Exploring the beauty that is found in imperfection. Three touching childhood stories. That took place post-WWII in Germany´s church care-home system
THE NEW ONE
I am the new one
That will be your name until you fight for your right to have a new one.
Now I know that it was wrong to beat my wife and our children.
I was a ticking timebomb, I couldn’t control my anxiety.
There was no way out
I slammed my head against the wall
I am thankful that my wife never left me, no matter where I went or will go.
(former child in care home, Westuffeln 1964-1969)
C´EST LA VIE
Between the ages of 3 and 21 I lived in 15 different orphanages.
I escaped over 190 times.
After those years, my criminal path.
Pimping, fencing etc. till I got ‘retired’ at the age of 42.
My philosophy at that time:
“Life is like a tunnel of cottonwoods, if trees should fall down as I go through, anyone else who gets tripped up is on his own.“
I was illiterate, said to be stupid and brainless. I taught myself to read at the age of 47.
Finally, after many years I was able to renovate my house with my own hands.
I cannot undo the things I did. But deep in my heart, I was not a criminal.
C’est la vie
(former child in care home, 12 different care homes, 1954- 1971)
My name is Volker Spiegler. The first care home I was in was Kalmenhof.
The other kids called me ‘ambassador’ because I made a lockpicker out of a bedspring, and sometimes I could open doors with it... see things, and help...
A dialogue extract; Volker speaks in the voice of a child:
Volker: “Sir, I know you want to beat me…“
“...but you already beat me so hard, I can’t take it!”
Principal : “It’s your fault Volker, you stumbled.
Volker: “All right, Sir, I fell!“
Once again, there was blood in the cellar, he used to the rape the girls down there...
Principal: “You’ll get chocolates and milk if you clean it up, Volker.”
My tattoos are the tip of the iceberg.
(former child in Kalmenhof care home 1962-1974)