Memory is the only paradise I can’t be expelled from.
This picture shows my only brother, Rudolf – we called him Rudi. He was five years younger than me. This photo was taken when he was 23 years old. He was a soldier in the 2nd World War and often in Russia. I still know exactly, how I waved him goodbye at the station after his furlough. Not only I was expecting him back – also his bride. They wanted to marry.
At the next holiday date she had already stowed her wedding dress in a wardrobe in our house. She slept waiting wistfully at my parents’ house. To no avail. Instead of him, came the letter, which contained the notification of his death.
Many years later my eldest son took the time to research where Rudi fell – in Russia. But I have never been to his grave there.
Prefer to remember him alive, in the scenes of our lives together, in recollection… how he always gave me something from his Christmas sweets when I had already nibbled everything away. Or how we used to take the Zweigstraße on our way to school together. Or how I used to help him with his homework after school.
He was very talented with his hands and would have been able to get an apprenticeship in the steel works in Solingen. We were a typical grinder family.
Through this picture the memories remain alive for me. Memory is the only paradise from which we cannot be expelled.