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Volume XX No 3 December 2008
The KIT Newsletter editorial staff always welcome all suggested contributions for publication in the Newsletter from subscribers and readers, but whether a given submission meets the criteria for publication is at the sole discretion of the editors. While priority will be given to original contributions by people with past Bruderhof connections, any letters, articles, or reports which the editors deem to be of historical or personal interest or to offer new perspectives on issues of particular relevance to the ex-Bruderhof Newsletter readership will be included as well. The editors may suggest to the authors changes to improve their presentation.
Contents Twenty Years Keep in Touch Newsletter 1. … Creating a Network of Reunion 1 2. Ramon Sender’s Activities Today 3 KIT Staff Counts on its Readers 2 Rest in Peace 4 A Close Friend Died: Dieter Holz 5 Raise Money for Cancer Research 5 Dieter’s Grandchildren Reading … 5 Dieter: Memories Shared on Hummer 6 Als Krankenschwester in Primavera 7 Anmerkungen von Hans Zimmermann 11 The Confrontation Between The Bruderhof And The German NationalSocialist Government 1933 to ‘37 –4 11 KIT-Address List Planned 13 Contact Details 14 Error: By mistake the Keep In Touch Newsletter No 2 of September, 2008 was dated incorrectly. The Volume should read: XX (and not XIX).
Lets’ Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Reconnection at Friendly Crossways
By Miriam Holmes I called Friendly Crossways and tentatively arranged for us to meet there the second weekend in August 2009. They were very happy to hear of our plans and would love to have us. I got about 30 replies from people saying they want to come. Some said "maybe." So we — the Keep In Touch Volunteers, and all who already decided to attend — would love one and all to be there and celebrate the 20th anniversary of reconnecting with each other and finding long lost friends. We will meet Friday, at noon, on August 7th until Sunday night or Monday morning, the 9th or 10th . I would like people to contact me with definite plans. The final announcement with financial details will be published in the next KIT Newsletter. Please contact me by leaving a message on my voice mail +1-978 266 1506, or by email: email@example.com. You also can send a card by snail mail to Miriam Holmes, 310 Codman Hill Rd. Apt. DI, Boxborough, MA 01719-1703.
How the Keep In Touch ewsletter Came Into Being - Twenty Years Ago
The Heart Will Find a Way: Creating a etwork of Reunion
By Ramon Sender Barayon, First Published in “Communities” Magazine, 1995 This is the story of how hundreds of isolated former Bruderhof members found each other again — and how reunion with community can help heal the human spirit. The KIT ("Keep in Touch") network began when I decided to research the story of my daughter Xaverie, from whom I had been separated for thirty years. I had been prevented from participating in her life by the Bruderhof, the group of Christian intentional communities in which she lived. After Xaverie's death in 1988, I asked the Bruderhof leadership to allow me to interview community members who knew her. I intended to write a memoir and, in the process, assuage a father's thirst for his daughter's presence. In the process I also hoped that I would find some healing for the emotional trauma caused by the long separation. I had done this when I wrote “A Death In Zamora,” which traced the life of my mother, shot during the Spanish Civil War when I was two. My daughter Xaverie had grown up in the Bruderhof with her mother, after I was asked to leave and subsequently realized I was emotionally incapable of living in the community, and in the marriage. Over the following years, despite numerous attempts to communicate with Xavi, I was cut off from her completely by the Bruderhof leadership. Occasionally I phoned when visiting the East Coast in the hopes of at least talking to her, but was always told, "We think it's in Xavi's best interests not to speak with you." I remained enough under the Bruderhof leadership's control to accept their reasoning, but their ongoing refusal to allow me a relationship with my own daughter remained a festering wound in my heart. When she was seventeen, I insisted upon a visit and finally was allowed one hour with her in a local diner. It remains one of the most magical moments of my life, although I realized it created a dilemma for her: to listen to her heart's desire for her father or remain true to the Bruderhof's (and her mother's) demands. After that visit she wrote to tell me that she could not, as a novice member, remain true to her faith and remain in contact with me. Twelve years after that visit, she wrote once more to tell me that she loved me but due to the differences in our lives she would be unable to communicate with me further. Despite the finality of her letter, I clung to the dream that some day things would change. When my wife Judith and I traveled east in the summer of 1988, she encouraged me to try to telephone Xavi again. This time I had slightly better luck, because whoever answered the phone did not recognize my voice and assumed I was a customer for their toys. "No, Xavi is not taking orders right now," he said. "She just gave birth to her second child." That was how I discovered that she had been married for three years and that I was a grandfather twice over! I asked to speak with my sonin-law, John Rhodes, and when he refused to allow me — or even Judith — to speak with Xavi, I contacted a neighboring minister as a possible go-between. We returned to San Francisco feeling that perhaps some sort of beginning had been made towards resolving the impasse.
Xaverie Sender at the age of 16 or 17
On October 3rd, 1988, I received the news of Xaverie's sudden death from a virulent melanoma cancer five weeks earlier, on August 26th, roughly three weeks after our phone call. When I read the letter, my first reaction was one of shocked disbelief, but when I spoke with John Rhodes and later read the transcript of the memorial service, the truth hit me in all its appalling starkness. My daughter had died at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind two small children. Five days later I still was trying to come to grips with the reality, and yet it seemed as if months had
Keep In Touch Newsletter
The KIT Volunteer Staff Count On Readers' Support
We wish all our readers a happy and healthy year 2009! The "new” Keep In Touch Newsletter, which was inaugurated last December is not affiliated with the former KIT-Peregrine version, though it continues that publication's tradition of serving its readership by disseminating "news and views", along with reports and articles provided to the editors by reader-contributors. Please send us your contributions, they are welcome. (You will find the editor's addresses on the last page.) We are very grateful for the subscriptions and donations received for the year 2008, but must remind our readers that for this venture to continue sustained funding is required; next year’s subscriptions and donations must be forthcoming. The suggested annual contribution, until we can better gage actual costs after the first full year of operation is US$ 20, UK£ 10, or Euro€ 15. We published three issues this year. The next issue is planned for April 2009. The most convenient and least expensive way to post the Newsletter is by email. You have then the advantage of being able to enlarge the type size and pictures by zooming. The email Newsletter also can be printed out in an enlarged version (A3) in copy shops. For your convenience: Readers living in USA can send a cheque or cash to Tim Johnson. Canadian residents are asked to send only cash to Tim. If you want to transfer the money directly from a bank account, please contact him: Tim Johnson, 155 Garden Lane, Decatur, GA 30030, USA, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Those living in England can pay by cheques, cash, or bank transfer. Please contact Joy MacDonald for transfer details: Joy MacDonald, Foxglen, Pinemount Road, Camberley, Surrey, GU152LU, UK. Tel: 01276 26938, Email: email@example.com For Germany and other European countries, Linda Jackson has opened a Euro account in Germany: Volksbank Brüggen-Nettetal EG, BLZ: 31062154, Kontonummer 2201052010, Objektbezeichnung: ‘KIT’. For other currencies, Euros can be deposited into the account using: IBAN: DE52 3106 2154 2201 0520 10, or BIC: GENODED1KBN for $US dollars. Linda asks all of you who transfer money to give her notice: Linda Jackson, 7 Severn Street, Longridge, Lancashire, PR3 3ND. UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please clearly identify the money, however you send it, as "KIT support". We hope you all will appreciate the December Newsletter. The Volunteer Group: Erdmuthe Arnold, Linda Jackson, Tim Johnson, Charlie Lamar, Anthony Lord, Joy MacDonald, Dave Ostrom passed. Why couldn't the community have let me known sooner? At least they could have telephoned. Why was I not allowed one final visit? I spoke twice on the phone with John, and out of respect for his obvious grief, I tried not to express my anger at the five-week lapse between her death and my receiving the news. John seemed as warm and open as anyone from the Bruderhof had been with me since I left. However, I sensed that other ears were listening to our conversation, and I detected a slight edge of paranoia somewhere over the phone extensions. Perhaps they thought it amazingly coincidental that I had appeared in their neighborhood eager to see Xavi only a few weeks before she died. Or perhaps they feared that I would accuse them of gross medical negligence. Six months later, I decided to research my daughter's life story. Perhaps I could capture memories of her in the same way that I had captured those of my mother in Spain, by hunting down all those who had known her. When the Bruderhof leadership turned down my request to interview Bruderhof members, I began to search for former members. I knew the phone number of one former Woodcrest community member, Vince Lagano. Vince gave me the names of two more ex-members who in turn gave me the names of two more. By the end of the month, I had talked with more than thirty ex-Bruderhof members and had personally visited with four. By the end of the second month, I had spoken to over sixty. In spite of the fact that most had followed obediently the Bruderhof's
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 warning not to contact other ex-members (because doing so would prevent any possibility of return to the community) they all were eager for news about the others and asked for their addresses. The KIT Round-Robin newsletter started as a modest two-page sheet sent to thirty or so ex-members August 1989 to share each others' news and addresses, and give these long-isolated friends access to each other again. The newsletter became a monthly, and very soon I was mailing ten-thousand-word issues to two-hundred ex-members. The volume of incoming mail was extraordinary, and the newsletter expanded to sixteen-thousand words per issue, almost all of it "Letters to the Editor." At this point I invited four local Bruderhof graduates to form a volunteer staff and share the workload, Vince Lagano, Charlie Lamar, Dave Ostrom, and Christina Bernard. I talked with exiles from the "Great Crisis of 1960-1961" (in which hundreds of members were expelled from the Bruderhof communities in Paraguay), who were living in dire poverty, and with survivors of various subsequent mass exclusions from the American Bruderhof communities. I discovered that one ex-member, Lee Kleiss, had started a round-robin letter in the early 1960s. I found the so-called "Hartford Boys," a group of young men driven away by a Servant of the Word (a Bruderhof elder) who had beaten them severely, and the tightly-knit group of ex-Bruderhof members in England, who had stayed more closely in touch. Like the ex-members in Germany, the English exmembers seemed willing to let bygone be bygones and tried to put a good face on past wrongs, in contrast to the feistier Americans. But they all shared an intense desire to know whom I had found and what these people were doing with their lives. The Bruderhof's policy of warning ex-members away from each other had successfully isolated many of them, but it could not stifle the yearning to renew childhood connections and old bonds of friendship and fellowship. Almost every person I contacted expressed the same hunger for news. However there were a few exceptions. One or two had been alerted to stay away from KIT by the Bruderhof and would not speak to me, and a few others remained too traumatized and fearful to accept even a sample issue. However, over the intervening years, many of the more timid folk have put aside their fears and joined the KIT network. Financial contributions from the readership have kept abreast of mailing and printing costs, so the staff only had to donate their time and telephones. When someone sent the Bruderhof a photocopy of the KIT newsletter, we began to mail copies directly to each of the Bruderhof communities. By then we had created a widely scattered support group whose feelings about their ex-member status ran the gamut from guilt to outright rage. Some staunchly defended the Bruderhof while others' anger erupted in verbal vitriol. Each had his or her own dramatic story to tell. The most moving were those told by people who had been ejected from the communities as teenagers, cut off from their parents and from any type of financial or emotional support. Keep in mind that the KIT network is not a membership organization, nor do the former Bruderhof members speak as one. It allows all voices to be heard — the angry ones, those pleading for forgiveness and understanding, those simply wanting to share their life stories. At times the various purposes KIT serves intersect and collide, such as when the "support group aspect" — the need to vent anger — interferes with the need to communicate to the Bruderhof leadership in the hopes of resolving some of the unresolved conflicts and misunderstandings. Unfortunately there are many of these. It seems as though the Bruderhof leadership always made the separation as difficult as possible. Many ex-members, including myself, recalling the leadership's methods of controlling people in community, assumed the difficult separations were carried out in the hope that the evicted member would be so traumatized he or she would beg to be taken back, willing to confess to even the most blatantly false accusations as proof of his or her obedience and total surrender to the leaders. In our experience, the Bruderhof had proved itself a remarkably cruel and vindictive organization, especially in the case of its own adolescents. What terrible burdens of guilt and shame they placed on these youngsters! In late 1989, we heard that the Bruderhof was quite concerned about the KIT newsletters. At first I received some frankly hostile letters from members. Then a change occurred, and the letters became more sympathetic. I heard that "a new spirit of reconciliation" was awakening in the Bruderhof. Ex-members wrote about their surprisingly pleasant visits to relatives within the communities. The usual challenges to
