A Copy of an old Blog

Needlework – Handarbeit

I mentioned recently that as a child I didn’t like ‘girly’ things. And in a post that followed I said that in 1944 I was taught some knitting and mending at school. That year I also liked to do  needlework in the presence of Aunty Ilse. I was nine years old then,  going on ten. Come to think of it this must have been about the only year when I did learn a bit about needlework. Any other year I totally shied away from doing anything like sewing or knitting or embroidering. I just wasn’t interested. It is a fact that never again during all my school years was I required to do such work again.

Mum would always sew a lot of things for us children. When she was at her sewing machine she was not to be interrupted. She wanted to be able to concentrate on her work. She would sit all day at her sewing machine until the garment at hand was finished to her satisfaction.

The winter 1943/44 was rather severe especially in the open countryside. We lived there because of air-raid attacks over Berlin. Mum had sewn us warm winter coats and hats to match. In the following picture you can see what we wore to keep out the cold.

2-06-2009 5;00;32 PM

I and my two year old brother with Eva T and  her father looking on.

I and my two year old brother with Eva T in the middle and her father looking on.

Mum did sew the coat I’m wearing, also my little brother’s outfit. Mum also knitted the hats and gloves.

Add New TagWW II (1 of 6)WW IIWinter (2 of 6)WinterSewing for children (3 of 6)Sewing for childrenAir-raids over Berlin (4 of 6)Air-raids over BerlinGirly Things (5 of 6)Girly ThingsLiving in the Country (6 of 6)Living in the Country

8 COMMENTSManage commentsFollow conversation

  1. giselzitrone
  2. Hallo liebe Freundin wünsche dir einen schönen Nachmittag,mein schöner Urlaub ist leider schon wieder vorbei.Es geht alles viel zu schnell die Zeit sie rast.Ich hoffe es geht dir gut und du hattest schöne Pfingstage ich bin ja erst Montag Morgens zurück gekommen und ehe man alles gewaschen und weg geräumt hat brauch auch seine Zeit.Mit der Handarbeit das kenne ich auch noch,habe auch viel gemacht.Wünsche dir eine gute Woche und liebe Grüße von mir.Gislinde
    1. auntyuta
    2. Welcome back, liebe Gislinde, from your beautiful holidays!
      Ja, ich hatte eine Cousine, die hat auch immer sehr schöne Handarbeiten gemacht. Ich konnte da nicht mithalten!
      Meine Mutter, ja die war gut in all solchen Sachen. Sie hat sehr schöne Sachen für uns gestrickt mit sehr schönen Mustern darin.
      Wünsche dir auch eine gute Woche, Gislinde. Liebe Grüsse aus Australien von mir, Uta.
  3. Island Traveler
  4. You have a wonderful mom who made sure her little angels are warm, comfortable and safe. I admire people who make things with their hands and I do know that homemade items are labor of love.
  5. auntyuta
  6. Thanks for this lovely comment, dear IT. Yes, I know our mum loved us very much.
  7. berlioz1935
  8. I know the area and found it rather desolate. The village Lichtenow looked, in 1990, like a WW II film set. The streets were empty and I expected Russian T 36 tanks coming around the corner any minute. Eerie ! But we found a bakery and bought beautiful Berlin doughnuts filled with jam.
  9. auntyuta
  10. Hi Berlioz, I remember these beautiful Berlin doughnuts that are like balls. We did the rounds that day in 1990 in our rental 2CV with my brother Peter and daughter Caroline.
  11. aussieian2011
  12. Those days must have been very hard on you and your family Auntyuta, especially your mother as she would have tried all in her power to protect you and shield you from harm, including the weather.
    1. auntyuta
    2. Maybe I didn’t stress this enough in my writing: We really lived kind of a privileged life out there in the country. I mean we didn’t live in a mansion. Accommodation was very basic. But we were extremely well looked after thanks to millionaire owner/landlord Werner M. All the hard work in this primitive surroundings was done for my Mum by Maria.
      I remember Mum was always cheerful during these days. The danger of going to Berlin once a week she found exciting. And her children were safe in the country being looked after by Maria. Towards the end of the war when we stayed with Grandma in Leipzig, and when the house we lived in was totally destroyed by bombs, I guess life did become very tough then. But as I remember it, Mum still handled everything with good humour.
      The real hard times for us came later on!
      Thank you very much, Ian, for all your comments. I love getting comments! Cheers, Auntyuta.

