Saturday, June 19, 2010

More about Mom

This is my loving Mom, Maria Ganger.
In order for all of this to make sense you will have to read the previous posts about my Mom. While we were on vacation I picked her brain and we added the following to the story I have already posted

In a castle in Prague, Czechoslovakia there was a children's home. When the Russians came they loaded the kids up to take them to Austria. There were 300 kids loaded into a cattle car on the train. by the time they reached Austria there were only 33 kids left alive. They had been bombed on the way by the British. Once they reached Austria they hid in a basement across from a German Army hospital that became a American army camp. For the first 2 weeks the kids watched the Americans load the Germans up and haul them off in trucks. The kids snuck out at night and crawled on their hands and knees to where the camp was because they could smell the food the Americans were cooking. They were afraid of the blacks as previously blogged. They put chocolate out to lure the kids in. Also little cans of ration food. They never did anything to the kids they just fed them.

Mom was about 12 or 13 at this time. Then Mom was sent to a farmer in the area. He and his wife kept Mom for a year. At first Mom couldn't eat because she had been starved for so long. The farmers wife made her cream of wheat and she could finally keep it down. Mom had first communion there and they bought you a communion dress.

The Red Cross was trying to locate every ones parents then and they came and got her and took her to her home town in Essen. They told her there was nothing standing. A man took her to her Aunt's house (Aunt Finchen). She was her Mom's-moms-sister. She found out that her Mom and Dad were divorced because of little baby Evelyn who was not her Dad's baby. Her Aunt opened the door. Her Dad was at work. When her Dad came home from work she jumped out from behind the door. Her Aunt gave them a room in her apartment to live. Later her Dad's mom came and lived with them, her name was Maria also. Now 3 of them lived in the same room. One day her Dad took her to eat rabbit at a restaurant. They were enjoying their meal when Mom needed to use the rest room. On her way to the ladies room she had to pass the kitchen. There she saw cats hanging in the kitchen in various stages of preparation.

When the war was over Uncle Paul, Aunt Sophie, Cousin Ruth, and Cousin Ferdie Kischlat came from Poland to live with them. Uncle Paul was high up in the Nazi's and Hitler must have sent them to Poland during the war. Uncle Paul died of a heart attack 2 weeks after he came back to Germany. If he wouldn't have died he would have been tried at Nuremberg. The Aunt and Uncle stayed in another room at the apartment. Ruth stayed in Mom's room with them. Ferdie was a Professor at a German university so he mostly didn't live there.

When Mom was looking for her Aunt's house she also looked for her Grandpa's house. His house was gone. When someone left a forwarding address a stake was stuck in the ground with the information on it. There was no stake at her Grandpa's house. Mom went to the bakery one day and in walked her Grandpa (her Mom's step-dad). He didn't recognize her because he hadn't seen her for so many years. She walked up to him and said Hi Grandpa and he started to cry. He had been looking for them also. So she took him home with her and after awhile he asked her Dad if she could go with him to work on the farm in where he was working because food was so scarce in town. Her Dad said yes.

So then Mom went to Bavaria. They had no food and rode on a train. Essen was in the British sector and they had to go through the French sector to get the the American sector. At every sector they had to get off the train and the train was searched. Grandpa asked on of the solders if he could leave the train station to go find a loaf of bread because they hadn't eaten for 2 days. The solder said no. Then he saw Mom standing there and told him that if he left mom there he could go. He found a loaf of bread and brought it back for them. Then they got to the farm the farmers wife took her in. Grandpa and her shared a bedroom with straw mattresses. One day you were working in the field and there was a thunder and lightning storm. Lightning came down and hit one of the helpers on the farm. He was holding onto a big metal plow. He was killed instantly. No one would tell Mom where her mother was. Not her Dad, not her grandpa. Somehow she found grandmas phone number in some of grandpas papers. She snuck out and used a neighbors phone to call her mother. Her mother wanted her to come visit. She went back and told her grandpa what she had done. He was really mad but finally agreed to let her go see her mom. He put her on a train. That is when she found out she had a sister. She stayed with her mom for 1 month at old lady Klotsbucher goat farm where they had been evacuated after their home in Essen was bombed. Along with her mother were her two brother Hans and Mario. Hans and Mario have a different Dad than Mom. Their Dad was my moms Dad's best friend. My moms Dad learned this during the divorce proceedings.

Mom returned to farm with her Grandpa where she stayed until she was about 16 and then you returned to Essen because her Grandpa had coal miners lung and was getting sicker and sicker. There you found out that your Dad was getting married. Mom's new stepmother drank a lot and she hit your grandma Mom thinks it caused a stroke. Grandma died shortly after. The aunt told moms dad about his wife hitting grandma. Mom had never seen her Dad so angry. She thought he was going to throw his wife down the stairs. Then Grandma sent a letter to mom saying that she was leaving for America.

Mom went to a trade school to become a nurse but she got sick at the sight of blood so then she learned secretarial skills. She then married Hans Heyn. They were married for two years and then decided to come to America. She didn't tell her Dad that she had put in for her papers to come to America because she didn't want to hurt his feelings. When she finally told him he was very upset. On the other hand he understood.

When they got to America her husband went to work driving a garbage truck in Oregon City. Mom worked at her Moms restaurant. Mom says that mostly they got married because he wanted to come to America and she had a sponsor. They had to be in the US for one year before they could get a divorce and when the year was up they did. Mom lived with Grandma and her husband Earnest. Mom worked in the restaurant form 7 am to midnight. She went home and checked on the kids in the afternoon and made sure they did their homework.

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