vatertag-fathers-day-today-in-germany

They put me into an orphanage immediately after birth 1945. I had to search for a father-substitute. When I was a student, Monsignore Dr. Schwegmann, working for the Pope in Rome, gave me a room in his expensive country home, where he lived with a housekeeper and a donkey. Early in the morning he brushed the donkey (5 a.m.). It was like a religious rite.
Ready to start but not willing.
title=”Ready to start but not willing” – photo taken in Scarborough, England, by Marina Proniakova from Moscow, kindly sent to my group BLOG IT!, click on the picture to enter her galleries on flickr.com
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Today, May 9th, it’s “VATER-TAG” = “Father’s Day” in Germany…
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On father’s day I could write about the father of Geoff Quinn , who died after a plane crash, but left a bottle with a letter for his son in the snow. Or about the father of Rita Crane, who managed to escape from Germany during the Third Reich, he became a famous photographer in NYC. Or about the father of Klaas, who was a captain of a submarine during World War II, swimming with his crew near the coast of Africa, to make a break, ignoring some Greek oil tankers? Or about Joseph Winter, New York, who impressed me very much.

Why not about my father? They put me into an orphanage immediately after birth 1945. I had to search for a father-substitute. When I was a student, Monsignore Dr. Schwegmann, working for the Pope in Rome, gave me a room in his expensive country home, where he lived with a housekeeper and a donkey. Early in the morning he brushed the donkey (5 a.m.).

Then he went to church (six in the morning). Then he drove with his automobile to the German bishop, where he had a bureau. But he always took me in his car to the university nearby. In the afternoon, home again, we ate cake made by his housekeeper.

In the evening we played chess and made some philosophical conversations: writing with chalk on a little black board: He could think, but not hear, not speak – during a thunderstorm a lightning had destroyed something in his nerves. He was the surrogate of a father.

Only 6 years in my life, but I will never will forget him, because he helped me to find a lifestyle. I’m not brushing a donkey every morning – but the fur of my little cat. I am not preaching in the church a sermon every morning – but writing a little story daily for my blog…

P.S.:
step by step I enjoyed more and more the comments of my readers. They often inspired me to dive deeper into a topic. The result now is a print edition “Fragments And Feedbacks” – 100 pages, only words, no photos, a “best of” (so far) out of more than 1,200 articles – if you are interested please visit http://www.blurb.com/books: fragments-and-feedbacks

About frizztext

writer, photographer, guitarist

30 responses to “vatertag-fathers-day-today-in-germany

  1. A very moving post, ft. Thanks so much for sharing about your early life and surrogate father. I can understand how you must feel on Fathers’ Day, never having known your own. Very sad, but thankfully you’ve come through it. I’ll visit your link. 🙂

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  2. I especially enjoyed this post today, Dietmar. In our culture, we say a student is like a person’s child. And I do believe that it works the other way too. I have had teachers who were like fathers to me, and who made a life long impression. Sometimes, the people we adopt in life are more important than those we know as family. Sometimes, family can be very oppressive. May you be blessed with love and friendship all your days.

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  3. Laura Bloomsbury

    this Father reminds me a little of Graham Greene’s gentle soul: Monsignor Quixote which in turn leads me to your book and the passages I’ve managed to read so far – especially liked Cervantes. Great title and the cover is how we your readers have come to see you.
    p.s. thank you for including my Cowcross Street ‘C’ post

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  4. very moving… I’d like to brush adonkey each day and some are not very lucky in this life too. Did you know that a donkey doesn’t like to be alone ?
    An old picture about friendship : http://icezine.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/week-17-friendship/
    because there’s some friendship in fatherhood sometimes

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  5. Wunderschöne, bewegende Erinnerungen!
    Schönen Vatertag in die Ferne 🙂

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  6. Happy Father’s Day to you yourself. A father, just like mothers, comes in different ways, shape and form. They could be anyone who nurtured and loved us. I was cared for by a string of family members too, paternal grandparents, aunts and later my parents. I loved them all the same way.

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  7. Happy Father’s Day! You have some incredible memories and a way of recounting them in few but powerful words that takes us right into the heart of them… Best wishes for the day.

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  8. Allan G. Smorra

    Happy Father’s Day, Frizz. This is a very moving post and I appreciate you sharing it with us.

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  9. Beautiful words today for Father’s Day. I am so happy that your lifestyle includes these little daily stories in your blog.
    Lisa

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  10. I think is great that you found a father-substitute with whom you made interesting things like having philosophical conversations, and also sharing simple and pleasant moments like eating a cake daily in the afternoon, or watching him brushing his donkey early in the morning. I have friends who did not share time with their father as children and teenagers because they were too busy doing who knows what.

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  11. Sometimes, all it takes is one good person to make the world of difference . . . .

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  12. Where would we be without the Monsignore Schwegmann’s of this world, I’m so glad you found him.

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  13. Amy

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Frizz! How wonderful he gave you love and comfort. That is such a moving story.

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  14. That is a really beautiful story. Do you have children? If so, then Happy Father’s Day to you!

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  15. Someone’s love helped mold who you are today and I imagine you are quite pleased with the outcome. You are an interesting and talented gentleman. Without going into detail about why I believe so, I’ll say, love sometimes trumps blood.

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  16. Happy Father’s Day to you Dietmar. Truly loved hearing your story, and thanks for mentioning my Dad. Best to you, Barbara, and your family.

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  17. Dietmar — I am so moved by your story as it comes out, a little bit here, a little bit there. This man showed you kindness and gave you structure at a moment when you were vulnerable and at such risk for drifting away. And now you, married to such a creative and strong person, and a grandfather!, a musician, owner of a healthy sense of humor and a lover of cats (very important that). I am moved that you brush your cat every day — even on days, I suspect, where he (or she?) has raided the goldfish bowl.

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  18. Ben

    Happy Father’s day!

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  19. Happy Father’s Day Dietmar. In Canada we are celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday. My own father is still with us and he constantly shares stories of his past. The one person, however, that he rarely talks about is his father. I’m not sure why but it sounds like you may have had a closer relationship with Monsignore Schwegmann in those six years than my father had in the 17 years that he knew his own father.

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  20. How fortunate for you to have found a wonderful father-subsititute whose influence has helped shape some of the positive aspects and activities of your life. Very moving story, Frizz! Happy Fathers Day to you!

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  21. Very touching story — I’m so glad someone entered your life that made an impact early on and that you’ve never forgotten. Fond memories are wonderful to hold onto!

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  22. Your post, and the comments are moving. No doubt your presence was important to this man who cared for you for six years. No doubt your presence is important to your own children, and grandchildren. And no doubt there is pain that will always be felt. I’m glad you have this creative outlet and put so much good energy into it.

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  23. 1annecasey

    Beautiful post.

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