My mother has recently opened up to me about her past for the first time in my life. She was born and raised in East Prussia, in a farming community. She was 7 years old when the war started.
We started talking about one of my Aunts that I do not have a lot of contact with. What I do know is that for most of my life she has been very protective of others.
I remember as a child when we were at her house we were always told to be careful, and where we could and couldn’t play. I always felt like we had to be super careful so as not to cause my aunt anxiety.
My mom told me about here experience and feelings during the war the war she stated she was not scared at all during that time. I inquired why, and she told me, “I was young, I thought it was a game”.
“But Tante was older, and knew what was going on, so she would pretend it was a game for us, we would hide in bunkers as the Russians or the Poles came searching for us. She kept us safe”
This morning talking to Nikki, I brought this up, and realized something. My aunt is scared all the time that others need protection, because she, as a child, gave up here innocence and held up a strong face for her 7 siblings, at 10 years old.
I don’t have a relationship with her today at all. I always felt uneasy being around her, and still do. I wish I could let her know how grateful I am for what she did. I wish she knew how much she did for all her and our family.
Thank you Tante.