Thank you, Mother

Mark Kleimann
7 min readMay 1, 2022

Mother’s Day 2022

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With Mother’s Day a week away, I know that the thoughts of many of us will be about that special person in our lives.

I know that “Mother” or “Mum” will mean different things to everyone, depending on that person.

In my case, my mother, Eleonore (Elli) Brigitte Kleimann was a large influence on my life. It was enough for me to share my experience of her strong opinions in my article “Did your Parents Deprive you of Fun?”

She was born a year before World War II started, in the city of Breslau, which was then in the eastern German state of Silesia, and is now in Poland, known as Wrocław, and grew up on a farm, which my grandparents owned.

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Wrocław in Silesia

Growing up in an environment of war, with advancing Russian and Polish armies a constant threat, shaped her very strong nature and opinions.

She wasn’t very old when her family, along with other Germans, were forced off their land by the invaders, and forced to move to western Germany.

She, unlike my father, spoke freely about her childhood and the hard times that her family endured. Towards the end of the war, she explained, Adolf Hitler was becoming desperate for troops, and sent out trucks to round up any eligible men, including farmers, such as my grandfather. She remembered the last time that she saw him, as he was taken away. The family never saw him again.

My grandmother — Oma (grandmother in German) Gerlach was then the head of the family, and moved all eight children to West Germany, settling in another farm near the town of Cloppenburg.

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Mum chose nursing as a profession, as Germany rebuilt after the War. I remember her many stories of being in charge of wards, and working to the point of exhaustion. One particular story comes to mind, when late at night during a…

Mark Kleimann

I am a writer from Australia, and share my experiences to help others with whatever challenges they might be facing