Keep In Touch Newsletter 3 "repent and return" were absent from members' conversations, although now and then a "longing" might be expressed in a gentler manner. In January, 1990, a Bruderhof couple traveling in California visited with KIT staff. The meeting seemed to go well. I felt that personally they were willing to acknowledge that I had been treated very badly. As long as the conversation centered on the failings of individuals within the Bruderhof, they listened. They acknowledged that serious mistakes had been made in the past by various Servants and Witness Brothers, but the moment either their beloved former leader Heini Arnold was criticized, or abusive aspects of the Bruderhof system itself were mentioned, they simply did not hear what was said. This lack of agreement on major issues set the tone of all future meetings. In the late summer of 1990 we held our first KIT conference at a youth hostel in central Massachusetts. Approximately 50 "survivors and graduates" gathered for three days of shared memories and visiting with old friends and lost relatives. What an amazing event! In 1992, KIT staff incorporated as the non-profit Peregrine Foundation ("peregrine" meaning "pilgrim" or "wanderer"). Other projects were added, such as Carrier Pigeon Press, which publishes book-length memoirs of ex-Bruderhof members, and the "Women From Utopia" series. We also created a computer bulletin board that allows KITfolk to converse and interact on a daily basis. In 1995, the
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 newsletters and other articles became accessible in electronic form on the Internet and World Wide Web. We have held four more annual conferences in the U.S. and two Euro-KIT gatherings in England. As of December, 1994, the KIT newsletter has published over a million words, and three books and four "Annuals" (bound and indexed collections of the newsletters) are in print as well as various smaller brochures and pamphlets. The XRoads Fund (named in Xavi's memory) has assisted various young people, and helped one young man move out of a homeless shelter into an ex-member's home. Also we were able to track down this young man's birth father and reunite them--a real and heartwarming detective story! In another case we aided a large family thrown out of the community under the most adverse of circumstances and told to go on welfare. Rarely does a month go by that we do not receive a "thank you" letter for the help and services provided. * Ramon Sender Barayon administered the Peregrine Foundation until his retirement in 1999, since when it has continued under the able guidance of other board members. He also edited and published the KIT Newsletter, the MOST Newsletter (for former northern California communards), and Carrier Pigeon Press's "Women from Utopia" series. He lived in the Woodcrest Bruderhof, and the Morningstar Ranch and Wheeler's Ranch communities. He can be reached at PO Box 460141, San Francisco, CA 94146-0141.
How the Keep In Touch ewsletter Came Into Being - Twenty Years Ago
Ramon Sender – his Outside Family and his Activities Today
KIT. 20 years ago, August 1989, the first Keep In Touch ewsletter was published and distributed to more than 30 people – Volume 1 was created. This year, 2008, we are publishing Volume 20. A good opportunity to thank the initiators for a glorious start of communication and sharing of those who left or were asked to leave the Bruderhof since 1959 or earlier. At last they found contact to each other after decades of isolation. Before, the community somehow managed to persuade most of us leavers not to seek contact between each other. We asked Ramon Sender Barayon for a contribution. His daughter Xaverie stayed on the Bruderhof with her mother Sibil and died of cancer at the age of only 33. Indirectly it was Xaverie who got the KIT ewsletter started. Ramon’s response to us was his article “The Heart Will Find a Way: Creating a etwork of Reunion”, which first was published in “Communities” Magazine, 1995 [see the first pages in this issue]. We also asked Ramon to share some more recent information about his “outside” family. He wrote back ovember 30th and December 1st 2008: Ramon Sender: Looking back on the whole KIT/Peregrine adventure, I can only say once again that “it was something whose time had come,” and I was merely a channel for the energy – for which I can only be enormously grateful. Whenever the universe grabs you by the scruff of the neck and says, “Do this,” we can only say, ‘Thank you for the opportunity’!” I also could not have done it without our volunteer staff of Charlie, Dave, Chrissy and Vince, plus additional help from a wider circle with book-publishing, legal advice, the zippy kitchen staff at Friendly Crossways, and more.
Judith and Ramon Sender with dog Riqui Rikardo looking in their front door, August 2008
Sender family 2002, from left: Ramon, Judith and their sons Jonathan (with his future bride Carla in front), Sol and Andres.
Thanks for your interest in things “Senderian”! I attach four photos. The above one was taken round about 2002. We were all in Huesca, Spain, for a week-long conference about my father’s books. Jonathan is our oldest son, Sol the youngest, and Andres the middle son. Jonathan is now the proud papa of David and Raphael, six and four. Sol put together the team that designed the logo for Obama’s campaign and just was interviewed in the New York Times. Andres continues his fascination with the Baroque violin, and is busy building one. Currently I’m reading the book “Pronoia: The Antidote for Paranoia” by astrologer-author Rob Brezsny, whose channelled Goddess-energy I very much enjoy: "Pronoia... is the brazen perception that all of creation is conspiring to shower us with blessings. Pronoia means that even if we can't see and don't know, primal benefactors are plotting to emancipate us. The winds and tides are on our side, forever and ever, amen. The fire and rain are scheming to steal our pain. The sun and moon know our real names, and the animals pray for us while we're dreaming... Can you guess how many humble humans are busy making things for you to use and enjoy?? "You're alive because of love. You're made of love." I find that Brezsny, even at his most insane, represents my point of view with great exactitude. You can get a taste of him by typing “Pronoia” in the search window at: http://books.google.com/
I also believe that if KIT had not happened then, the advent of the Internet would have accomplished the link-up a few years later. But I do very much appreciate the gratitude and appreciation that I feel from many KIT folk.
Keep In Touch Newsletter 4 His earlier very funny and equally profound novel “The Televisionary Oracle” is available online for free here: http://freewillastrology.com/writings Here’s a sample from the free horoscopes on that same website: Dear Gorgeous Genius: While you and I are together here: Your favorite phrase is flux gusto The colors of your soul are sable, vermillion, ivory and jade Your holiest pain comes from your yearning to change yourself in the exact way you’d like the world around you to change Your soil of destiny is peat moss Your mythic symbol is a treasure chest dislodged from its hiding place in the earth by a flood Your lucky number is 13 to the 13th power Your sweet spot is in-between the true believers and the scoffing sceptics A clutch of frog eggs from an unpolluted river is your auspicious hair-care product The anonymous celebrity with whom you have most in common is the jester who followed Buddha around and kept him loose The question that perks you up when your routine becomes too rote is this: “What possesses the bar-tailed godwit to migrate annually from Alaska to New Zealand by hitching rides on gale-force winds?” As you may intuit, I did keep my composer-hippie-clown persona more or less under wraps in the KIT newsletter.
Ramon the clown fools Zero’s coronation
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 KIT: Sol's Obama O Logo has become famous. It was used in the Philadelphia Daily News and the New York Times. We found information that Sol Sender’s small design firm, Sender LLC, created the logo in early 2007. The firm became connected with the Obama campaign through Steve Juras, a friend of Sender's from the Art Institute of Chicago, where they had attended graduate school for design. Sol himself was amazed to see his design take on so many forms and meanings. He now works for Chicago's VSA Partners, an agency that designs for Converse, Harley-Davidson, General Electric and other companies.
Rest in Peace
Keep In Touch came across the news of several older Bruderhof people who died in 2008. They will all be remembered lovingly by many of our readers. If some of you want to submit your memories for publication in KIT – please do so. Lois Ann Domer, wife of Dick Domer and mother of eleven children died on February 26th at Maple Ridge. She had great musical talent, and a lovely singing voice. Her family experienced all the up and downs of Bruderhof life. Johann Christoph Arnold sent Tim Domer, one of her sons living off the community, a flower bouquet after Lois Ann's death as a token of “love.” On the 31st of March Tim wrote back: ”I returned the flowers sent by you… They are destroyed and no longer beautiful, just as you have destroyed beautiful family relationships over and over again. You and your father did great harm to my parents and have abused and injured others in my family. Because of you I was cut off from my parents for years. Now with my mother dead and my 82 year old father still cut off from me, you send me flowers. Men who abuse their wives often send flowers with words of love or asking forgiveness after their worst abuses — only to abuse again. These flowers from you are no different. You continue to abuse us, then send these self-serving, mocking gestures — which have nothing to do with love or respect. … “Take me off any mailing or contact list you have. If I receive any more letters, e-mails or gestures of "love" such as flowers, gifts, holiday greetings, or unannounced visits, I will view it as harassment and respond through an attorney. …” Wilmot Durgin passed away on the Catskill Bruderhof on March 17th at the age of 87. Wilmot and his wife Beth have ten children. Beth is still living in Catskill. Marion Johnson passed away May 8th in New Meadow Run at the age of 86. She followed her husband Howard, who died June 2002 at the age of 78. Howard and Marion joined the Bruderhof in the 'fifties and leave behind six children and their families. ina Wright passed away in October at the age of 96 in Darvell. She followed her husband Wilfred, who died beginning of 1991 at the age of 78. This couple left the Bruderhof with their five children during the big crisis 1960/61 and travelled back to England in a small group, which included the Lord family(as Arthur Lord told in his Life Story). The Wrights rejoined the community years later. Kate Cavanna died one week short of 97 years on September 24th 2008 at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof in New York. Kate joined the Bruderhof at the Cotswold Bruderhof. She died peacefully with her Bruderhof children and her husband Peter around her, after a short, four days of being unwell. The outside family was only informed after her burial three days later, as son Ben Cavanna reported. He was glad to have met with his Mum and Dad a last time three weeks earlier. Charlie Huleatt died on November 5th 2008 at the age of 82. He was married to Martha Dreher, Evi Pleil's sister. With his first wife Deborah Tilton Huleatt he had seven children. Deborah died March 31st, 1982 at the age of 58. Peter Cavanna died on November 22nd at Maple Ridge two months after his beloved wife Kate left him. Eleven days earlier he celebrated his 89th birthday with his Bruderhof children. The KIT Newsletter will
The clown is seen in a photo in which Zero is being crowned King of Fools for the year 2005 during the All Fools’ Parade In Occidental, California. The composer is here: The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and The Avant-Garde ($22): The history of my composersartists’ “collaborative” from the early Sixties with DVD of the pieces, published last June (with bundled DVD) courtesy of U C Press:http://www.amazon.com/Francisco-Tape-Music-CenterCounterculture/dp/0520256174/ref=ed_oe_p A radio interview with the editor, myself and others here (fast forward through the opening topic): http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=28140 The hippie is most recently here: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=38 7051926&blogID=431231726&indicate=1 Hopefully before my 100th year I will have somehow integrated all these separate personalities. Right now our family is of course very proud of Sol’s success, [Sol created Obama’s Presidential Campaign Logo], and we know that he will go on to even bigger things – or at least to things that we hope keep him as happy and fulfilled as possible in this up-and-down world of ours. We also hope this will help advance his career – and fatten his bank account. He charged almost nothing for the job. The other day he said, ‘If only I had asked for .01% royalty for whenever it was used.’ I hope Sol hasn’t inherited his father’s ‘King Midas’ Opposite-Touch.’ Everything I touch turns into gold – for someone else...” (smile) Feel free to ask if you have any questions! Beams and blessings.
