6 Nov 2008

DONA NOBIS PACEM

BLOG FOR PEACE A WORLDWIDE PEACE MOVEMENT

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This story is not that long ago ! Only 63 years.

Today is OUR day to all claim "Give us Peace" Donna Nobis Pacem, and I thought about my childhood. I was born during world war II in 1943. My mother gave birth to me in a bunker in the heavily bombarded Frankfurt (Germany) and apparently I spent my first night in a drawer because there were no baby beds.

From the war itself I personally don't remember anything of course. My souvenirs start when the war was over and we (the germans) were occupied by the liberators. I was lucky I lived in an area which was occupied by American soldiers. The once in Eastern Germany had less luck they were occupied by russians who as I had been told, molested the population by raping, tortures plundering etc.

I only remember my mothers fear which made me anxious. She used to take me and look out of a window in the roof to watch drunken american soldiers trying to get into houses especially into the neighbor house where a pretty young girl lived. I only remember the banging and bawling.

I also remember my mother and her sister running home hysterically (that's probably why I remember something) crying and screaming that they had tried to collect some potatoes on the field which farmers had forgotten and a tank had persecuted them with laughing american soldiers on it who tried to catch them.

I am convinced they found it very funny and just wanted to amuse themselves a bit. They had to participate in this war, they just did what they had been told, fighting the enemy.

Sometimes tanks were crossing the little city where my grandparents lived and it's strange I don't remember the tanks but I remember the asphalt of the street braking into large gaps due to their weight and the noise it made.

I didn't realize the daily fight for something to eat. Food was an omnibulant problem there was nothing to eat. Of course I always had enough food and it was normal to me that I had, but I didn't know how difficult it was for the people to get some. The "rich" people at that time were farmers. They had a paradise in the eyes of the hungry population. They even had milk and eggs.

One of my favourite occupations when I was a little older, was to listen to the Red Cross broadcasting where thousands of names were mentioned, each person looking for a missing brother, sister, father or mother. I found it very interesting and would have liked my name to be mentioned just as if I had disappeared too.

For me as a child it was completely normal that all fathers (except mine) had something missing. A leg, an arm, an eye, sometimes both legs and I only realized that it was not so normal when for the first time I went to the Belgian coast and saw men there at the beach. It seemed very strange to me that they had all their body parts.

Once, spending a night at my friend's I entered the bathroom in the morning and saw an eye starring at me in a glass. It was her fathers glass eye. (you can laugh, I laughed too) or at another's place where I opened the wardrobe to look for something and found myself with a leg prostheses in my arms.

All this was so normal ! That a lot of girls in my class had not fathers anymore, that a lot of them were still expecting them because they were war prisonners, that my uncle the youngest brother of my father came home from Siberia, looking fat and grey and was only 25 years old !

Thanks to this foolish mad man named Hitler he had spent ten years there. He was 15 when they forced him to "fight for the country".

Our blogworld proves that people don't need wars and that we are all for peace ! We realize that we are all the same over the world with the same problems, the same happiness and the same feelings. We don't have any colors or any borders, we all have our ideas, we don't need any war, nowhere on this planet !

27 comments:

catsynth said...

Peace to you, too.
And what a story, we didn't realize you were born in Germany during the last years of the war. Certainly a reason to wish for peace.

DianeCA said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing story. It is incredibly important that we keep these memories alive. That we remember what it is like to live in war times so we are not tempted to go there again. We mustn't turn away or change the channel on the TV when they show pictures from other parts of the world that are suffering the ravages of war. We must be aware that somewhere children are still living this way and worse, and stop it.

Mar said...

Very powerful entry, Gattina... Love your peace globe and I see how open minded you are since you also included a dog! :D
Peace to you and yours. Have an enjoyable day.

jmb said...

Peace be with you Gattina and with us all one day so that others don't have to suffer as your loved ones did.

claudie said...

