25 February 1942 - my little brother arrived

lilosophieFebruary 26, 2012

At her age, she should have known better

February 25 1942 -

How could she? I was not amused - 18 years old and mother pregnant, bothered me terribly.

I was sure people would think this was my child and mother was covering up, pretending it is

hers to shield my reputation.

A year before she had attended a charity doing and actually won a baby-carriage in the raffle, it was a cause for many jokes and much teasing; she turned to carriage over to the sponsors and had them auction it off, returning the the proceeds to the organization. And now here she was.

Papa was not home, he had an assignment out of town, he never was present at the birth of his children, no fault of his, it was said. We all were sure he was present at the conception, and that is all that is important, after all.

So I transferred back to Gnesen to be of help, reluctant, to be sure, there was help: Bozena was Nanny to Cristina and there was Maria, Mothers house-keeper, Bozenas aunt, and we all rattled around in a four-room apartment, though the helpers went home at night.

Cristina had the mumps and was bedded in mamas bed-room, I had the small room off the lavatory. As usual in European housing, the WC was off the hallway by itself, a good arrangement.

It was very cold and it was snowing, I had been reading in bed, turned the light off and started to doze when Mama called: "Lilo, you have to go and get the Midwife".

There was no private phone, this was war-time, and I dont think the Midwife had a private phone, either.

So I put on my socks and my boots over my PJs, slipped on the old fur-coat and set out. Black-out was in effect, the only light my flashlight, one of those dynamo jobs that had to be squeezed and threw a very faint light, radius seemed inches, probably more, but not much. It was a little walk to get to the womans apartment and I was only hoping she wasnt out on another call. I wasnt afraid, though there was a certain danger traveling the streets in the middle of the night.

The Midwife was available and came with me, started her preparations, Cristina was put into the room with me and Mama and Midwife got busy with the birthing. It was a boy, which caused great celebration, finally here was little Peter.

Next day through the local Office a message was sent to Papa and he appeared, with flowers yet and champagne, we celebrated Peters arrival.

A few days later I went back to Posen and to my friends and my night-life, Cristina got over her mumps and everyone settled into a new routine, which included a baby.

I thought Mother did quite well for an old woman.

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Thanks for the look into our and your family's lives.
How is the baby doing now?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 2:36AM
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Can't teenagers get embarrased by their parents! I remember well the dynamo flashlight, hated to use it since I was such a shrimp and had a hard time getting it to work.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:31AM
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Don, my brother passed away of a heart-attack in the eighties.We never got together after I went to the US, so last I remember him when he was 5 years old

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Lilo, thanks for sharing this story. Your memories are detailed and it's interesting to hear about a time and place of which I knew nothing, except that we were at war with Germany. (I was 9 1/2 years old in Feb. 1942.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:45PM
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I'm one who also enjoys reading your stories.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 11:04PM
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