Keep In Touch Newsletter certainly return to celebrate Peter and Kate Cavanna’s life whom so many of us remember from Primavera, El Arado and later Bruderhof times.
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 have six children. Derek was a highly esteemed and beloved teacher for the Wheathill children, and most probably in later years on different community places. Jimmy Cocksedge, son of Edmund and Amy Cocksedge, died at the age of 61 in April. He left the Bruderhof together with his parents and brothers and sisters during the big crisis 1960/61. They never returned to the community. For many years the family lived in Australia. Several years ago Jimmy had a very serious motorcycle accident. When he died he was living in sheltered accommodation in the Gloucestershire area of England.
Peter Hofer died November or December 2008. At Forest River Bruderhof times he was in charge of the chickens. He and his family joined the Bruderhof, and went East with some other families in 1957 — after Forest River was “given up” by the Bruderhof. Derek Duncan Wardle died peacefully on December 1st, 2008. He was born July 3rd 1922, and married to his wife Madge for 63 years. They
A Close Friend Died: Dieter Holz
By Linda Lord Jackson Dieter Holz passed away peacefully at about 3:00PM on Monday, October 20th 2008. I was down in Shropshire over the weekend, and went to see Dieter. Sadly the cancer had come back, and he was very weak and in some pain. He was in hospital October 16th, but the doctors said there was nothing else they can do. Dieter’s funeral took place on the 31st October 2008. His coffin was brought on an old wagon, from Morris’s where he worked, adorned with the German and Union Jack flags and flowers from the family. It was followed by the family and pall bearers. The pall bearers were John Holland, Matt Ellison, Roger Rimes, Ben Cavanna, Anthony Lord and Gordon Jackson. Dieter was well liked. The German National Anthem played quietly as over three-hundred people made their way into the crematorium, many having to stand. There were friends and family from England and Germany, including one of the farmers who had worked with us in Wheathill; Dieter had kept in touch with several of them. Another sent condolences, but was unable to make it to the funeral. The KIT folk were well represented too. The Chaplain said a few words covering Dieter's eventful life; he had obviously spent quite some time getting to know Dieter’s interesting history and was able to give a true picture of who Dieter was. Then two of his grandchildren read a piece about him that had been written by Dieter's children and families expressing in a nutshell who Dieter - their Dad and Granddad was for them. It was a beautiful piece and the two teenagers did a sterling job, reading it with affection and gentle humour (see their following reading). We sang “We Plough the Fields and Scatter” and ”Jerusalem”. After the crematorium most of us went on to Brockton, near Dieter's home, for refreshments and to share happy memories, look at photos etc. A picture wall had been set up displaying photos of his life from a DVD put together by Rose's son David. In the evening some of the KIT folk and Dieter's children went on to a restaurant for the evening. So many happy memories to share with his children and grand children! It really was a wonderful celebration of his life. On Saturday morning, Gordon and I went with some of Dieter’s
Dieter Holz 2007 children, their partners and grandchildren to the little churchyard near Ruabon, where his brother Jürgen and Owen Humphries are buried. (Owen, with Alice, took in the German orphans at Wheathill.) Michael Caine joined us there. We laid the flowers on their graves, and shared thoughts and memories of Dieter's life. The caretaker of the church came over and opened the church for us, so that we could go in and absorb the peace and tranquillity there. It was a good time, a healing time.
Two of Dieter’s Grandchildren Reading On Behalf of all his Children and Grandchildren
Where to start? Humorous. Lively. Cheeky. Generous. Totally risqué. Practical. Principled. Loud. Loony. Here is a truly remarkable man who was destined to fill the role of dad, granddad and great granddad with gusto, love and energy. Placed in a group of children, the question often asked was, “Who is the biggest child?” He delighted in his children’s embarrassment at his ideas and his antics. He relished joining in with all and anybody’s children’s fun. Many of us here will remember the snowball fights he instigated during playtime from across the road at Stiperstones School, when he worked for Bert. He used his brother’s old safari Landrover to transport his tribe on a family holiday, towing a battered green and white caravan behind him. This was an adventure for him and therefore an adventure for his children. It was irrelevant that such a vehicle demolished any street cred they may have had. During one summer holiday, the family home was being renovated; the roof was being raised and it was unfortunate that there was a period of heavy rain. The tarpaulins covering the roof filled with water and Dad went up at 5:00AM to investigate, dressed only in his underpants and skin. Upon seeing the bulging tarpaulin he had a brainwave and poked the bulge with an upturned broom. To his horror the tarpaulin split and water gushed everywhere. Nana Alice’s response to his account of this was: “Don’t worry, you’ll look back on this as an adventure.” He saw everything as an adventure.
Raise Money for Cancer Research in Dieter’s Memory
By Linda Lord Jackson My husband Gordon, who was also a good friend of Dieter's, decided to organize some events to raise money for cancer research in memory of Dieter. One of the things he has done is shave his head for sponsorship. I thought there is something I too could do. A couple of years ago Pauline, Andy and I made a CD-video of a walk round Wheathill. Several people have asked for a copy, but I hesitated as it is somewhat amateurish. We visited Upper Bromdon, Lower Bromdon, Cleeton Court and also the Beech Wood, back through Silvington and along Silvington Lane. It also includes a visit to Haymill with Dieter, and also some singing from various KIT gatherings. In the interest of raising money for cancer, I would like to offer copies for sale at a suggested price of £5.00 donation which will go towards cancer research in Dieter's memory. Thank you. (PS. You will find my address details on the last page.)
Keep In Touch Newsletter 6 We were all lucky to have spent such a great deal of time with him and to have been so close to him. He frequently and willingly took his children to work with him in the lorry, travelling all around the UK, feeding them bananas and listening to Abba full blast. This would mean early mornings, milky coffee and syrup sarnies; it was all part of the adventure. It was nothing for him to take two of his children to the scrap yard to find parts for the latest beat up, old Saab. For one of these classic vehicles he even had a ten inch long screwdriver for an ignition key! Another (the faded red one) had a four foot long aerial for the CB that used to scrape along the roof of the multi-storey car park. He considered these things to be fabulous and always saw the advantages and comical aspects of such things. Dad had time for everyone but little sense of urgency or timekeeping for himself. He could always find time for a cup of tea in the largest mug available. He would travel any distance for anyone and was always happy to help. His pride in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren knew no bounds. We could stand here all day, relating memories and anecdotes that will explain just how much we all love him. He has left us all a legacy of a large and loving extended family (born out of his associations with the Community) – truly a dynasty to be reckoned with. This is not “goodbye”. He will live on in each of us; in our hearts and memories forever. Where to finish? Loved. Respected. Legend. Unique. Brave. Missed. Unforgettable.
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 Gudrun would go to bed. Dieter and I would usually watch a Western till late. He was always a lively fun loving man who would probably get on with anybody. Anthony Lord: Yes this is sad and came as a shock when Linda phoned me this afternoon. I had visited Dieter last weekend and although he was weak we had a good time and laughs talking about past memories. For a while he was his old self and able to forget his worries. When we left, Dieter and I had a big hug and embrace; we both already feared the worst. Dieter was one of my best friends, more like a brother to me. I am lucky and grateful for this. We enjoyed many, many escapades together. He was always good fun. Dieter was my first contact in England when we returned and used to visit our family regularly on his way up north. I learned a lot from him, his loving, generous nature, humor, happiness and cheerful way of life. It was always a great pleasure when he came by with his lorry and stayed the night. We would talk and laugh until late in the night, Mum would eventually go to bed. Dad got out his best home made wine. Next morning Dieter would be up at the crack of dawn, make his breakfast and be off whilst we were still asleep. On the mantelpiece under a jar he would leave a ten bob note, he knew we were not so well off in those days. My mother used to play hell with him for that: "We are not an hotel," she would tell him on his next visit. But Dieter knew she would find the money handy and took no notice. After Rita and I got married and moved to Germany we still kept in touch with Dieter and his wonderful family visiting each other when ever possible. It is a great loss and I know I will miss Dieter very much. God bless you old boy. Linda Jackson: I too remember those visits. Later Dieter brought his children, for trips to Blackpool and the Lake district. He was always so proud of his children, and loved to bring them to visit. Mum and Dad became “extra” grand parents. Later when Mum and Dad moved to Shropshire, he would stop over with us whenever his lorry driving brought him up our way. Our children loved his visits. He always had a joke or a story for them. They teased him and played tricks on him, but he took it all in good fun. Dieter always had news of other ex Bruderhof folk, his job took him all over the country, and helped to keep us all in touch with each other. We will always remember his love of life and fun. There are so many happy memories. His 65th birthday party, with all his family and friends around him, the room was crowded, but he had time for everyone, enjoyed every minute; from singing and dancing the ”Holz Michel”, to fooling around and having fun with his grandchildren, or a quiet chat with elderly friends and relatives. Then there was the Bulstrode meeting and the KIT Gathering this summer with so many friends, so many happy moments, and lots of lovely photos. He didn't care that the chemo had made him bald, and was so proud of his hair and moustache beginning to grow back. One of his favorite activities was taking trips across the channel to restock the wine cellar etc. In Gordon he found a soul mate. They were forever talking about the best places to go to find the best bargains, comparing notes, and even managing some trips together. I remember one occasion when we stopped in a lay-by to sort out the purchases into our separate cars (only one car having gone across). Two other passing cars stopped and wanted to buy bottles of wine off us. Dieter told them it was a private party, and we had none to spare! Ben Cavanna: I still cannot quite believe that Dieter is no longer with us. I had a lovely day with him and Rose just ten days ago. It was obvious then that it would probably be the last time I saw him. I count myself so much the richer for having had him as a friend. Tim Johnson: I did send a personal note to Heiner, using the Beech Grove address. It will be interesting to see if he replies, though I rather doubt he will. Quite apart from Bruderhof “inhibitions”, Heiner never was much of a writer, but maybe Judith will encourage/help him. We’ll see.
