Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Elfriede was my best friend. We met when we were ten.

Elfriede came from Kochte, and was a weekly boarder in Gardelegen, because it was too far too go home. She preferred to be at our place, then be at the boarding house, so during the week she was always with us at Isenschnibbe. Which was very nice.

Elfriede had two brothers, Otto and Fritz, both of whom survived the war.

When the Russians came, Elfriede's family had four hours to pack up their things, and had to leave their farmhouse behind. Luckily they could go to Otto's place.

I didn't know what happened to Elfriede after the war, but when Mother came to live in Wolfsburg in the 1960s, Elfriede found her, and then found me.

So then we could see each other again. Wasn't that lovely.

When the Wall came down and people could go back to the East, we visited Kochte with Elfriede, and she also told us this story. The farmhouse had been huge, and well run, but it was in rack and ruin, and iit was clearly a devastating experience for Elfriede to go back. But like Rosemarie, I think she was also grateful to have survived.

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