October 3 2011 German Culture Newsletter
TRUEMMERFRAUEN, GERMANY'S POST WAR HEROINES
We lived in Berlin briefly and my young son came home from his German school excited and impressed after an afternoon listening to a ‘Truemmerfrau’, who had been telling his class, and showing photos, of just what she and others like her had done in the immediate post war years.
This was followed the next week by the same ‘young old lady’, his words at the time, discussing the Anglo/American Berlin airlift when food and supplies were flown into Berlin to beat the Soviet blockade.
Despite the fact that we were living in a divided city it was his first experience of hearing about 'The War', in fact any war. We then had to make the climb up Teufelsberg, Devils Hill, one of the 30 ‘mountains’ between 200 and 380 feet high, that Berlin’s Rubble women had built by hand, and which in this case had been put together from 880 million cubic feet of rubble and debris.
Up until the talk from his Truemmelfrau, the Teufelsberg had been in his mind simply the place folks went for the best display of New Year Fireworks, but now he looked at it with different eyes.
This week’s article is 'Truemmerfrauen, Germany’s Post War Heroines'
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If you have any comments, questions or topics you would like featuring I hope to hear from you, either in the forum or via email.
Francine McKenna, German Culture Editor
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