Dieter Holz: Memories Shared on Hummer
Elisabeth Bohlken-Zumpe: I remember the three Holz brothers well from Wheathill days, Klaus, Dieter and Jürgen! I am glad we met at the Klaashof, as well as at the Hotel Joosten. It was good to reconnect! I am thankful he submitted his story for the April KIT Newsletter 2008, somehow all of us felt "so good and loving taking in those poor war orphans"! We — or at least I — never thought or realized how difficult it must have been for those young children to be transported to England into a religious Community. I am really glad he made it to the KIT this year, good to see him, talk with him and his wife Rose. Barnabas Johnson: Dieter was one of my best childhood friends in Wheathill, always fun to be around. It is hard to think of him gone. We Wheathill children were much blessed by "the orphans" – the ten German children who joined us after the War. They were an integral part of our growing up. I think back on those days with great fondness. Andy Harries: This has come as a real shock. Dieter has always been important in my life over all the years, on the Bruderhof at Wheathill and ever since. Dieter often visited our family over the years, he would just turn up with his lorry and stay the night, then go on again. We used to chat in the evening about all sorts of things, then when it got late,
Alice and Owen with their adopted family: Standing left to right: Herbert Brose, Klaus Holz, Margrit Meier, Alice Humphries, Roger Rimes, Dieter Holz, Heiner Koppschall, Owen Humphries, Waltraut Meier, Erika Stößer. Sitting: Edeltraut Brose, Daphne Rimes, Jürgen Holz, Ursula Stößer. (Alice and Owen also fostered Roger and Daphne Rimes.)
Elisabeth Bohlken-Zumpe: I remember Frieda, the Holz boys sister, (who stayed in Germany). When she came over, many people were afraid, that she might bring the "evil, sexy and bad world to our innocent minds." When Alice found a "lightly" pornographic magazine under
Keep In Touch Newsletter
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 special, partly also as a reminder of that Big World beyond. I'm glad to know that Heiner has been informed. If anyone has contact with Klaus, please pass on my special greetings to him. I know his life has not been easy. Joy MacDonald: We have had several meetings that included Dieter this year, the last time being at Klaashof and breakfasts together at the Josten hotel. I first visited their home during the several weekends when we were searching for a place in Shropshire for an EuroKIT Gathering. Susan, Rosie and I would meet at Roger’s home where we left our cars and travelled up together, often being joined by John Holland, Matt Ellison and Dieter, to inspect possible venues, including Youth Hostels, boarding schools and self catering establishments etc., finally deciding that Hesterworth was to be our choice for the KIT Gathering; which it was on two occasions. We often congregated at Dieter and Rose’s home, or Matt’s bungalow and always found time to climb at least one of Shropshire’s many hills. – Stipperstones, The Long Mynd, Brown Burf and of course our precious childhood “mountain”, Titterstone, usually one climb during each weekend.
Dieter, Frieda, Jürgen, and Klaus Holz
Dieter or Klaus’ mattress, the fear turned into dramatic panic! I do not remember Dieter being sent away. Barnabas Johnson: I too remember Frieda. She was very "other world" pretty, and the discovery that the Holz boys had an older sister was very
I hadn’t really known Dieter well before because he already had a ready-made KIT circle he’d never lost touch with. But those weekends, visiting his unusual house perched on the side of the hill with fabulous views over range upon range of Shropshire and Northern Wales hills and often being a passenger in his car as we travelled the countryside, gave us many enjoyable memories. Dieter will be remembered by many, many people.
Als Krankenschwester in Primavera, Alto Paraguay
Von Hanni Dreher-Bühler KIT. Den nachfolgenden interessanten Bericht von Hanni DreherBühler, die in ihrem Beruf als Krankenschwester eine Lebensaufgabe in Primavera sah, hat Hanna Homann zwischen den Papieren gefunden, die ihre Mutter Maria Patrick hinterlassen hat. Geschrieben wurde er 1983. Die gebürtige Schweizerin Hanni Bühler (geboren am 19. ovember 1918) war eine ichte von Else Boller. Sie kam 1953 nach Primavera und heiratete 1959 Leo Dreher. Beide sind im Zuge der großen Bruderhof-Krise 1960 fortgeschickt worden. Viele Jahre arbeitete Leo danach in einem Max-Planck-Institut in Deutschland. Die letzten Jahre lebte das Ehepaar in der Schweiz in Hombrechtikon, wo beide begraben sind. Leo starb am 20. Oktober 1995 und Hanni am 10. April 2001. Sie hinterließen Tochter Rene und Sohn Don. Zu ihren Stiefkindern pflegte Hanni alle Jahre hindurch einen guten Kontakt. Dieser Bericht soll in der nächsten Ausgabe in englischer Übersetzung wiederholt werden. Seit 22 Jahren zurück in Europa, überkommt uns im Winter, wenn die Flocken wirbeln, noch immer eine starke Sehnsucht nach dem Sonnenland Paraguay. Wir brühen uns einen Mate auf und dann kommen die Erinnerungen: „Weißt du noch, der Yvyrapitá, unser Weihnachtsbaum?“ Im Dezember blühten seine leuchtend gelben Blütenkerzen vor dem blauen Himmel. „Erinnerst du dich noch an den riesigen Weihnachtsstern-Busch in Ibaté, an die Farbenpracht der Papageien, an die auf Baumrinden wachsenden zierlichen Orchideen und an den handgroßen Riesen-Schmetterling, der aus dem Urwald hervor gaukelte und bläulich, lila-grün schimmerte?“ Überraschungen noch und noch aus der Tier- und Pflanzenwelt: Der Riesenschnabel eines Tukans, ein Gürteltier beim Abendspaziergang, unter mir im Gras plötzlich eine Prozession von Blattschneider-Ameisen, oder die graziös von einer Palme herabhängenden Nester der Webervögel! In meiner Freizeit habe ich oft Blumen gemalt, aber mein schönstes Bild war die schlanke Palmen-Silhouette vor flammendem Abendhimmel, am rot glühenden Horizont der schwarze Wald. Seit langem war brüderliches Leben mit Krankenpflege, Spanisch und Urwaldromantik mein Ideal gewesen. Zwei meiner Kusinen [die Boller-Schwestern Ursula Lazy und Liesbeth Loewenthal] arbeiteten im Sanatorio Primavera in Alto Paraguay. Das Krankenhaus war ganz unbeabsichtigt entstanden: Während des zweiten Weltkriegs verließ die christliche Gemeinschaft England 1940/41, und mit ihr gelangten drei Ärzte nach Paraguay. Die Gemeinschaft gedieh; bei meiner Ankunft 1953 waren es bereits drei Dörfer: Isla Margarita, Loma Hoby und Ibaté.
Kindergartengruppe vor dem Gelände und dem Haupthaus des Hospitals in Loma Hoby. (Alle Fotos von Colin Sharp, 1956)
Sie bestanden damals meist aus mit Stroh gedeckten Holzhütten. In Loma war das Krankenhaus errichtet worden, es bestand aus dem Haupthaus mit zwei Konsultationsräumen, Apotheke, Behandlungsraum (Through-Room), Röntgen-, Labor- und Operationsraum, [einer Zahnarztpraxis] sowie zwei Krankenzimmern. Ihm gegenüber erstreckte sich der lange „Paraguayer-Flügel“ mit Patientenzimmern, Gebärsaal und Schwesternraum. Etwas abseits stand unser neues GemeinschaftsMutterhaus, wo ich jahrelang wohnte und nachts bei Bedarf nach den Müttern sah und auch bei Geburten half. Anfangs war nur der Fußboden im Operations- und im Gebärraum mit Betonplatten ausgelegt. Überall sonst hatten wir hart gestampften Erdboden. Es war ein großer Fortschritt, als endlich Platten gelegt werden konnten. Aus dem Ziehbrunnen holten wir unser Wasser. Auf der Feuerstelle hinter der Küche wurden Instrumente ausgekocht und an kühlen Tagen glühende Kohlen für die Kohlebecken der Ordinationsräume geholt. Mehrmals täglich holten wir uns von dort kochendes Wasser zum Aufbrühen von Mate. Mate, Schweineschmalz und Tropenwunden Sollte der grüne Blättertee Mate wirklich ein Geschenk der Götter sein, wie die Indianersage behauptet? Er wirkt anregend. Seine größte Tugend ist aber eine andere: Auf oft tagelangen Ritten wird Mate gerne kalt getrunken. Er wird aus einer Guampa (einem kunsthandwerklich
Keep In Touch Newsletter 8 bearbeiteten Kuhhorn) durch ein gelöchertes Silberröhrchen, der Bombilla geschlürft. Er neutralisiert überschüssigen Magensaft. Keiner unserer Patienten litt unter chronischen Magenbeschwerden! Zuhause wird der Tee aufgebrüht (Mate Cocido), und Freundschaftsbrauch ist, ein ausgehöhltes Kürbis- oder Holzgefäß, oder aber eine Guampa in einer Gruppe reihum herumzureichen. Nacheinander wird der Mate aus einer Bombilla aufgesogen (wenig hygienisch). Unser Standard-Frühstück in Primavera bestand aus gezuckertem Mate, dunklem Brot mit Schweineschmalz und Zuckerrohrsirup. Schweineschmalz war insbesondere in der heißen Zeit wenig bekömmlich. Besonders Hellhäutige und Neuankömmlinge litten darunter. Diesen war es fast unmöglich, sich nicht zu kratzen, denn gerade auf uns Neue mit dem dickeren Blut schienen es die Moskitos – wahre Quälgeister – abgesehen zu haben. Nicht nur Kratzwunden vereiterten, es bildeten sich spontan Eiterpusteln. In besonders schlimmen Fällen verordneten unsere Ärzte Butter statt Schweineschmalz – ja sogar Antibiotika. Mir wurde schnell klar, warum bei den Israeliten das Schwein als unrein galt. Leider waren Butter und Milch rar. Uras, Zeboí, Hakenwurm und Leishmaniase Meine ersten pflegerischen Erfahrungen machte ich in der Krankenstation Isla Margaritas. Was mir nicht alles begegnete! So wollte beispielsweise eine Kniewunde nicht heilen. Ich zeigte sie unserem Arzt Cyril Davis anlässlich einer Visite. „Eine Pinzette bitte“, sagte er nur und holte unter sanftem Druck und Zug ein prächtiges Exemplar eines Ura Wurms aus der Wunde, das wegen der aufgetragenen Salben bereits verendet war. Der Ura hatte die Länge eines Kleinfingers and war am Kegel-Ende etwa sieben Millimeter breit. Eine lang gezogene dunkle Spirale wand sich um den weißlichen Parasiten. Damit bohrte er sich immer wieder ein, wenn man versuchte ihn herauszudrücken. Seine Eier wurden in offene Wunden gelegt, aber auch in junges, gesundes Gewebe. Eine ertastbare Verdickung unter der Haut verriet ihn. Ich lernte, in den Wunden auf das kleine, weißliche Zipfelchen – das Atemröhrchen des Ura - zu achten. Fand ich dieses, klebte ich ein gut deckendes Pflaster darauf und schnitt dem Parasiten damit die Luft ab. Tags darauf konnte ich den Ura dann leicht herausdrücken. War das geglückt, verheilten die Wunden bald. Der Zeboí Parasit gräbt Gänge unter der Haut, die gut sichtbar sind und jucken. Kleine Kinder infizierten ihre Hände damit. Durch wiederholtes Einreiben besonders der frischen Gänge mit Wurmöl ging der Parasit zu Grunde. Unsere Brüder hatten eine weniger zimperliche Methode: Sie brannten den Zeboí an den Füßen einfach mit glühenden Zigaretten aus. Die Hakenwurm-Krankheit, auch Ankylostomiasis genannt, war in Paraguay ein wahres Volksübel. An manchen Tagen kamen Patienten in Scharen in unser Krankenhaus, um die „cura contra angi“ über sich ergehen zu lassen. Diese bestand aus Wurmöl, vermischt mit einem Abführmittel. Es wurde dem Gewicht entsprechend mit Zucker nüchtern verabreicht. Hatte das Abführmittel gewirkt, war die Kur beendet. Das Traurige war nur, dass sich die Barfüßler immer wieder ansteckten. Die unhygienischen Toiletten waren eine weitere Infektionsquelle. Der Parasit dringt durch den Darm und durch die Fußsohlen in den Körper ein. Er hält sich vor allem im Darm auf, wo er hochgradige Blutarmut
Vol. XX No3 December 2008
Patienten und ihre Besucher vor dem Paraguayer Patientenhaus. Wurde es zu warm in den Räumen, wurden die Betten im Freien aufgestellt.
