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My mother Marianne, they called her Anne, was born on April 18th, 1907 in Vienna, Austria.
She was 19, when she married my father, Hans Klimesch in 1926 - a marriage arranged by her parents. She was 20 years old when I was born. I have 2 younger brothers and we had a nanny. She wanted us to have a modern English upbringing, because she was raised that way. For instance, we had birthday parties, which was not very common at that time.
Mutti, how we called her in German, had a teaching degree in English and started to teach us when I was about 7. She visited our teachers in school - something not done at that time and supervised our homework. She loved to read and had many books. She bought "Gone with the Wind" in English, as soon as it was available. I remember this book very well. She taught me to love reading very early in life.
She liked to travel. We had a car and made many outings to Praděd and many other places in the Czech mountains. We spent our summers with her Grossmama (our Grandmother) in Baden bei Wien. My father stayed back in Šternberk, Moravia, Czechoslovakia and worked, but for two weeks they traveled, just the two of them - mostly in Austria and Italy. We still have many pictures of that time.
Her family was Jewish. They converted to Protestants, when she was still in high school. All 3 of us were baptized in Šternberk Catholic church and she was always interested in our religion. We spoke German at home, went to German schools, but as we lived in Czechoslovakia, she felt that we should learn the Czech language. We had often Czech cooks, one of the nicest was Krista. She was with us twice. After 1938, when my mother was already sick, she came back and helped our family. She stayed a dear friend to me and to all our children.
Mutti loved to swim and also enjoyed exercise classes. Her health was not very good. She easily caught illness. She had "strepped throat" infections almost every year and many other illnesses. She had the "flu" in March 1938, when Germany occupied Austria. She wanted to see her family before they had to leave Austria and she traveled to Vienna for few days. She was very close to her family. When she returned, she got "Pneumonia" and ended up in Šternberk hospital. There was no "penicillin" before the war and so she got "Tuberculosis". For few months she could stay at home, but finally she had to go to a special hospital, only for T.B. patients in Albrechtice (Oberschaar) - 2 hours away by car. There, she had few operations. Her T.B. was almost cured, but her "heart" could not endure it.
The Political situation was "very stressful for her". in October 1938, Germany occupied Šternberk. The German citizens were not very nice. Her mother Leonie and aunt Hedl fled to Paris, her Grandmother Clara and sister Clarisse were in London. Her sister Ethel and her 2 small children stayed with us in summer 1938, but fled before the Germans to Prague and stayed with the Morawetz family. Her cousin Herta, was in Australia with her husband and daughter Susie. My mother loved the many magazines she received from her.
Mutti was sick for 1 1/2 years and died of "Heart failure" at the age of 32, just 3 days before the war started in September 1939. She asked to be cremated, something rarely done at that time. In the hospital were Catholic nuns, they prayed for her and with her. She was prepared.
May she rest in peace.
Contact: Peter Rohel, 42 Cardigan Rd., Toronto, ON, Canada M8Z-2W2 | Copyright: © 2004-2012
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