Bellerman Strasse 3: Aunt Cilli Mulled Around
The innkeeper was the owner of Charlottenburger Bier Halle in the corner Tegeler Weg 13 / Minden Road 16th.
I myself remember to have visited the restaurant of Erich Siegmund's with my father and Aunt Cilli several times in 1936. The most striking thing about him was his smooth coated black English Pointer. Strangely, he inspired me with confidence when he slowly made his way among the guests, almost without a fault, his head proudly presenting, hardly ever lowered, with tables so clean you could eat off of them directly.
Erich Siegmund gave up his business soon. He did not like the new clientele that had gradually replaced his regulars from working class backgrounds. He didn't like the gentlemen coming from the district court.
I had very soon realized, that my present life of being in a small family brought forth some regularities akin to a small family, which were unfamiliar to me so far, regularities that are dear to me, but also frightened me. Since the time of my moving in, did the apartment emanate an aura of homeliness, so long that the matter of electricity was handled with properly. Immediately behind the apartment entrance lay a 13 meter long corridor which later proved to be ideal for roller skating exercises, especially outside the dispensing operation among us. A total of four doors went down the hallway, three doors on the left, the Apartment's entrance door to the right. But the wardrobe rack and the electric meter stretched across and broke off suddenly by the bare, long wall. The rear kitchen and the bathroom quickly came before the entrance to the small room, at the end of the hall, was my parents' bedroom.
Just behind the inward opening door stood a cherry-colored dresser against the corridor wall; above it were two adjacent drawers, beneath it were three drawers. The bottom drawer belonged to my Father. In it were art supplies and books, including the book “Struwwelpeter”
The different days dictated different regularities in life. That's how I learned on a Wednesday that the “Plumpe” was a Berlin synonym for GesundBrunnen. Aunt Cilli, and I initially knew this place as such, she then took me by the hand and we went to the market. Most of the time, we looked for the one in “Badstrasse.” Sometimes we crossed the square across the “Prinzenallee”, sometimes through the “Stettiner Strasse.” If we had to visit the cabbage merchant, we'd cross the Grüntaler Straße. With that my living environment gradually opened up with time, where Aunt Cilli answered all my curious questions in great detail, which is what I always liked about her. Weekly Standard purchase was the slender conical flask with the "Lusatian linseed oil". Almost every fortnight was "Green Herring" on the shopping list, always a little fruit and vegetables, leeks, then Brussels sprouts, turnips more rarely.
By Hans Horn
Translated by Florian Schmidt
This is the third of a six piece biography from Hans Horn, in which he recounts his distant childhood memories in Bellermanstrasse. I'm happy to translate his work and offer it to the public, due to the lovely story that it is. Hans Horn sadly, passed away in 2012 from skin cancer at the age of 83, and we are remembering him through this translated work.