verursachen kann. Betroffene Patienten erkannte man an ihrem ungesunden, gelblichen Aussehen. Während meiner sieben Jahre in Primavera habe ich nie eine Hakenwurm-Infektion bekommen. Bei vernünftiger Hygiene lässt sich das vermeiden. Wenn ich einmal nach einem Platzregen durch Schlamm waten musste und dann ein Kribbeln an den Fußsohlen spürte, wusch ich sogleich meine Füße und die Sandalen. Leishmaniase Patienten waren seltener. Sie wurden auch im Krankenhaus behandelt. Wunden konnten mit dem Erreger (Nematoden) infiziert sein. Meist aber begann die Krankheit unsichtbar in der Nase. Zur Verfügung stand zunächst nur ein intravenös zu applizierendes Arzneimittel. Ich bekam Übung darin, Patienten entsprechend zu behandeln, doch bei zwei kleinen Schulkindern wurde die Infektion ein wirkliches Problem. Zum Glück bekamen wir später das intramuskulär zu verabreichende Arzneimittel Fuadin. Through Room und Krankenpflege in Loma Hoby Fast sechs Jahre arbeitete ich im Krankenhaus in Loma Hoby. Schon bald nach meinem Einsatz als Krankenschwester in Isla konnte ich dort anfangen. Mein Stammplatz war der so genannte „Through Room“ (Durchgangszimmer/Ambulanz), wo ich Patienten spritzte sowie Senkungen und Blutentnahmen für das Labor machte. Hier wurden außerdem die Hakenwurmpatienten behandelt. Es war eine interessante Tätigkeit. Mit den Ärzten redeten wir Krankenschwestern Englisch und mit den Patienten Spanisch. Falls sie nur die Indianersprache Guaraní beherrschten, übersetzten unsere paraguayischen Schwesterhilfen. „Hassý!“ (tut weh!) und „Mba eischa pa?“ (Wie geht’s?) und anderes mehr habe ich immerhin aufgeschnappt. Dank meiner romanischen Sprache war Spanisch für mich kein Problem. Unsere Patienten waren meist Mestizen und ich wunderte mich über so Manches. So etwa kamen sie bei kaltem Wetter zwar im Poncho, gingen aber trotzdem barfuß. Eine angeblich Ledige konnte nacheinander zehn erwachsene Kinder wegen einer notwendigen Transfusion zu Blutuntersuchungen mobilisieren. Köstlich war so mancher Patientenname: Concepción, Adoración, Dulcenombre, Jesú Maria und gar Cesar Hannibal. Wenn ich ab und an im Paraguay-Flügel des Krankenhauses Kolleginnen ablöste, machte ich immer wieder dergleichen Beobachtungen. Pest und das Übel von sieben Tagen „Peste“ nannten unsere Patienten eine schlimme Magen-DarmInfektion. Die Erwachsenen kannten ihre eigene Rosskur – uns brachten sie meist ihre Kinder. Wir hatten einen anderen Namen für diese Infektion: „Grippe“, oder in milderer Form auftretend die „BuschKrankheit“. Es kam immer wieder zu Epidemien – durchaus auch mit tödlichem Ausgang. Fast immer konnten wir mit Antibiotika helfen. „El mal de siete días“(Übel von sieben Tagen) nannten die Paraguayer die Tetanusinfektion der Neugeborenen. Hebammen auf dem Land benutzten häufig ein scharfes Gras zum Abschneiden der Nabelschnur. Damit konnte das Baby leicht mit Tetanus infiziert werden. Meist nach einer Woche trat Kieferstarre auf und damit die Unfähigkeit, Muttermilch zu saugen. So manches Baby ist an dieser Krankheit gestorben. Um diesem Schicksal zu entgehen, kamen die Frauen lieber zur Entbindung zu uns.
Eine Fuhre Holz für die offene Herdstelle, die vom Krankenhauspersonal ebenso benutzt wurde wie von den paraguayischen Besuchern und Patienten, um beispielsweise heißes Wasser für den Mate zu bekommen.
Keep In Touch Newsletter
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 Familie ein kleines Mädchen adoptiert. Als beide Familien später nach USA auswanderten, durfte das Mädchen mit ausreisen, nicht aber der künftige Soldat! Tragische Fälle Komplizierte Krankheitsfälle konnten wir zur ärztlichen Behandlung per Flugzeug nach Asunción schicken. Aber in unserem Krankenhaus starben auch Patienten. Unvergesslich ist mir das Schicksal der kleinen Rachel, deren lange Schürze Feuer gefangen hatte. Dagegen wurde ein Paraguayer, der besoffen ins Feuer gefallen war, wieder gesund. Tragisch war der Tod eines Krüppels, der sich unbändig darauf freute, nach einer Hüftoperation besser gehen zu können! Die Operation dauerte sehr lange. Dann kam Cyril heraus und ging hinüber zu den Angehörigen. Laute Schreie und Totenklage tönten alsbald zu uns herüber: Der Patient war unter Narkose gestorben. – In trauriger Erinnerung ist mir auch eine Abendwache auf der Paraguayer Seite. Jungen Eltern war das erste, scheinbar gesunde Baby geboren worden. Doch bald fing es an, immer heftiger nach Luft zu schnappen. „Una injección“, flehten die verzweifelten Eltern. Cyril erklärte ihnen, ihr Baby habe leider einen Herzfehler. Es bekam eine Spritze, aber abends war es tot. Sehr weit weg und unerschwinglich für uns gab es die Mayoklinik in den USA, die solche „Blue Baby’s“ operierte. Dieser Trost blieb mir im Halse stecken. Ein paar Zimmer weiter lag Teofilo nach sechswöchigem Martyrium im Sterben. Der tapfere 17-Jährige wollte bei einer Messestecherei beschützend eingreifen und wurde selbst schwer verwundet. An einem frühen Morgen wollte ich nach ihm sehen, aber der Raum war bereits leer. In einer Ecke stand noch das Infusionsgerät und auf dem Nachttisch eine niederbrennende Kerze – er war nicht mehr. Nach dem Tod des „Blue Baby“ und von Teofilo fragte ich mich, ob sich der Einsatz überhaupt noch lohnt?
Zweites Frühstück für die Krankenhaus Mitarbeiter. Vorne: Ärztin Margret Stern. Die Autorin Hanni Bühler (ca Bildmitte) sitzt rechts neben Elisabeth Sorgius, Evi Dreher und Hanna Martin in der hinteren Reihe.
