Who knows why Politicians do what they do? I will never know, but what happened to us because of their decisions was another step into utter darkness.
Berlin had become Russian territory at the end of WW2, the Big one, (Archie Bunker added “The big one :}”) And our part of Germany was “American territory. But someone decided it wasn’t going to remain this way!~
The Americans, the English and yes the French wanted Berlin. To make this real.. they made a deal with Russia to do some trading. Now.. this is factual.. yet the details of this are political and what I am doing is talking about this from the way I understand it. Berlin was divided into 4 sectors.. the Western Allies now each had a piece of Berlin, the Capital of Germany. To achieve this, and to get the Russians to give up 3/4 of this city, some heavy trading had to happen. Our part of Germany was traded for a piece of Berlin. That meant.. the Americans were leaving.. and the Russians took over our area. I don’t know how big of a part of Germany now was in Russian hands.. but this doesn’t matter to me right now, what matters to me is.. that Boo Boo had to leave.. and those golden times.. with my apron always filled with goodies. The friendly little chats I had with Boo Boo, the fun we had teaching me English.. and his funny tries at speaking German, are unforgettably precious to me.
My standard for real friendship.. to this day remains this: A friend is someone who accepts you, warts and all, he gives when he sees need.. He listens when you need to talk, he keeps a confidence and he cheers you up when you are crying. All of this of course goes both ways.
At the time my friend Boo Boo was in my life.. of course.. I was the needy one, and Boo Boo was the Giver, but he would not have wanted it any other way.
Pigtails needed food and a friendly shoulder to cry on.. and Boo Boo gladly lent it. What a strange picture.. here is this burly.. all grown up american soldier.. and on the other side a needy 10 year old little girl, who spoke a tiny bit of English. All in all, friendship.. real friendship has to do with love. And love is giving among many other things.. all of them good. Boo Boo and I were friends.. an odd couple indeed, but this did not matter. Life put it together that way, and I think both of us profited in a profound way. Both of us experienced selflessness.. and giving. I am sure that my presence in his life.. sometimes helped him deal with the difficulties he doubtlessly experienced.. dealing with being part of an occupying force of a part of a foreign country. And he didn’t know what to expect from it’s inhabitants, or would they want him harm or not. A little girl would have summed up.. what her people were like, a little bit anyways. I like to think, that I represented something uplifting to this gentle giant, this unforgettable kind American !
But life got meaner.. so mean I thought I would die, for real this time. Boo Boo took me aside 1 afternoon.. making sure no one else was hearing what he whispered into my ear.. he said:”Pigtails, we must leave tomorrow morning, and then the Russians will come and take our place!” I understood his words but the meaning thereof was too horrific for me to grasp. Fear once again, fear of the unknown.. again! I cried, he gave me a little hug and said:”Pigtails… I leave a lot of love with you.. please do not cry !”
The next morning I was out.. as fast as I could. My parents knew what was going to happen because of what Boo Boo had told me.
Lots of jeeps outside filled with American soldiers.. including Boo Boo. He had placed himself.. facing back in the open jeep. I tried to get closer to him.. but was not allowed to. It was a huge hurried mess to get all that stuff and all these guys into jeeps to get out of Brachwitz.. to go God knew where, because I sure didn’t.
Finally.. they were road ready, and Boo Boo was in the last jeep to pull out of our village. He was still sitting backwards.. facing me.. facing all those weeping people.
Yes, I was not the only one crying.. many many countless people had experienced the kindness of the “so much feared enemy”! The jeeps slowly made their way up the cobblestone street, me running after them. I could still see Boo Boo’s face, tears rolling down under his big dark rimmed glasses, yes.. the big man was crying. I was running after the jeeps.. until someone, I forgot who.. pulled me back and dragged me home. This is the end of my Boo Boo story, yet far not the end of all my memories, tears and all that goes with losing a friend. But, sad fact was.. he was gone, out of my life forever.
What followed then is very fuzzy in my head. but this much I do remember. As soon as the Americans had left, the Russians moved into the vacated places.
Many unspeakable things did happen then.. things that I rather not talk about.. and then there’s a better reason for it: I do not want to darken.. mess up.. overshadow all the beautiful things that happened to me for a while.. I think.. you understand, and kindly overlook my purposeful memory-gap! Another chapter in my life had begun.. like it or not, the old well known ugly things started all over.. mainly HUNGER.. the worst of all.. will it ever stop?