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Friday, August 22, 2014

WWII

I love hearing people's story, especially my grandmother's story.  She doesn't talk about it a lot, but I loooove asking her questions about it.  For those who don't know my her, she's young at heart!  No joke, she has more energy than me.  My sister and I joke that she gets more accomplished before 5 am then we get done all day long.  

She was born in 1938 in Germany, which was right around WWII.  She was the eldest of two girls, until her mother passed away and her father remarried and had two more daughters, all of which I have met.  The cool thing is my grandmother takes each of her grandkids to her homeland, Munich, Germany after they turn 10 years old.  All 8 of us grandchildren get to meet her family & see where she grew up.  Unfortunately, her father passed away before I made it to Germany.  His name was Christof (my brother is named after him).  He lived until 1996.  He owned a chemical company during WWII & was very successful.  He was an excellent salesman & as she described him, he reminded me of my own dad.  He also helped a Jewish family flee to Switzerland.  He supported them financial and helped with their transportation.  Two of my grandmother's aunts and 4 cousins were killed in a fire during WWII.. I vividly remember my grandmother telling me her family had a house in the mountains where they would stay & escape all the war that was going on (they weren't Jewish, but were still trying to avoid all the fighting going on).  

How did my Grandma Romy end up in California?  She met my grandfather who was stationed in Germany post war.  He was very athletic and ran track on the side while he was over there.  She said she met him at a German Club her family belonged too.  She was only twenty-one when she moved here.  I was told her father sewed money in her fur coat just in case she didn't like the states and wanted to go back to Germany. I can't even imagine the culture shock she experience.  I think I experienced it somewhat when I moved, but it doesn't even compare to my grandmother.  She said she could rarely call because it was so expensive (and it's not like they had FaceTime).  She would try to fly back once a year.  My grandmother never complains.  So when I ask her these questions, I don't think I get the full effect because she is so positive, but I know it had to be tough!  

I was able to travel to Germany again when I was 22 along with Bob & my cousin, Bailey.  Below are a few pictures I have from the trip. I hope we can go back again sometime in the future!