Für unsere Gemeinschaftsmitglieder führten wir genau Buch über Tetanusimpfungen. So konnten wir schnell nachvollziehen, welche Maßnahmen zu treffen waren, wenn es zu Hautverletzungen kam. achtwachen, Schlangen und Aberglaube Oft war ich als Nachtschwester unterwegs, besonders wenn wieder einmal mehrere Operationen durchgeführt worden waren. Mit einer Petroleum-Lampe sah ich nach den Patienten, kontrollierte den Blutdruck, machte Infusionen und legte Verbände an. Jedes Zimmer musste ich von außen betreten. So trat ich immer wieder ins Freie, atmete etwa den Duft weiß blühender Mondtrompeten ein und hatte meist einen hellgestirnten Nachthimmel über mir. Mond und Sterne strahlen dort viel heller und sichtbarer als in Europa. Aber es war kein „Mann im Mond“, sondern ein „Kaninchen“! In einer solchen lauen Nacht läutete es an der Pforte. Ein besorgter Mann stand dort mit seiner Frau. „Kyrio!“ sagte er nur. Eine Viper hatte die Frau bei der Mandioka Ernte gebissen. Ich holte schnell unseren Arzt Cyril. Unsere Patientin Agostina wies bereits eine beginnende Augenlider-Lähmung auf. Sie bekam das notwendige Antiserum und erholte sich bald. Kein Glück hatte eine andere Frau. Sie kam erst am zweiten Tag nach einem Schlangenbiss zu uns. Vorher hatte sie sich in ihrem Dorf von einem „Practicante“ eine Spritze geben lassen und hatte ihren Rosenkranz fest unterhalb des Bisses um ihr Gelenk gewickelt. Leider starb sie an Nierenversagen. Ein gewohntes Bild war für mich morgens, nach einem Nachtdienst, wenn gleich mehrere Männer, Patienten oder Angehörige sich in ihren grauen Ponchos der Feuerstelle näherten und ihre Teekännchen aufsetzten. Hockend genossen sie dann ihren Mate Cocido. In diese Feuerstelle habe ich so manche erschlagene Schlange geworfen, auch eine wunderschöne, giftige Korallenschlange aus dem Abfluss im Geburtsraum. Aberglauben begegnete uns immer wieder. Einmal meinte eine Indianerin, die Mitra des Bischofs würde ihr Kind sicher gesund machen. Die Furcht vor dem Waldgeist „Bombero“ war bei vielen Mestizen Gang und Gäbe. Priester gab es nicht in ihren Dörfern, sie kamen nur ab und zu, trauten Paare und tauften zugleich deren Kinder. Eine eigenartige Moral wurde hier sichtbar. Sie war wohl das Resultat der wiederholten, grausamen Kriege mit den Nachbarstaaten, denen die Mehrzahl der Männer Paraguays zum Opfer fiel. So war es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass ein arbeitender Mann nicht nur für sich und seine Familie krankenversichert war, sondern auch für ein bis drei Konkubinen. Ein Problem waren immer wieder unerwünschte, vernachlässigte Kinder. So ein armes, einjähriges Würmchen wurde eines Tages fast verhungert zu uns gebracht. Es hatte noch immer sein Geburtsgewicht. Wo andere Babys das Gesäß haben, sah und fühlte man nur Haut und dürre Knochen. Sozusagen im letzten Moment hatten Nachbarn der Mutter das Kind weggenommen. Der junge Arzt aus den USA [Milton Zimmerman] verschrieb dem Baby die notwendige Nahrung. Unsere erfahrene Hebamme Phyllis Woolston aber sagte „Nein, ich bringe ihm Muttermilch!“ So päppelten wir den kleinen German mittels Pipetten mit Muttermilch auf, und zu unserer Freude gedieh er und wurde ein normaler, kleiner Bub. Eine unserer Familien hat ihn aufgenommen. Etwa zur gleichen Zeit wurde von einer anderen
Cyril Davis sieht nach einem kranken Jungen Sapucay und die Lepramission der Mennoniten Rund 120 Kilometer südlich von Primavera befand sich die Leprakolonie Sapucay, und zwar in etwa auf halbem Weg zwischen Asunción und Villarica im San Bernadino Gebiet. Dort wurden früher Aussätzige auf Lebenszeit interniert. Dieses Los teilte Maria Weis, die Frau unseres Mitglieds Adolf Weis. Lange, bittere Jahre lebte sie dort, getrennt von ihrem Mann und Sohn Erwin. Sie kam von dort zu uns, da sie dank erfolgreicher Antibiotika Behandlung als geheilt entlassen werden konnte. Doch blieben ihre Hände auf immer gefühllos, und häufig verbrannte sie sie. Maria war ein gläubiger Mensch geblieben. Ihre gelassene Freundlichkeit war bewundernswert. Als die tief betrübten Eltern des „Blue Babys“ an ihrem Gärtchen vorbeikamen, fragte sie sie teilnehmend nach ihrem Kummer. Sie erzählten von ihrem Verlust, woraufhin Maria sagte: „Oh, das Kleine ist jetzt ein Engel, und übers Jahr habt ihr wieder eins!“ „Claro“, antwortete der Mann, und wirklich kam es so. Trotz der inzwischen guten Heilungschancen hielten sich Leprapatienten versteckt. Die Angst war einfach zu groß, nach Sapucay eingewiesen zu werden. Für diese Menschen gründeten die Mennoniten eine Lepramission. Sie waren bemüht, die Patienten nicht nur gesund zu pflegen, sondern ihnen auch inneren Halt zu geben. Hörten die Mennoniten von versteckten Leprösen, dann ritten ein Arzt und ein Helfer los und besuchten sie im Busch, was nicht ungefährlich war. Sie brachten den Patienten die notwendigen Arzneimittel und luden sie zugleich ein, sich in der neuen Lepramission gesund pflegen zu lassen.
Keep In Touch Newsletter 10 Drei Engelchen Durch unsere Arbeit haben wir auch viel Freude erfahren können. Einmal kam eine hoch Schwangere zur Niederkunft zu uns. Sie schien Zwillinge zu erwarten. Ein Baby, Angelina, wurde geboren, dann ging es trotz der Wehen nicht weiter. Es musste ein Kaiserschnitt gemacht werden. Da lagen zwei Babys gegeneinander und hielten sich gegenseitig auf. Alle drei waren gesund: Angelina, der Bub Angel und das Lockenköpfchen Angelica. Basilissa, ihre Mutter hatte schon zweimal Zwillinge bekommen. Trotz Armut freute sie sich über ihre nun elf Kinder. Mit Babymilch und -wäsche versorgt, wurde sie entlassen. Nach einem Jahr stand die ganze Familie samt der drei „Engelchen“ vor dem Krankenhaus und sang uns zum Dank Lieder! Die Paraguayer sind ein Musik liebendes Volk. Bereits von den Jesuiten haben die Guaraní Indianer gelernt, Musikinstrumente zu spielen. Gitarre hörte man oft, auch Harfe. Die weichen Klänge des Lieds „Amambay“ (Orangenwald) habe ich heute noch im Ohr.
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 apathisches Kleinkind mit gelblichem Gesicht. Meine Diagnose gleich: Hakenwurm. Zu Besuch in der Rotkreuz-Schwesternschule beeindruckte mich die dort vorherrschende Asepsis gar nicht – es gab ja Penizillin. Ich begegnete einer früheren Patientin unseres Krankenhauses, der es nun besser ging, und ich besuchte Maria Pabla, ein junges Mädchen, das vorübergehend bei uns gelebt hatte. Ihr ging es nicht so gut, sie lag auf der Tuberkulose-Station. Aber sie freute sich mich zu sehen und bat vielmals, doch wieder nach Primavera zurückkommen zu dürfen. Ich versprach, ihre Bitte weiter zu leiten. Es gab aber wohl Gründe, die dagegen sprachen. Das nächste, was wir von Maria hörten, war die traurige Todesnachricht. Eines meiner Ausflugsziele waren die Maká Indianer, die auf der Chaco Flussseite lebten. Ein kräftige Person in rotem Kleid, das Haar zu einem Knoten gebunden, ruderte uns hinüber. Dabei entblößte „sie“ bald das eine, dann das andere muskulöse Bein. Es war keine Frau! In Asunción sah man auch Indianer. Sie verkauften dort ihre bunten, selbst gewobenen Fajas (Nierengürtel). In ihrer Kolonie lebten Männer wie Frauen mit bloßem Oberkörper. Sie teilten ihre Hütten mit allerlei Tieren und Vögeln. Blumen, Federn und primitive Webstühle vervollständigten das recht malerische Bild. Doch glücklich schienen diese Menschen nicht zu sein. Wären wir es, wenn uns neugierige Fremde wie die Tiere im Zoo anschauten? Krankenstation in Ibaté und Verlobung Im letzten Jahr war ich verantwortlich für die Krankenstation in unserem Dorf Ibaté. Ich gab Medikamente aus und verarztete kleinere Verletzungen. Hatte ich ein Problem, konnte ich im Krankenhaus in Loma Hoby um Rat fragen. Zweimal hatten wir in jenem Jahr eine Epidemie, erst Mumps, eine Erkrankung, die mit hohem Fieber beginnt, und dann die „Peste“, eine schwere Magen-Darm-Infektion. Diese Epidemien, sowie eine Orchitis (Hoden-Entzündung), verliefen ohne nachteilige Folgen. Dennoch, die „Peste“ bereitete mir besondere Sorgen. Für eine Erwachsene und zwei Dreijährige musste ich um Antibiotika bitten. Sie konnten überhaupt nichts mehr bei sich behalten und die beiden Kleinen lagen schon nach einem Tag völlig erschöpft mit halboffenen Augen da. Das Antibiotikum hat ihr Leben gerettet. Erkältungen begleitet von Husten gab es trotz dem warmen, ja heißen Klima durchaus, zum Beispiel wenn der Wind unerwartet vom Südpol her wehte und es empfindlich kühl wurde. Manchmal wollten meine Krankenhaus-Medikamente nicht wirken. Dann verschaffte ich mir die Hustenblätter der Einheimischen, und die halfen. In Ibaté lernte ich Leo Dreher, meinen späteren Mann, besser kennen. Wir verlobten uns, und nach zwei Monaten feierten wir in der Gemeinschaft unsere Hochzeit. Flitterwochen am Tapiracuay Fluss Unser Urlaubsort nach der Hochzeit war eine Hütte am Fluss Tapiracuay (Fluss der Tapire). Es war romantisch! Entweder wir fuhren zusammen fischen, und ich entdeckte nie zuvor gesehene Pflanzen und Blumen, oder wir streiften durch den Urwald. Lautes „Gezwitscher“ der aufschreckenden Affen im dichten Gebüsch begleitete uns. Wunderschön war ein blühender, wilder Ananas-Strauch mit seinen schwertartigen grünen und leuchtend roten Blättern und den lila Blütchen im rose Schaft. Nachts, im hellen Mondlicht, war der Urwald phantastisch schön! (Als Frau durfte man übrigens nicht allein hindurch gehen.) Eines abends machte mich mein Mann auf zwei leuchtende Punkte im Fluss aufmerksam. Es waren die nahe beieinander liegenden Augen eines „Alligators“. Aber es kam noch schöner. Ebenfalls nachts tönte lautes Gebrüll vom Fluss her. „Tiger“, sagte Leo, „aber die kommen nicht hierher.“ – Unsere Fensterläden waren nur lose zugezogen! Später ein anderes Geräusch direkt bei der Hütte: unser Wassereimer schepperte, dann ein Knurren. „Ist nur ein Puma“, beruhigte mich Leo, „und die sind harmlos.“ Obwohl größer als die paraguayischen “Tiger“, die gefährlich werden können, greift ein Puma keinen Menschen an, ja er soll sie sogar vor dem „Tiger“ beschützt haben. Der Tatzen Abdruck nahe der Hütte, den ich am nächsten Morgen aufspürte, war wirklich von einer ganz respektablen Größe. Schon bald danach fuhren wir zurück nach Europa. Rückblickend empfinde ich jene sieben Jahre als eine wahrhaft erfüllte Zeit. Eingebettet in die Gemeinschaft, lebten wir in ursprünglicher, schöner Natur und im Dienst an jenen freundlichen, oft so hilfebedürftigen - auf dem Lande lebenden Einwohnern Paraguays.