When I think of my Parents . . . . . . .(a Copy)

I found it interesting to look again at this blog about my childhood. Hopefully some of my followers might want to have a look at it too?

auntyutaChildhood MemoriesCopyOld Age  September 28, 2019 3 Minutes

I wrote the following in my diary from the 2nd September 2015:

“When I think of my parents, the most remarkable memory about them is, how very different they were. Here is a bit of how my father may have influenced me, and then how my mother’s influence was so very different.

My father was the most open minded and tolerant person. He liked to talk to me about a lot of things. He always treated me as though I was trustworthy and mature for my age, able to understand different points of view. Very rarely did I see him being angry with me. He only tended to be somewhat angry when, all of a sudden, I behaved in a very unpredictable way. Despite his open mindedness he was basically a very conservative man. If I showed signs of departing from his view of the world, this would upset him personally. Still, he was loving and forgiving, and eventually he was always able to accept my departure from some of his conservative views.

Now, my mother was in every way the opposite of my father. On the whole she was maybe rather tolerant as far as I was concerned because she loved me. But she made it very clear, that she did not love my father anymore. She showed not the least bit of tolerance towards him, on the contrary, she showed a lot of hatred, for in her opinion he was a “Versager” who did not do anything for his children. She thought it was not up to her to look after him when he had serious health issues. Maybe she thought he was just pretending. Also, she hardly ever talked to me about things that were important to me. She tended to keep very important things from me, for she wanted ‘to protect’ me! At least, this is how I remember it. I knew she loved me very much. Still, I always felt I was not the daughter she imagined I should be. I remember she telling me, I was an “Oppositionsgeist”. So I must have been speaking up about some things that disturbed me a great deal. I felt very bad for opposing her, but I could not help it. Of course, on the outside I tried very hard to go along with what she expected of me, just to keep the peace. Alas, I think I came into inner conflict about it. In short, I often did not feel happy about myself.

I ask myself now, how come, when I felt very much loved by both parents, I still did not feel very happy in myself a lot of the time? I think I felt torn between my parents . . . . ”

Further on I republish a few items and pictures from an earlier post:

“Mum kept a big photo album with pictures of me. Growing up, I always liked to look at all these pictures. However, I remember distinctly that the following pictures annoyed me quite a bit. I felt awful that the pictures showed me being so very plump! When I was told I looked ‘cute’ I tended not to believe it. I was self conscious at an early age and mostly didn’t feel ‘cute’ at all. I still often don’t like my picture taken because I think I might look awful! The adults in the pictures are my Mum, Tante Ilse and Onkel Addi. I wonder who took the pictures with all three adults in it. Was it perhaps my father? Pussi was Tante Ilse’s dog. Apparently I loved carrying this dog.

Alexander ca 1916
Leipzig ca. 1925
Edmund ca 1925
Alexander und Edmund am Voelkerschlachts Denkmal after 1925

My father, Alexander Spickermann, was born in Lodz on the 13th of May 1904. The following picture of him was taken in about 1916. This is the earliest picture I have of him. Alexander’s brother Edmund Spickermann, was born in 1902. Both brothers studied in Leipzig, Germany. The following pictures are from 1925 in the city of Leipzig. There is first Alexander and then Edmund. Both brothers are in their student outfits. And then there is a picture of both of them in front of the Völkerschlacht-Denkmal in Leipzig.
Alexander and Charlotte are my parents. They were married on the 25th of September 1930. Earlier that year, that is in 1930, Alexander promoted to Dr. phil and Edmund to Dr. rer.pol. The above picture is from 1925 when Alexander and Edmund first met Charlotte and Ilse. Charlotte was only fourteen years old at the time. Her sister Ilse was eighteen. Below is my parents’ wedding photo from the 25th of September 1930. (Charlotte was born on the 23rd of March 1911 and Ilse on the 27th of February 1907).”


My parents’ weddig photo: 25th September 1930

My parents lived apart a lot of the time during and after World War II and then divorced after having lived apart for many years.

Mum and her sister Ilse in June 1940

Mum with me and my brothers Bodo and Peter Uwe in 1947

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Uta’s Diary, 2nd of September 2015September 2, 2015In “Diary”

What did I worry about during my growing up Years?December 17, 2019In “Memories”

What I wrote two Years agoSeptember 8, 2013In “Childhood Memories”

Edit”When I think of my Parents . . . . . . .(a Copy)”

Published by auntyuta

Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Mother and Wife of German Descent I’ve lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, is publishing some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com View all posts by auntyutaPublishedSeptember 28, 2019

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4 thoughts on “When I think of my Parents . . . . . . .(a Copy)”

