I was recently reading a post by Sally at Books and Musings from Down Under when I was prompted to ponder on the background of my late Great Aunt.
The link was quite simply the name of a central character in a book that had been reviewed HERE
. The name, which was Emmi reminded me that was the name of my Aunt, she was according to my Grandmother German and had married my Uncle following the Second World War. The only other details I had was that Emmi already had a daughter from presumably her first marriage or relationship.
No other details were shared with me and to be honest I had not really thought of it for a few years. So having read the review I pondered on
- Whether Emmi was German or Austrian. In the book, which incidentally I have not read, Emmi was Austrian.
- How did they meet?
- When did they meet? – (during the Second World War is the only time line I have)
- Emmi’s surname – birth and following her first marriage (making a slight assumption here!) – No record of a marriage is recorded in England.
- How was Emmi received in the family? – At this I can only guess as there is no one left to ask.
My Grandmother was always fairly jovial and she simply said things as she thought them. I recall once when she was in hospital the Doctor came to do his rounds. He had an obvious accent and of course the question had to be asked by Grandmother where, was he from? The response was Germany. At which point there was a humph, and a pause before the response of, I have a German sister in law, she is a souvenir from the war you know.
At which point I wanted to simply vanish into the ground. The doctor sat on the edge of the bed and asked where in Germany. At which point my Grandmother said, she had no idea. No one had ever asked, as everyone didn’t want to rake up old upsetting feelings from the war years. The conversation continued a while and my Grandmother said that she would see if Emmi visited and if she did she would ask, but the important thing was they (meaning my Aunt and Uncle) seemed happy and that was the important thing.
As luck would have it a few days later during another visit, my Aunt arrived, she had heard via my other Aunt, who lived down the road that Gran was in hospital and so came to visit. She had just sat down, asked all the usual hospital questions when the same doctor arrived. My Grandmother introduced them to each other and then they were off, talking in German. They chatted for a while then he asked us to leave while he spoke to my Grandmother. He probably asked where she was from and how long she lived in England. Aunt never mentioned the conversation and I never saw the doctor again. As I can not understand German I shall never know the contents of the conversation.
So the question still remains, Who was Emmi?
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