Die Mütter fühlten sich gut betreut
Ein unvergesslicher Sonntagsausflug In einer Gruppe fuhren wir eines Sonntags im Pferdewagen los, um kranke Nachbarn besuchen. Feli Melo, ein Diabetiker, war unser erstes Ziel. Wir brachten ihm einige Spielsachen für seine Kinder, und er holte uns einen ganzen Sack gefüllt mit Orangen von seinen Bäumen. Wir steuerten weitere Ranchos an und hielten dann vor einem Wald. Der zwölfjährige Sohn Wulfila bat seine Mutter Hildegard Neumann, „Mutti, lass mich doch schnell in dem Wald nach wildem Honig suchen!“ „Geht in Ordnung“, sagte sie, „aber bleib nicht so lang.“ Wir unterhielten uns derweil. Mit hocherhobenem Arm trat Wulfila wieder aus dem Wald und brachte uns eine Meter lange Klapperschlange. Seine Mutter traf fast der Schlag! Treuherzig berichtete Wulfila, „ich bin aus versehen drauf getreten und habe sie dann mit einem Ast kaputt gemacht“. Wir legten das Biest hinter uns in den Wagen, aber immer noch schwänzelte das Reptil, so dass wir vor Furcht auf seinen Kopf einschlugen. Schon im Halbdunkeln begegneten wir noch zwei berittenen Jägern und fragten nach ihrer Beute. „Un león“, war die stolze Antwort. Es war aber nur ein Puma, auch Berg- oder Silberlöwe genannt. Zu Besuch in Asunción Ich bekam die Gelegenheit, die Hauptstadt Asunción für eine Woche zu besuchen, wo verschiedene unserer Jugendlichen ihre Ausbildung absolvierten. Von meiner ersten Ankunft dort war mir bislang nur ein Bild in Erinnerung geblieben: Eine elegant in Schwarz gekleidete Dame mit einem goldenen Kreuz auf der Brust. Als ich ihr in einer Straße begegnete, starrte ich sie verwundert an, denn Mitten im Gesicht klebte eine Zigarre in ihrem Mund. Was für ein Kontrast! Asunción liegt zwar direkt am Paraguay Fluss, doch um von Primavera bis zum nächsten Flusshafen Rosario zu gelangen, mussten wir viele Stunden lang in einem Lastwagen fahren und gerieten dabei immer wieder in Wasserlöcher. Von Rosario aus dauerte es noch einmal zehn Stunden, um über Nacht per Schiff die Hauptstadt zu erreichen. Straßen-Verkehrsregeln gab es nicht, nur Hupen! Auch spazierte schon mal ein Esel gemächlich über die Straße. Wenn ein heftiger Platzregen vom Himmel fiel, stand alles still. „Mañana“ (morgen), hieß es dann gemütlich. Ich bewunderte die prächtigen Fächerpalmen vor feinen Residenzen und eine wunderbar rot blühende Allee, die ich einfach malen musste. Ohne es zu ahnen, stieg ich vom Parco Caballero aus über eine Art Stiege hinunter in das Elendsviertel Chacarito. Armselige Bretterbuden und misstrauische Blicke umgaben mich. Auf einer Matratze saß ein
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Ergänzende Anmerkungen zu Hanni Drehers Bericht
Von Hans Zimmermann Die Schlange, die Wulfila erschlagen hat, war wohl eher die giftige Kyriu, eine Vipern Art, die an den Waldrändern und auf den Campos zu Hause war. Sie ernährte sich hauptsächlich von Apereás (Kaninchen). Der Ura Wurm (Screw worm) befällt Rinder, Rehe, Katzen, Hunde und Menschen, nicht jedoch Pferde. Übertragen wird er von der Ura Fliege, die nur ein Ei auf das gesunde Fell, beziehungsweise beim Menschen auf die Haut, ablegt. Hanni hat diesen Parasiten gut beschrieben. Heutzutage wird den Rindern vorsorglich eine Schwefelsubstanz gespritzt. Damit macht man in der Viehzucht gute Erfahrungen. In Primavera machten uns auch die Gusano Maden arg zu schaffen. Die Schmeißfliege legte ihre Eier zu Dutzenden in offene Wunden oder auf den Nabel neugeborener Kälber oder Fohlen. Die Maden schlüpfen als bald und fressen sich in das Gewebe. Bei der Estancia Arbeit mussten wir immer die Kälber vom Campo mitsamt ihren Müttern in den Korral treiben und mit Kriolin behandeln. Dabei handelte es sich um eine flüssige, schwarze Substanz mit penetrantem Geruch [möglicherweise ein Teer- oder Ichthiolderivat, das bei Hauterkrankungen zum Einsatz kam?]. Später benutzten wir nur noch das Puder „Gamesan“.
Die Mutter dieses Baby Pumas wurde von einem der Jäger erlegt und von diesem Christoph Mathis übergeben. Der kleine Kerl wurde liebevoll von ihm und seinem Bruder Peter aufgepäppelt und war ein großer Anziehungspunkt für die Kinder in Loma Hoby. (Foto: privat)
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 Der Ceboí oder Zeboí ist ein ganz kleiner Wurm, der sich an den Füßen unter der Haut verbreitet und schrecklich juckt. Ein weiterer Plagegeist war der Sandfloh (tunga penetrans). Er bohrt sich in die Füße und verursacht eitrige Wunden. In diese legt der Sandfloh weitere Eier. Der Befall ist schmerzlich und höchst widerlich. Der Hakenwurm wurde von den Einheimischen als "Angi" bezeichnet. Hanni beschreibt diese Plage sehr gut. Sie erwähnt Feli Melo in ihrem „Sonntagsausflug“. Dabei handelte es sich um Primaveras ersten "Capataz", der unseren paraguayischen Estancieros (Cowboys) vorstand. Wir hatten ihn von Rutenberg übernommen. Geräusche am Tapiracuay: Der Flussname hat nichts mit Tapir zu tun. In Guaraní heißt das Rüsseltier Mborevi. Oft wurde der Hokó„Gesang“, eine Rohrdommel Art, mit dem Brüllen eines Jaguars verwechselt. Der Autor Hans Tolten hat auch diese Beobachtung gemacht. Er hat einige der besten Bücher über Paraguay geschrieben, so zum Beispiel „Herden Gottes – Mit uns wandert die Heimat“. Die Bücher müssen in den zwanziger Jahren geschrieben worden sein, noch vor dem Chaco Krieg mit Bolivien 1933. Ich habe alle seine Bücher und ich stimme mit seinen Beobachtungen überein. In Paraguay gab es keinen Alligator, sondern den Kaiman oder Yacaré auf Guaraní Aber beide gehören zur Krokodil Familie. In der Brunst Zeit blasen sich die Kaimane auf und machen ein komisches Getöse, um Weibchen an zulocken. Das klang ein wenig wie das Muhen einer nach ihrem Kalb rufenden Kuh. Nur in den ersten Jahren war der Jaguar ständig in Primavera zu beobachten. Er schlug Rinder oder Pferde, aber mit der Zeit wurde das scheue Raubtier verscheucht. Der Puma dagegen war so lange präsent, wie wir noch viel Wald hatten. Leider haben die einheimischen Jäger, so wie beispielsweise Jose Melo, diese Silberlöwen gejagt und bis zum letzten ausgerottet. Jose Melo war ein bekannter Jäger, der für unseren Bauholz Bedarf Bäume fällte. Er hat 1955 eine Silberlöwin erschossen. Eins der zwei Jungen von ihr wurde von der Mathis Familie aufgezogen, bis das kleine Raubtier zu groß und eine mögliche Gefahr wurde. Er sollte an den Zoo in Asunción verkauft werden. Leider wurde daraus nichts; der vorübergehend nicht beaufsichtige Puma fiel auf einer Entdeckungstour in den Brunnen des Bruderhofhauses in Asunción und kam um. „Jägerlatein“ ist wohl Hannis Erwähnung, dass der Puma den Menschen gegen den Jaguar beschützt habe soll. Ich habe das damals in Primavera ebenfalls gehört. Dafür gibt es aber keinen Beweis.
The Confrontation Between The Bruderhof And The German ational-Socialist Government 1933 to 1937 – Part 4
By Hans Zumpe A WEDDI G I THE FACE OF HARD TIMES Our future looked gloomy. Unrest prevailed among our followers. The credit bank in Mittelkalbach cancelled our credit and it took a lot of negotiating before the cancellation was withdrawn. We pleaded with them not to disrupt our work, cancel our credit, or take us to court. We pointed out that if it came to a forced sale only the mortgages would be paid off, beyond that the bank would receive nothing. The only way they would get anything more than the mortgage back was if they allowed us to carry on with our work. On the 31st of January a government assessor named Claus came to the Bruderhof to evaluate possible uses for the Bruderhof buildings and land. We got the impression that plans for the dissolution of the Bruderhof were already being prepared. A few days later representatives of the Reichs Farmers’ Organisation arrived. We knew the former teachers of the Agricultural College in Fulda as friendly and obliging, but in their new position they were rather cool towards us. They tried to prove that we were unable to run the farm properly. In spite of such visits we remained undeterred, and carried on with our work. Walter [Hüssy] took his finals for a gardening diploma on the 2nd of February, even though we did not know how much longer we would be allowed to cultivate our garden. Two days later we celebrated the wedding of Willi and Lotte [Klüver]. On February 16th we wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to the leader of the State Secret Police in Kassel, Dr. Huetterroth, in an attempt to get our records back: “During the house search of the Bruderhof on the 16th of November 1933, several books, as well as extensive hand-written and typed scholastic and theological papers were taken away. We feel sure that on close scrutiny you will have found nothing objectionable in any respect. We would like to ask if we can rely on the return of these books. We would also like to know how this return will be implemented. We thank you in advance for a favourable response to this request.” Amazingly we did get the records back. They were bound in a document folder which at the time of writing was archived on the Isla Margarita Bruderhof. WHERE TO BUILD A EW BRUDERHOF? Sooner than we expected, the children had to leave the Swiss children’s home in Trogen. On February 5th we received notice to leave, by April, then the date was brought forward to the 20th of March. We thought about where to found another Bruderhof. We did not consider leaving Europe, or even the German speaking areas for the sake of our witness. But we didn't find an open door in any country. Then on the 26th of February at a Brotherhood meeting after the midday meal, Eberhard Arnold had the inspiration: “To Liechtenstein!”
