren die Eheleute wieder nach Mellen zurück. Ich war überzeugt, wäre Emanuel nicht an Krücken gegangen, dann hätten die beiden das Amtsgericht Händchen haltend verlassen. Ich war natürlich enttäuscht, Elisabeth und Hartmut nicht minder.

Im Nachhinein, nachdem ich schon im Westen war und Emanuel verstorben, schien mir der Ausgang des Scheidungsversuches sehr glücklich, denn meine Mutter hätte sicher bis an ihr Lebensende an dem Selbstvorwurf gelitten, einen hilfsbedürftigen Menschen im Stich gelassen zu haben.

 

Oma Hanna und Omchen zogen – zu unserem Glück – wieder nach Mellen zurück.

 

 

Memory Fragments – Part II

Kientzheim. Alsace, June 1940

by local resident Theresa Held-Schmitt

Kientzheim, Alsace, France - Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Kientzheim, Alsace, France – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

“I was 10 years old at the time. Germany’s attack on France lasted only a few weeks. France was ready to surrender. June 18, 1940 was a sunny day. A company of German infantry was approaching the village on bicycles. Although they could see no French soldier far and wide nor hear any shots, the commander, Sergeant Bruno Kegler, let his unit wait at the village outskirts and went alone into the village. He wanted to find out, whether the quiet scene was perhaps a trap. He stopped at our house, which was close to the graveyard wall, and asked, if he could have a look from the attic window. He wanted a better view onto the surrounding area. I was just a little girl and accompanied the German soldier to the attic. There he was attentively looking out of the window. I stood next to him. Suddenly a shot rang out. He touched his head and said, ‘I have been hit’. Then he collapsed onto the floor. When my mother alarmed by my screaming entered the attic, Bruno Kegler was already dead.

Bruno Kegler Giving Instructions to his Troop

Bruno Kegler Giving Instructions to his Troop the Day before he Died

He was the only dead German soldier at the invasion of our region and all the inhabitants of Kientzheim were of the same opinion. An overly zealous German soldier mistook him for an enemy and shot one of his own troops (in modern terminology he was killed by ‘friendly fire’).”

Jürgen Kegler continues, “When I returned home from my bicycle tour, I reported what I had experienced. My uncles reproached me for not letting my mother in the belief that my father had died for ‘Führer, country and his people’, as it was written in the letter from the regiment’s commander. But she took the news in stride. She even was thankful for it. she knew that the notifications were all worded the same way, and that the circumstances of death were, however, always different.

The two Sons Hartmut and Jürgen Kegler Visiting his Grave

The two Sons Hartmut and Jürgen Kegler Visiting his Grave

I was thinking by myself how his early death had perhaps saved him from greater trouble in the war. There was also the possibility that out of disappointment with the system he may have sought contact  with the Resistance Movement against Hitler’s regime and could have ended up in the torture chambers of the Gestapo. Is it not true that disillusioned idealists most often have to face the most radical consequences?”

Memory Fragments

Tribute to our Father and Grandfather Bruno Kegler

by Jürgen Kegler and Anke Schubert – Chart II a – II & III

Bruno Kegler with his Family 1940

Bruno Kegler with his Family 1940

When the war broke out in September 1939, Bruno considered it his duty to participate in Germany’s struggle to shape her destiny. He enlisted in the army. At that time he was an enthusiastic supporter of National Socialism and proud to be a member of the Party with a fairly low membership number. He took part in the campaign against Poland. However, upon his return he was totally depressed and disgusted about what he had experienced.  He said to his wife Johanna that the Party was nothing but a criminal bunch of rabble (Sauhaufen). With his illusions about a better world destroyed, he had to go back to the front lines.

Bruno Kegler

Bruno Kegler

To describe what happened next, it is best to let his youngest son Jürgen Kegler continue. In 1956 he made a bicycle tour with a friend through Western Europe . Their goal was to explore Belgium, Holland, Great Britain and France. He wrote:

Vosges Mountains - Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Vosges Mountains – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

“The journey back home went over Paris in the direction of the Vosges Mountains. By the way, we slept in the open air, ate little,  and experienced much. On a map I discovered the little village of Kientzheim. I wondered if it was possible to locate my father’s grave site. I found it marked by a simple wooden cross and a tin tag, which every soldier had to wear on his body. It was a strange feeling to read my father’s name in an unfamiliar region of a foreign country . It was like something very much alive rising from the ground, quite a mystifying feeling. While I was squatting down at the grave site, a woman approached me and asked if I was a relative of the German soldier. When I had introduced myself as the youngest son of Bruno Kegler, she began to tell me the following story.

To be continued on the next post …

The Incredible Story of the Fall of the Iron Curtain

The Dieter and Edda Barge Report (Chart II a – IV)

Contributed be Dieter Barge

Bruno Kegler

Bruno Kegler 1901 – 1940

Edda’s grandparents on her mother’s side of the family were Bruno and Johanna Kegler. We called Johanna Hanna. She was a kindhearted woman. She too had to endure many hardships. Truly she had earned her last beautiful years together with her mother and Aunt Maria at Tulpen Street in Gießen. Her maiden name was Engel (Angel in English).

One of her cousins was Erich Engel, who lived after the war with his wife Berty in Hanover and served in the courts as Attorney General. For many years Erich immersed himself in family research and of course also explored the ancestry of the Keglers. Edda and I maintained an active correspondence with the Engels. So it comes as no surprise that Erich had also written much about our family. Unfortunately he passed away a few years before Gemany’s reunification. Thus, we never met in person. On the occasion of our first visit to the ‘West’ – I believe it was in 1987, I got to know his wife Berty. We had dinner with her together with Jürgen and Inge Kegler. Out of this emerged a long friendship with her. She passed away at the age of 94.

On November 9th, 1989, the Berlin Wall had come down. Günter Schabowski, the Regime’s spokesman made the fateful announcement that East Germans would be allowed to cross the border. When asked how soon, not being completely informed he replied, “As far as I know, effective immediately.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQiriTompdY

On the same evening tens of thousands of GDR citizens were in West Berlin, and on Saturday November 11th, 1989 our family traveled to Berty’s place in Hanover. We started out at six in the morning and arrived in Hanover at 8 p.m. From the moment we entered the autobahn, we slowly drove in the notorious stop-go pattern of a horrendous traffic jam. We will never forget this trip! Today you can cover the distance in an hour and a half.

There was rejoicing everywhere. Right after the border crossing at Marienborn there was even a party going on. Berty looked at us. She had no idea that we were coming and said, “… and I have nothing at all to eat for you!”

On Sunday on our return trip there were a hundred people standing on every overpass waving at the Trabis and Wartburgs (East German cars). Later on I often went to the ‘Four Border Point’, where Berty lived, and helped a little in her apartment, whenever there was something to do. Often we had a couple of Jever beers and Doornkaat schnaps. Together we also went to Wilhelmshaven, where Erich came from. His father was employed there as senior foreman at the shipyard.

Back to Erich, he had put together about six thick volumes of more than 1000 pages, of which we have a copy. The huge family had several Engel-Reunions, besides others also the one in Weipoldtshausen at Jürgen and Inge Kegler’s. In volume five, Erich recounts a little story of a reunion in 1973 at Tulpen Street in Gießen. Jürgen and his 6-year old son Michael dropped in to see us. Michael looked at the backs of all the participants and said to his dad (Recall that the name Engel means Angel in English), “These are not angels at all. I looked at them very closely. They have no wings!”

Kegler Family Reunion in Hungary

Kegler Family Reunion in Hungary