  1. rangewriter EditThese photos are so wonderful! You mom and Aunt Ilse were very beautiful young women, but then again, so was your father and his brother.
    I can so relate to what you say about not liking yourself from an early age, especially not liking photos of yourself then or now. I’m the same way. I’ve never figured out from whom or when I decided I was the ugliest girl in the world, but it happened around 3rd or 4th grade and stuck like super glue.
    It seems we both grew into being solid, and reasonably confident adults. That is also interesting.
    And that dog you are holding looks the spitting image of my sister’s dog when we first moved to Wyoming. Her name was Ebony and she gave birth to several litters of pups, one of which pups I got to keep.Reply
  2. auntyuta EditThanks so much for commenting, Linda. That little dog’s name was ‘Pussy’. Aunt Ilse was in a way like a mother to me. Mayby this was because she never had any children of her own. I always loved to have her around! 
    After the war my mother was full of hatred towards my father. This disturbed me a lot. A lot of times she actually said not very nice things about my father’s family. And I liked them all so very much! I learned from an early age that serious quarrels among parents can have a very detrimental effect on children.Reply
  3. doesitevenmatter3 EditYour photos are priceless and precious, Uta!!!
    I love the photo of you with the doggie! You were a beautiful little girl and you are a beautiful woman today!
    When we look at the vintage photos they take us right back to our childhood! All the memories flood over us.
    1. auntyuta EditThanks, Carolyn! 
      HUGS, Uta 

What I blogged in the month of April in 2015


During April 2015 I blogged a few memories about our five weeks of holidays in Berlin in 2010.

I copy here a few things about that 2010 holiday in Berlin:



We arrived in Berlin on the 31st of May 2010. We had booked an apartment in Bastian Strasse in Wedding, the north of Berlin. It was a studio apartment with kitchen, balcony and bathroom. We loved the little balcony. It was perfect for sitting outside with a cup of coffee or tea and a bite to eat. The sun was on it nearly all day.

This is Bastian Strasse
This is Bastian Strasse
Our Street2

We had this little apartment all to ourselves for four weeks. The fifth week we spent in Neu-Canow with my brother and his wife. And the last week of our holidays Peter’s sister put us up in her very small apartment. But more about this later.

I think we were the last guests in that apartment in Bastian Street. The lady who owned this place said she was about to sell the place to a young couple.

Our first outing was on the 31st of May to the Brandenburg Gate. On that day it was still horribly cold and windy!

A lot of places we could reach by underground.
A lot of places we could reach by underground.
Here I am with Peter's sister Ilse.
Here I am with Peter’s sister Ilse.
At Ilse's place with Klaudia
At Ilse’s place with Klaudia
Entrance to Ilse's Apartment
Entrance to Ilse’s Apartment
Ilse at her Computer
Ilse at her Computer
There's a balcony attached to Ilse's kitchen where I liked to sit.
There’s a balcony attached to Ilse’s kitchen where I liked to sit.

Berlin in 2010

auntyutaDiaryMemoriesOld Age  

A street in Berlin-Friedrichshain
A street in Berlin-Friedrichshain
This is where my niece lives in Friedrichshain.
This is where my niece lives in Friedrichshain.

There’s no lift in the building, but a beautiful staircase.

There’s no lift in the building, but a beautiful staircase.

Here I see Carlos, the son of my niece, for the first time.
Here I see Carlos, the son of my niece, for the first time.
This picture was taken some other day with Klaudia and Corinna.
This picture was taken some other day with Klaudia and Corinna.
I took this picture of Peter with my brother Peter Uwe and partner Astrid.
I took this picture of Peter with my brother Peter Uwe and partner Astrid.
This is a street in Berlin-Friedenau where my brother Bodo used to live.
This is a street in Berlin-Friedenau where my brother Bodo used to live.
Peter took this picture on my brother Bodo's 72nd birthday.
Peter took this picture on my brother Bodo’s 72nd birthday.
Some time later. . .
Some time later. . .
 ' ' ' we met Ilse and her friend Erica in Berlin-Friedenau.
‘ ‘ ‘ we met Ilse and her friend Erica in Berlin-Friedenau.
That same day we went with Ilse to this 'Friedhof'.
That same day we went with Ilse to this ‘Friedhof’.
The ashes of Peter's and Ilse parents and of Ilse's husband are buried here.
The ashes of Peter’s and Ilse parents and of Ilse’s husband are buried here.
This site is in one of the next rows.
his site is in one of the next rows.