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OTES BY THE EDITOR: Hans Zumpe presented a condensed version of this report during meetings in Primavera on 26th and 28th July 1945 for the 25th anniversary of the Bruderhof. While quotes from Eberhard Arnold and newspaper clippings etc. are reproduced verbatim, the Hans Zumpe report has been edited using modern terminology, but eliminating none of the content. More about the history of this account and its translation into English can be found in the “ Introduction to Hans Zumpe’s Report from 1945” in the Keep In Touch Newsletter No 3 Dec. 2007, page 8. There also begins the first part of this report. Comments in angled brackets [ ] are explanations by the editors. SA: Nazi Sturmabteilung/Braunhemden SS: Nazi Schutz-Staffel/Schwarzhemden
We didn’t even know where this tiny country was, so we looked it up. On the very same day Eberhard and Emmy set off first to Trogen with instructions to found a Bruderhof, preferably in Liechtenstein. To fund their journey several brothers had gone out on a sales trip. According to my notes they made eighty-three Marks which shows how every little bit helped toward our larger financial requirements. Christian [Löber] was sent home to collect his inheritance, but he was thrown out of the house. THE DISTRICT COURT I EUHOF RULED AGAI ST THE BRUDERHOF On the same day the District Court in Neuhof ruled that the disputed Emil Möller plot, which had become a part of the Bruderhof property, was an Erbhof (hereditary entitlement), and would therefore no longer belong to us. The reason given, amongst other things was: “The Neuwerk-Bruderhofe.V is a religious community of people living together, who consider themselves part of the sect of the Hutterite Community. ... There can be no doubt that on balance, considering the interests of both parties, the scales should have fallen in the Bruderhof’s favor. But if the decision was not made in the Bruderhof’s favour it could then only be because that decision would be contrary to the basic principles of the hereditary rights [newly formulated in the Reichserbhofgesetz]. “The aim of the hereditary law, is the retention and creation of the greatest possible number of small or medium sized viable farms, that belong to native people, able to farm the land. These can only be naturalistic farming people and not a corporate body. If the requested authorisation were approved, then a small hereditary farm would be lost to become the property of a corporate body and the above mentioned principle would be violated. If the applicant indicates in this connection, that members of the Neuwerk-Bruderhof also commit to provide for their descendants, and supports the opinion that therefore the intention of the law is fulfilled, then this would have no effect on the heritage principle. It could be that certain attachments between individual families of the society occur forming a basis for further development. But that will never be the same as the close knit attachment of a farming family with their ancestral property, which the National Farmers Inheritance Law strives for. The property owner would remain the corporate body, and there would be no guarantee that the families with closeness to the land within the community would have the authoritative influence.” The local Farmers’ Leader in Fulda (Bahnhofstraße 1) must have heard that we were not prepared to take this unfair decision without protest but were raising an appeal against it at the Landeserbhofgericht (States Inheritance Court) in Celle/Hannover because on the 4th of April 1934 he wrote the following precautionary letter to that court: “In the case relating to the authorisation of the disposal of the inheritance of Emil Möller and his wife Ida, nee Schäfer in Veitsteinbach – files of the district court in Neuhof 11ERA 10/34 – I request that the decision of the 26th February ’34 be upheld. “Evidence: A key argument for the authorisation of the disposal of the farm in the spirit of Para. 37 REG is contrary to the point of view of the local Farmers Organisation. The actions of the Neuwerk-Bruderhof are not consistent with the purpose of the Farmer’s Laws [Bauern-
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 gesetzgebung], but work in the opposite direction. The Bruderhof does not create new farms, but is effectively reducing the number of farms. In the area where the Neuwerk-Bruderhof is now spread out, there had been three farms for centuries. Two of them have already become the property of the Neuwerk-Bruderhof. “If the disputed agreement is upheld, then the last of those ancient farms will disappear forever. Further more it should be taken into consideration that the principles of the Neuwerk-Bruderhof are contrary to the basic principle of “Blood and Soil“ as expressed in the introduction to the National Farmers Inheritance Law [Reichserbhofgesetz]. The Neuwerk-Bruderhof pursues its goals in the form of a society, whose membership is naturally constantly changing. For example: The number of people in this society has been reduced by about thirty-eight in the last three months. Therefore one must conclude that the relationship to this corporate body is such, that closeness between blood and land as aspired to by the Farmers’ Inheritance Law cannot be guaranteed in the way it is supposed to be achieved, according to the REG [Reichserbhofgesetz] by the native farming family. “In this connection I explicitly refer to the fact that the NeuwerkBruderhof, as a community of the sect of Hutterite Brothers support the total refusal of compulsory conscription. (Proof: Information from the official representative of the Bruderhof Dr. Arnold.) The achievements the Neuwerk-Bruderhof have apparently made in agricultural development cannot justify a change of opinion from the standpoint of the local Farmers Organisation. It must also be pointed out that the Neuwerk-Bruderhof with charitable status has not paid taxes for fourteen years during which time it enjoyed numerous state benefits. The charity status was granted by the previous administration. “In the opinion of the undersigned, the Neuwerk-Bruderhof on its own – without the tax benefits – could never maintain its agricultural enterprise.” Noteworthy is the fact that at this point compulsory conscription had not yet been introduced in Germany. ALM BRUDERHOF FOU DED AT SILUM On the Rhönbruderhof we prepared for Easter and the Lord’s Supper. Eberhard and Emmy were in Switzerland and Liechtenstein searching for a new place. On the 10th of March we received a telegram from Chur: “Sending you 5000 on Monday. Greetings Unity Eberhard.“ During the journey someone had come to our community who brought immediate help both for the Rhönbruderhof and the founding of the new Almbruderhof. News of the Kurhaus Silum (Health Resort in Silum) was first received at the Rhönbruderhof on the 11th of March. On the 19th of March we had the first telephone communication with Silum. Next day, the 20th of March, the Almbruderhof Silum was officially founded. We approached our application for the residence permit in Liechtenstein in a different way than we did in Switzerland. Eberhard Arnold first put out tentative feelers. When he was sure that the government was not hostile, he initially rented the Kurhaus Silum, then he went to the government and received the residence permit. Gradually some of us moved to the new Almbruderhof. Part of our stock was packed and sent off as relocation property, while the
The main building of the former Almbruderhof , which nowadays welcomes tourists. (private photo received from Renatus Klüver)
Keep In Touch Newsletter 13 Almbruderhof launched a brisk publicity campaign. Three brochures were designed simultaneously. We have published one of them here in Paraguay in Spanish with some alterations. Meanwhile we held the Lord’s Supper at the Rhönbruderhof, and were faced with a sad experience. On the 14th of April, little Tabea Zimmermann, whose life had only just begun was called away from us. From now on we had two Bruderhofs. It was an unfortunate and inorganic division, especially as all school aged children had disappeared from the Rhönbruderhof. This division was to become even more unfortunate a year later when all young men had to leave Germany. The first important task for the Almbruderhof was to provide a community-nurtured upbringing for the children entrusted to us as well as for our own children, and to educate them in a community school. This helped us cope with the fact that later on some of the children were taken away by their father, and that the situation of certain other children who lived with us without parents remained unclear. At fifteen-hundred meters above sea level, the Almbruderhof offered little opportunity for agriculture, but we were able to support it by the sale of books and turnery. We established the “Kleine Sendung” (Little Mission): Every week some brothers would take a few books to Switzerland. Through these sales they actually received so much money that the Almbruderhof could survive for years. Later on arrangements were made to run the two Bruderhofs as a single unit. A communal fund for the two communities would prevent
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 District Councilor allowing them to reside at the Bruderhof. This was denied. Usually the local police would come and inspect the papers, and that was it. In the case of foreigners however it was not that easy. We received two identical letters on the 2nd of May 1934 from the District Councilor Dr Burkhardt in Fulda, addressed to Julia and Kasper: “Your application for a residence permit cannot be granted. (para.5:3 of the Police Regulation Order for Foreigners). Your passport is enclosed.“ In Kasper’s case we were already aware that it would not be easy, as they had taken exception to something in his luggage. The customs in Fulda wrote: “A book called ‘Max Barthel and Germany’ has been confiscated and is being checked for import suitability. If the book is found to be suitable for an import licence, then it will be returned to you free of charge.” In response we sent a detailed petition to the District Councilor, in which we stated amongst other things: “We do not understand the reasoning for the rejection notification, as expressed in para.5:3 of the Police Regulation Order for Foreigners, which states: ’The residence permit can be declined if actions indicate that acceptance of residence could threaten the internal security of the local government or the external security of the nation.’“ We then made a statement as to how harmless the individuals Kasper and Julia were, and continued: “On the contrary, with confidence in Germany, Julia Lerchy, in April and May this year entrusted all the money she has, a huge sum of 5543,75 Franks, to the Bruderhof. In the unlikely event of the residence permit being refused again, we must request permission, to return the money to her, so that regardless of the strict Foreign Exchange Regulations, a way must be found to send this money back out of the country.“ Regarding Kasper’s book we wrote: “In the meantime we have been able to establish that this book was in fact confiscated on the 17th of May 1934 (see German Criminal Police leaflet No.1853). Therefore this directive appeared two months after the revision of customs regulations under which the book was objected to.” The dealings with the authorities continued back and forth for a few months before Julia and Kasper were granted the residence permits. THE DISPUTE REGARDI G THE KLÖSS-HOF CO TI UES On the 10th of May Eberhard Arnold returned from Silum. He left again immediately for Celle to go to the State Farmers Inheritance Court. After the Emil Möller property had been denied us, we had lodged objections and found a lawyer who was interested in representing us at the State Farmers Inheritance Court, even though he was aware of the reservations the authorities had against our community. He determined that proof of our Aryan descent was essential if we were to regain the farm. So a rapid investigation of all our brotherhood members’ genealogy was instigated. Within a few months we had collected a massive amount of material. With a few exceptions we had proof of our Aryan origins. We were greatly encouraged by a letter from the Senior Civil Servant in Kassel dated 1st of July 1934 (A.-Z.LK.460.G.-N.III.640). It was signed on his behalf by his second in command, Dr. Jerschke, of the Provincial Department of Agriculture and counter signed by another official. It also bore the stamp of the Governors Office of the Province Hessen-Nassau. We used this letter as a sort of identity card for many years (I always had a copy in my pocket) I quote the wording here: “In the name of the Prussian Agricultural Minister I inform you of the following regarding your application sent to the minister on the 14th of December 1933: In full recognition of the agricultural work and achievements it is not intended that there be any restriction on the Brotherhood’s rights or on its utilisation of its agricultural property. “Regarding the question as to whether the Brotherhood’s purchase of the Obere Klösshof from the vendor Möller can be officially endorsed, this can only be decided by the Anerbengericht [see AprilKIT NL 2008, page 11, 2nd paragraph]. An administrative decision is therefore not possible. “In case the plot were to be relinquished, for which the authorities have not given, nor do they intend to give a reason, you will need to await a ruling [from the court] before making decisions regarding the use of the land.” So for the time being it did not seem to be the government intention to take the Bruderhof away from us. But if we left of our own accord, we would no longer be in a position to decide what would become of the
The children found a new home on the Almbruderhof, here in front of one of the summer cottages, also occupied by the Bruderhof
one becoming rich, while the other remained poor. Also responsibilities and duties between the two were to be exchanged. All Brotherhood members were supposed to feel they belong to both “Hofs“. The two communities were to be two parts of the one cause. That is how we coped with the first onslaught of National Socialism in 1933 and 1934 against our community. The work departments no longer permitted in Germany were moved to our Liechtenstein community. Gradually various items from the Rhönbruderhof were brought to safety in the Almbruderhof, in particular our archive of valuable Hurtterite hand written documents and books from our library which had so far escaped the Gestapo’s notice. We also found the place for our “Innerland“ book which contained sharp attacks on several aspects of the National Socialist State. As long as the printed sheets remained in Germany, there was the likelihood that “Innerland” could be confiscated at any time. We had actually tried distribution, by publishing the chapter “Light and Fire“ as a special edition. As already mentioned, we sent the first copy to Adolf Hitler (no reply was received), but for security reason had buried all copies. Now they could be got out again. The Foreign Exchange Authority was in fact very sympathetic to us “selling” the publications abroad, and thereby contributing to the increase in German exports. STRE GTHE I G THE RHÖ BRUDERHOF WITH FOREIG ERS Although all this looked very much as though we were leaving, we hoped that the influx of new members from abroad who were not at risk would strengthen the Rhönbruderhof. That is what happened, with some difficulties at the beginning. Kasper [Keller] and Julia [Lerchy] came to us from Switzerland. As foreigners they needed a permit from the
Keep In Touch Newsletter 14 Bruderhof. Already on the 25th of May, the Director of the Employment Office in Fulda had inspected our buildings and estates. We also heard that the Arbeitsdienst [a Nazi works department for young people] was interested.
Vol. XX No3 December 2008 In connection with all these events, Eberhard Arnold had to make many journeys in spite of his broken leg and being in great pain. On the 17th of May he underwent a second operation and returned with a solid plaster on his leg. To be continued
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