„d’Hoimât“ means my homeland. You see it in the header of this website – it’s Erbach near Ulm/Swabia, the view over the fields and meadows near the cemetery on the castle hill with the church St Martin aside. It’s a yellow castle – it’s beautiful in winter when everything around is doused in white.

Erbach is the home of the family of my father Helmut jun. (1950-2005) and my granny Anny (1920-2000). Anny met her later husband Helmut sen. (1920-2012) in the confusions of World War II. Helmut senior’s homeland was Upper Silesia – as a soldier he came with his troop through Erbach and met my grandma in an until today existing inn. He had to go to Russia – after he married my grandma in a cold winter night in Erbach during a very short vacation he came back to Russia, but his whole troop was gone – lucky one. Then he became prisoner of war in Siberia.

There he founded a choir and a theatre group. In his home in Silesia he was at the age of 15 one of the youngest radio choir singers in 1935. The theatre group was his rescue – he was important for the Russians. My grandfather was a good dancer: he taught the men how to dance like a woman for the lady’s roles. In 1949 he came back to Germany after a 1,000 miles walk to Moscow. His family in Silesia was done, and so he travelled back to Erbach. It was a hard experience for him – a few years before his dead he noticed a lot about this time in Russia.

In the 1950ies he spruced up the Southern German choir culture around Ulm and was until the 1990ies the president of the managing board. Furthermore he took care of the refugees from the east. The whole family sang in the Sängerbund Erbach, I grew up with choir festivals.

First I grew up in Blaustein near Ulm, the hometown of my mother Theodora. There we’ve had a house built by my other grandfather Karl. We moved to Erbach when I was five years old. We sold the old house and built a new one with a garden in a development area on the brink of the village.

I live in Augsburg but home is where my stuff is – partly in Erbach (with cat content, Lucy). Things with a special history. With special memories. I love bulky waste days in town and to visit flea markets. In short episodes I want to tell some stories about life in Erbach – about the past and the present. More pics later after the next trip home.

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