For Saturday, the 26th of June, our last Saturday before our departure, Ilse had organised a family meeting. One cousin came from England, another one with his daughter came from Frankfurt and Peter’s sister Eva came with husband Harald from Windischgarsten in Austria. And of course Ilse’s sons and family, who live in Berlin came also as well as Eva’s daughter and granddaughter. Ilse’s partner Finn made a great video of the occasion. A copy of it he sent to us to Australia. There were also some photos taken of this family gathering. I show some of them here:

We met at this restaurant in Scharnweber Strasse.
We met at this restaurant in Scharnweber Strasse.
Peter with his sister Eva who came from Austria.
Peter with his sister Eva who came from Austria.
<img src="https://auntyuta.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/dscn0971.jpg?w=490" alt="Another photo in front
Ilse und Finn
Ilse und Finn

Ilse and Finn invited us for another farewell meal at the same restaurant a few days later.

Here Ilse talks to Daniel, the manager of the restaurant.
Here Ilse talks to Daniel, the manager of the restaurant.
Finn took this photo.
Finn took this photo.

All the above pictures are ten years old now!


First Days in BerlinIn “Diary”

Resting at Kuala Lumpur AirportIn “Diary

My Brother Bodo

I saw Bodo on the 9th of June in 2016. It was his birthday. This year he would have turned 82. But he died on the 24th of April. I did get the sad news yesterday morning per email that he passed peacefully at six in the morning.

I am so glad that I was able to see him for his birthday in 2016. We were visiting Berlin at the time. My brother Peter Uwe did come along with me to see Bodo on his birthday.

Postscript on 29th of April 2020:

My husband Peter and I saw Bodo on his birthday on the 9th of June 2010 for lunch together with some of his old friends who were able to join us. Since Bodo had more or less lost contact with these old friends, it is a memorable occasion that they did see Bodo on that day of his 72nd birthday. I had somehow lost all the pictures from that day, but just now, Peter was able to find them in his files and so I can publish them now.

DSCN0464 - Copy

I wrote the following in 2016:

Berlin in 26 Days from the 4th to the 30th of June 2016

This Berlin visit was a true family event for Peter and me. I would like to tell about the 26 days in Berlin in three different parts. First there were 8 days with Martin, Caroline and Matthew, then 9 days spent just with Martin and the last 9 days in Berlin we saw a lot of Monika and her family who came to visit Berlin from the 21st to the 30th of June.

When we arrived in Berlin on Saturday, the 4th of June, we were five adults from Australia, and we were renting a three bedroom apartment in Rubensstrasse, Berlin-Friedenau. Our rented apartment was just great, very spacious and well equipped.

The other family group from Australia had booked an apartment in Prenzlauer Berg which is a bit North-East from the centre of Berlin, whereas Friedenau is South of Berlin’s centre. Monika’s group stayed in Berlin for 9 days after already having visited London, Paris and Zuerich. On Thursday, the 30th of June, they travelled back to London to stay there for another four nights and then to fly back to Sydney, Australia.

Thursday, the 9th of June was my brother Bodo’s 78th birthday. Peter, Martin, Matthew and Caroline went on that day to Kreuzberg (Cross-Mountain). Peter wanted to show them the place where he had grown up. My brother Peter Uwe came to go with me to visit Bodo.

Bodo is being looked after in a home for the Aged.


We walked along here to get to the home where Bodo lives.

This place, a Memorial for the Berlin Wall, is not far from where Bodo lives.
Peter Uwe and Bodo
Uta and Bodo
Charlotte mit ihren drei Kindern 1948
Mum with Bodo, Uta and Peter Uwe in 1948

Below a few pictures I took one morning in our apartment. Matthew is in the background, Martin is on the left, and Caroline and Peter on the right.


Memories about January 2019 in Pictures

We celebrated the start of 2019 with the above things.

This is for the start of the Year 2019 in Berlin: 10am our time in Australia and ten hours back it is midnight in Berlin!

It is our tradition to celebrate the start of the New Year twice, fireworks for Sydney and ten hours later fireworks for Berlin!

This is where we celebrated Yittah’s 75th Birtday.

dscn5065Peter at Shellharbour near the Swimming Pools

Monika, little Carter and Natasha met us at the Shellharbour Pools.

About a week later we met Monika with little Carter at the Dapto Pools. A bit later Ebony joined us with Lucas and Alexander.


This is Ebony with Lucas and Alexander.


Lucas(6), Alexander (4) and Carter(2) played with these balls that Ebony had brought along. They great fun in the water with these balls. It was a very warm day. The water was quite warm too. The boys came out of the water for a few snacks. Then they wanted to go straight back in again. I went for a swim too. Peter stayed outside. 




