~*To My Dear Father!*~
Today and forever my thoughts are with you,
For I am what I am today, after all these years,
because of the man you were towards me through all the years.
Thank you for always being there for me,
Even though I thought that I needed no one.
You lived and stood by your family, and that was your whole purpose in life.
For that conviction you had suffered
And endured so much, especially during and after the war,
During the time you were kept captive in Attichy, France,
Till after the end of the war.
I can not even begin to comprehend what you must have felt at that time.
Perhaps only the thought to return home
To your loved ones gave you the strength to keep going,
from day to day. Then, in 1946, that day came, and you finally
Came home to us, for the first time in years!
You had endured.
Perhaps not as much for yourself, but to be with your family again,
And to take care of us.
Then with your bare hands you dug up your tools and machinery
Out of the rubble of war.
You saved what you could to be able to make a living
For us all in your profession as engraver and goldsmith.
Your life was your work, and the work became and shaped
Your life. How I remember your beautiful hands
As they toiled over all the work. These hardworking hands
provided the food and shelter and clothing that we needed
To sustain those painful days in postwar Eastern Germany,
In our city and birthplace of Magdeburg.
How difficult and trying it must have been for you,
To leave behind all you had saved out of the ruins and
all you had worked for, as you escaped to the western
Part of our country, on that dark and rainy night.
To start a new life for your family and to send for us
Was your commitment.
When we finally left to join you in the west that foggy morning,
How much you must have thought of us all
and especially of our courageous mother.
When we were united again in the Rhineland,
Just before Christmas 1949,
How happy we all were
As one family, in new-found freedom,
During the joyous time of Christmas.
We had one branch of pine and small candles
With homemade decorations to celebrate our first Christmas
In the western part of Germany.
I cherish that night so well, when at last we were together again.
After all the fears and troubles
Of our escape were over, it seemed we had come
Out of the darkness and gloom into the light and a new future.
You had left behind your homeland and birthplace
And also that of your ancestors, and traded all for freedom
and a better life for your family. You also left
All material things behind you, to achieve that and make it come true.
Our family had new hope and dreams again, thanks to
Your sacrifices and unselfish love for us all.
Then you worked endlessly for eight long years
in the western part of Germany to build a good life for your family.
But as you never felt at home there,
Your silent dream must have been of a still better life
And future for your children.
That dream came true for you and all of us in 1958
When you decided to immigrate to Canada.
Now this is the homeland of your grandchildren,
but may they never forget the sacrifices of their
Grandfather, for that they could live comfortably in freedom.
Fourty-four years have passed since we came to CANADA,
And it's been twenty-one years since you passed away here
In Canada . Now I know and understand how happy
And grateful you were to be able to give your family
a new life and hope for the future in this country.
No price was to high for you to secure that future for us all.
There will never be a more unselfish and loving person in this world, than you.
Your love and understanding for people, and many other
Things you stood for in your life, your high morals
and respect for nature, but most of all important to me
Was your endurance and perseverance to achieve and to reach that goal
You set for yourself.
Our way of never giving up hope, regardless of
How difficult things seemed to be,
To keep that dream alive,
till it becomes reality.
By believing in all things you stood for,
And all you gave and were to the world as a person,
I am given the courage, the will , and the strength
To carry on in this life, and to believe in myself.
Thank you, my dear father,
Today and always,
your son, Hartmut.