Bellermanstrasse 5: Christmasfest & Whistleduet

The year 1935 approached its departure.
The salesman, Herbert Horn and his unemployed wife Cecillia, did everything, which I found to be soothing, and protecting, giving me warmth and confidence. The wealth of ideas from my father's brain always impressed me immensely, and always found endorsement from my “mother”. It ruled harmony, and only the occasional slip up where Prussian discipline is required and the traditional kitchen cane became a commodity.

The first Christmas in the new home is barely there in memory. The Christmas tree was decorated on the round table in the bedroom of my parents. Both olive green chairs covered the jewelry, receiving warmth through the heater. On the other hand there was also a painting supplies box next to an art block, alongside it having a jigsaw puzzle  and small sheet of plywood . Both of which came from a long unknown to me grandmother out of Lusatia who made two pairs of stockings for me.

But we still ate in the kitchen.
On a holiday I learned of Aunt Berta, sister of the deceased grandmother Anna, and of my godfather Uncle Gerhard with Erna. Aunt Cilli also offered homemade cookies, whose preparation had my handwriting on them; I was able to cut out this or that form too. My parents were increasing their activity, the closer the end of the year approached, with incoming contributions of anticipation, excitement and well-being to enjoy. I noticed a constant loving prudence towards me, although the severity of discipline from my father was ever present.

My parents were clearly looking for like minded company since having moved. They searched among the various pubs. Only the nearby crossroads Bellermanstrasse/Szczecin Str. Offered three occasions to the fourth blocked a branch of the franchise “Petereit.” Ms. Handke owned the pub at the crossing, featuring adult duets, allowing me to hang out there occasionally, the local pub stopped at the nearest intersection; Bellermanstrasse/Szczecin Str.

Their absence after bedtime increased my indescribable anxiety in the first months of the new environment.

Was there a haunting in the rooms?
On the right hand side, there was a partition to the toilet, and still the stains behind traveling bag remained unknown to me. To the left was the bedroom. Very rarely there were times that took me inside of the bedroom. The chills increased also after Cilli took me to the basement to get carbon. In there somewhere burnt a pear rather weakly, but despite the surrounding coke bottles and coal, yet there still burned a candle.

Totally unknown to me, the noise echoing in the stairwell or the yard.
Despite that I sneaked out of my bed despite the reassuring of my parents' “It's alright, we will be back soon, sleep well” following the obligatory good-night kisses, I still slunk, shivering, into the kitchen to grab a kitchen knife and hide it under my pillow.  So, I thought he knew I would be superior to all evil spirits. And with efforts I stayed awake soon knew precisely define when you open the front door: These are the steps of Mom and Dad.
After the steps of my parents had finished I'd quickly sneak back to the kitchen to put the knife back where it was.

What is childlike wonder against the two experiences of grown adults?
The discovery of the bed weapon was inevitable, because tired feelings prevailed over me.
Only conciliatory words were exchanged, also a couple of warning words by my father, followed by the cane.
Much latter, I called them square meters, much wider corridors helped to soothe my anxiety.

I learned to whistle. I had to learn to whistle.
Advice from my father that I took as penultimate, especially since he was the perfect model of example: he could whistle, and good. I was convinced that whistling would ward off thieves and would-be burglars. To bring the actual whistle, by placing two fingers between the mouth, producing a shrill noise, was something I never truly learned.
Nevertheless, New Years Eve, there was the whistle duet between father and son.

By Hans Horn
Translated by Florian Schmidt

This is the fifth 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. 

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