Peter in a Shopping Centre in Wollongong


Driving to Benalla

We left Dapto early in the morning on Friday, the 9th of November 2018. At Moss Vale we stopped for breakfast at our favourite cafe where we always like to stop for breakfast. This time we ventured to a table in this snug little room. We could make ourselves comfortable while waiting for the ordered cooked breakfast to arrive. There was even a corner for children stacked with great toys.

By 12 o’clock we were already in Gundagai where we had booked to stay overnight.

We went for lunch at this very old bakehouse:


We had tea and pies at an outside table.

The motel where we were staying is called GUNDAGAI MOTEL. We stayed there again on Tuesday, the 13th, on our way back home.


The next day, on Saturday, the 10th of November, we continued driving to Benalla.



We thought this Mundoonan Rest Area was an excellent site for stopping so Peter could have a bit of a rest from driving.

I think we arrived in Benalla soon after 12 o’clock.


At 2pm on Saturday we saw the Benalla Festival Street Parade.


In the evening of that day we watched some fireworks. These were pretty good.

Visiting Benalla in November 2018

We  had a lovely stay at Benalla from Saturday, 10th of November 2018 to Tuesday, the 13th. On Saturday, the 10th, was the Benalla Festival Street Parade.

Benalla Festival Street Parade



Tatong Art Show

We went to this one on Sunday the 11th of November.


The following pictures were taken at the Mansfield Zoo where we went on Monday, the 12th of November. Peter took these pictures during our visit to Mansfield Zoo. Mansfield is not very far from Benalla.





We stopped here on the way to Mansfield:



A splendid Wedding


Matthew’s daughter got married on Sunday, the 28th of October 2018. The wedding took place at Athol Hall, Ashton Park, Mosman, which is very close to the Ferry stop for Sydney’s Taronga Park Zoo. (Taronga Zoo Sydney is 12 minutes from Circular Quay by ferry. Sydney Ferries services depart Circular Quay every 30 minutes.)

Just a few days before the wedding Peter and I went by train to Circular Quay from where we took a ferry to the Taronga Zoo ferry stop. The ferry that we caught was alled ‘FRIENDSHIP’. On a walking track from the Taronga Zoo Ferry wharf  it is only a few minutes to the venue. The venue is within Sydney Harbour National Park.


And this is the wedding venue, Athol Hall:


This venue was a real good choice. Everyone had a great time. Here now are some pictures from the day of the wedding:




Peter and I had been among the very first guests to arrive, and we were among the very last ones to leave. We left with Caroline and Matthew and stayed at their place in Marrickville (Sydney) overnight. Caroline was driving, for she did not have had a lot to drink during the festivities. On the way we dropped off Matthew’s mum at her place. It was late at night. There was not much traffic. Caroline drove very well. She had no problem getting past all the road building sites.

Before we left the hall, we could observe how much work it was for the staff to clear everything away. We had all been sitting at round tables. Every table was sitting eight people. I think there must have been about a dozen tables!




I did not mention that from this special venue we were able to look across the harbour towards the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. There was a cute little beach nor far from the venue. A lot of people were fit enough to walk down to the beach in their wedding outfits in between meal courses, taking some fantastic pictures at the beach.


From where we were we could watch a very tall ocean liner leaving the harbour.

Last Day of September 2018

It is Sunday, cool outside and beautiful sunshine. Next weekend we go on daylight saving time. Right now it is nearly seven o’clock. Since it is Sunday, we are going to have soft boiled eggs for breakfast. I am looking forward to this. Peter is reading in his tablet in bed. Most likely he’ll be getting up soon. His stay in hospital from Thursday to Friday he survived pretty well. He was very happy when he was allowed to go home Friday  afternoon.

While Peter stayed in hospital, I had an ice-cream in Wollongong town. (Martin did not want any ice-cream). But he was sitting there waiting for me, and I took a picture of him:






Martin drove us to the hospital. No need for us to use the helicopter! But it is great that helicopters can land at Wollongong Hospital.

Martin, who had been staying with us since Sunday, the 23rd of September, was kind of relieved that he could still drive back to his place in Benalla, Victoria, after having picked up his Dad from hospital. He kind of liked it very much that he could yesterday, on Saturday, wake up in his own place in Benalla.

Peter and I have arranged with Martin that we are going to visit him in Benalla for a Benalla Festival in a few weeks. We are looking forward to this.


There are good properties for sale in Benalla:


The other day I found a reasonably priced property close to Benalla Station and to the centre of town. It had some rather good features, for instance two bathrooms! We would like to move to Benalla, but unfortunately we seem to be a bit too old for such a move.