Thanks to share your first years in Germany. This is good to hear because I always heard stories of french people during this period and just one time by german civil. When I was in Germany in the Black Forest i spoke with an old farmer about this period and he was so sad for all. My father was 14 when the war started and he wrote about this period after he went to Wietnam and we were in Algeria when I was born in the war of North Africa. So I heard a lot at home. Pierre staid in Algery to 1965, and they were living closed in a terrible atmospher. He was born in an hospital whitout the doctors and nurses because the war and the fire around. Humanity don't need wars but peace. It was just a little coucou from France and I go back at school! Have a great afternoon! It is raining again!

Hootin' Anni said...

Gattina....this is one of the most poignant, breath grabbing stories you've shared! It was an eye-opener, I'm sure, for many who follow me in reading what you shared! And your light take on most all of what surrounds you today reflects on how you were when you were a child! You're amazing!!!

Yes, wars we don't need. It's all your own peace of mind. And you my dear, are one of the most peaceful people I know in blogland. You're an inspiration to us all.

Mar said...

The one on the right is a CAT??? oh, my, I need new glasses (again!)
Sorry about that, pictured kitty :)

Lifecruiser said...

This is such a wonderful peace post. I love the personal touch of it with your own experiences, yet written with humor - and with the great peace saying and peace globe.

(...plus you just gave me an idea what I might write about in my next peace globe post!)

Ferd said...

Your experience is very touching, and your positive attitude is inspiring!
Thank you, Gattina!

Carver said...

Dear Gattina, I don't have the words to express how moved I was by your powerful story so I'll just say thank you for telling it to us. Dona Nobis Pacem!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Beautiful post, thank you for sharing. My Mutti grew up in war time Germany outside of Munich. It has definitely shaped her life.
Sending*Peace*Love*Light* to all oxoo

Immi said...

Thank you Gattina. I'd never considered what happened to the people in Germany in WWII. I was taught as a child here in the US that the Germans were bad, or the enemy in WWII. Of course, like some Americans, there were bad or evil Germans. I have to say Hitler qualified. But now I see that most were just people trying to get by just as we all are now. Thanks so much. You just handed me a big chunk of peace and I will hold onto it and cherish it.

jennifer said...

Gattina, this ma be the most powerful post about Peace that I have seen today. THANK YOU for sharing.

Have a peace filled day.

Melli said...

Gattina, I had actually forgotten ALL ABOUT the Peace Day... Mine is up now.

Those are some amazing memories you have. I'm glad they are NOT mine. I don't even remember bomb shelters or air raid warnings... I have been sO blessed in MY lifetime NOT to be actively involved in war. My older sisters though remember things that I do not. Still... never war our on own soil. I find it very SAD the things you thought were "normal" as a child.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Beautiful honey, just beautiful. Very well said. Peace to you and yours. :)

Carletta said...

What a moving story Gattina. I wish I could reach out and give you a hug. I hope a cyber one will do. (((Gattina))) :)
Love and Peace to you!

Carletta said...

I forgot to add that I love the sentiment on your globe!

Lazy Daisy said...

Wow, I was really moved by your post Gattina. Thank you for your story.

Sammawow said...

You have a lovely Peace Globe and I was fascinated by your post. Thank you for sharing this today!

Kuanyin Moi said...

Your post made me tear up! My, but how times have changed! And you've been through so much in your life! May you always have Peace forevermore!

Dianne said...

those who have known a time without peace cherish peace all the more

thank you for sharing your story

Jewelgirl said...

Thank you Gattina for telling your story.
Peace to you and your family.
(((((Deutsche Hugs)))))

Raven said...

Powerful post and a powerful message about the cost of war. Peace.

Liz said...

Brilliant post, gattina. I love the 'eye' and the normality of men with bits missing. How tragic and what a waste of young lives. I pray we never see that again.

Julia Smith said...

Gattina, your early watime experiences shaped you and still you embrace life with humour, optimism and a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. I'm so glad to read your post today, and I love the rose on your peace globe.

Dina said...

This is so moving to hear your story. I thank you for sharing it.
Peace to you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gattina - This is an amazing post. Chilling. Well told. Sad....haunting...so glad you are here with us to tell the tale and blog for peace.
Hugs and love to you from America,

Mimi