OUR LIFE IN GERMANY cont - Freiburg home
In Freiburg, Mother had rented a very large house on a big corner lot. She had obtained permission to add in a driveway from the street down to the basement where they put in a garage door—all quite exciting.
On the first floor was Mother’s room, living room, dining room, corner children’s dining room, huge kitchen, pantry, and back entrance. The main entrance opened on a huge hall, powder room, backstairs, and Father’s library. The hallway was open to the second floor with a curving staircase and a banister around the floor. Here is Mother’s sitting room in our Freiburg house:
Over Mother’s first floor room was a dressing room and parents’ bedroom:
Then was children’s room at the corner going into Dada’s room, a bedroom for Stasi and me, two guestrooms, a bathroom, another guestroom, the sewing room, a powder room, a sun porch, entrance to the backstairs, a big bathroom next to the dressing room and a door to the stairs to the third floor, where the cook, two maids and chauffer slept. The large room (curved around the front of the third floor) was designated a play room, but was little used as Stasi would not play with us “dummekuhe” (dumb cows) and Dada did not want Gretchen to mingle with the help.
I can’t remember how far away from home the Volksschule was. I imagine Mother took us the first time; after that we walked, which was deemed safe as there were sidewalks everywhere. Stasi took the streetcar to the Real Gymnasium for Girls. I was nine years old and my only memory is of a friend, Anne-Marie, who could draw so well. When the school year ended before Easter 1931, I found out that my friend could not go to the Realschule because they could not afford it, a real shock. Dada said that Anne-Marie was “ein gewohnliches Kind” (ordinary child), and the worry always stayed with me who could not draw and was not special. So after Easter vacation, I started in the Quinta (Latin names for the grades like the Gymnasium). I suspect that the school in Dusseldorf had prepared us well because I had an easy time and soon found a new friend, Gertrud Weiland who was delighted to have a friend four months younger than she.
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