dedalus Posted May 26, 2010 Share Posted May 26, 2010 (edited) Unter Die Wellen Bleibt Bei Dir Mein Herz Frau Elena Proschkow, 92, remembers her first husband, her abiding true love, Kapitaenleutnant Hans-Christian Meier, commander of the submarine U-263, lost at sea on November 9, 1942. ------------------------------------------------------- O Christian how it all comes back -- I can see you now so young, so eager, so resplendent in your tailored uniform, your dark eyes gleaming, your shy lovely smile, the proud glances of your father, the apprehensive eyes of your mother, and, there, both laughing and fearful, little me, three months pregnant with Johann, our firstborn, the child you would never see. I weep now to remember; I can see it all so clearly even now, after sixty-eight long years, like a photograph, like an image burned into my brain; you, my darling husband, you, the best of all men, on the night before you went to sea for the last time, never, never to return to the warm bed of love. We had been married two years and your parents had made some initial old-fashioned fuss, but you, my dear, had insisted politely, with the hidden steel of a German officer (I think they were a little afraid of you), and I loved you all the more for that. Christian, you made me so happy! Father had an eye for a pretty girl (yes, you smiled when you told me!) and your mother soon capitulated when she saw how much I loved you. O Christian, Christian, in those early days, we were so happy together, so proud! The degenerate filthy French had been soundly trounced, and the cold treacherous English were left snarling on their island, as the new Germany, under Adolf Hitler became triumphant! The shame and the stain of the First War had been erased (in which my father fell, as you know) and the German nation, reborn, was holding a lamp to the world: Kraft durch Freude, Strength through Joy, a bulwark against godless communism, a shining example of will. Do you remember, my darling, that day we first met? You were a young lieutenant and I was a girl with the BDM, (a Gruppenleiter, you never knew that!) and we were lost in the crowds, all the celebrating thousands cheering for Goering and the Fuehrer: that was June, after the fall of France, such a day of heartwarming pride! I was pushed this way and that, lost one of my shoes, such enthusiasm, and you, my dark-eyed knight, came to my rescue, plucked me forth from the surging multitudes; you carried me off for coffee and cakes at the Adlon Hotel. Such class! I fell in love immediately. The courtship was exciting, but correct and approved, and we were married within six months after the usual blood tests and racial examinations; I thought my heart would burst with sheer joy. O my darling! The War continued for some reason although it was perfectly clear we had already won. The British behaved very badly, in my opinion, but you fought like a lion, naturally, gaining a Knight's Cross (First Class!!) followed by well-deserved promotion. Then came your first command. When you were away at sea I would pray for you each day. In one corner of my little room (we had had to move to your parents' after the cowardly bombing began) I had a picture of the Sacred Heart, and in another, the divine Fuehrer, and with my arms outstretched, I prayed to both of our saviours. Keep my Christian safe! Such joy whenever you returned! I would rush headlong to the docks (along with your mother and father, now my dear friends, lovingly united in our adoration for YOU, dear Christian) and you would hold me in your strong arms, there in full view of your crew, who were lustily cheering and smiling, waving their caps, even whistling! My dear, how they loved you ... but never so much as me. Then came the attack on Russia. We were surprised, but understood these swine were the real enemy, the Bolshevik dagger at the throat of western civilisation: the foul English, blind to decency and reason, continued their useless resistance, and you, my dear, punished them remorselessly. Your name was respected. I was proud to be your wife. I noticed with concern how haggard you had become; with each successive homecoming from patrol you became more withdrawn, less enthused for the dream of Greater Germany. Naturally, I restored your patriotism, even when you were snappish and surly, but I was a bit taken aback, darling, when you removed the portrait of the Fuehrer, and once (almost) I had the feeling you were about to strike me: silly, silly -- my imagination! America (negroes and mongrels!) came into the war, and the bombing became much much worse. They are such hateful, despicable opportunists, everybody knows that, bought off by the British and the Jews; they came in for the money, nothing else. Can't they understand anything? The Bolsheviks want to destroy civilization! Only Germany can prevent disaster. Strange news is coming from the East which I can't believe: the BBC is spreading vile propaganda about German actions in Russia. These people will say anything. They also say that the Jews, having been removed for their own safety, are being eliminated. Nonsense. Our enemies will go to any length. I worry so about darling Christian ..... -------------------------------------------------- At this point Frau Proschkow broke down and was unable to continue. The news of her husband's death shortly before the birth of their first child is something she still cannot discuss. There is evidence that Frau Proschkow entered into a liaison with an American sergeant after the conclusion of hostilities and was thus provided with food and, it would appear, cigarettes and nylons which she was able to trade on the black market. Charitably, one must assume that this was done to protect her young son Johann. This relationship seems to have led to a breach with her late husband's parents. In 1955 she married a prosperous factory owner named Werner Proschkow with whom she lived amicably until the death of Herr Proschkow in 1970. Johann Meier-Proschkow is now a senior executive with Siemens in Munich but was unavailable for comment. Frau Proschkow lives alone in a tiny apartment in Berlin surrounded by photographs and memoribilia of the early 1940s, most prominent of which are citations from the BDM and a large studio photograph of her first husband in naval uniform. He looks remarkably young. ------------------------- -- BDM- Bund Deutscher Maedel - female equivalent of the Hitler Youth. -- Gruppenleiter - group leader Edited May 28, 2010 by dedalus Quote Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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