My grandad was like a father for me, because i spent my first 1/1/2 years with him and Grandma and also lot of time in the years to come. He was a Lutheran pastor from 1936 until 1970. During the third Reich he was hiding together with another couple a Jewish
woman in one of the houses who belonged to the church. In the war he was writing letters to the soldiers of his ecclesiastical community. When i got his typewriter in my hands long after he passed, i still could read one of this letters, which was forever fixed on the typing cylinder of the typewriter. One of his students came one day to him and said: “I am converting into Catholicism.” “Why that?” “I was a Submarine Captain, and we were trapped within a big field of mines. We had no chance. But suddenly the picture of the Virgin Mary appeared before us and we were slowly and very carefully following her, surrounding the mines. She led us out into free water again.” My grandpa was also part of the fire department during the war. He had to go out when everyone would hide in the bunker,when the Royal Air Force bombed the city. He had to report the hits and to organize immediate fire fighting duties, all during the ongoing bombing. One day he came home crying and said to grandma “They destroyed my Church!”
Sankt Mary was heavily damaged and burned but it needed the Communist government to destroy even the transept walls, when my grandfather was not in town. Now there is only the tower. Two weeks before the war´s end the RAF would test air mines. My grand dad was just running into a butchers hop, when he heart the telltale whistling, leaving a couple outside behind him, who could not make it. He survived, being pushed through the whole shop. From the couple only peaces of mead remained. I was shown this shop as a boy, with the hits on its tiles. Then the British came and the war was over. When the Russians took over, hard times began. The children hoped they would leave one day, as the had come, over night. It took over 40 year for that to happen. My parents generation could never really understand that whatever the Russians or the RAF did, was only the striking back of what was done before, by the German Wehrmacht. It was almost impossible for them to forgive it. The trust in God was shaken for a life time, but not for my Grandpa. He was like a tree in the strom. There is another story of him. It was in 1944 and very beloved Jewish doctor of the town died, he had probably married an “arian” woman. Nobody of that town dared to celebrate the funeral, only my grandpa was walking in his black robe behind the coffin through the streets of Wismar, while the people stood behind the darkened windows in their house, whispering underhand that he would be the next, who was taken by the Gestapo. But the end of the war saved him.
When he did in 1970 a part of my childhood, my protection was gone and i entered a long time of darkness. Maybe this ended when i met Chucky Anderson, the Master Teacher. He was the first one, who cold take care of my soul again.