After my school years I spent a year in Obernfelde, from 1909-1910.  October 1914 to July 1915 I spent at the educational establishment Pollertshof, for household studies.  “Schlicht um schlicht” (simple and unpretentious) was the emphasis, whereby we earned nothing, but also did not have to pay anything for room and board as was the custom in some of the households of pastors and doctors.  The “board” in these households came to between 500 and 700 marks, and even though the privileged daughters in these homes did not learn anymore than us “Schlichtumschlichten” it was considered of higher quality.  I found a good

1943 postcard of Pollertshof

position with the houseparents Brumme of Pollertshof, and learned a lot in that large household.  Pollertshof was a former farm in Oldendorf No. 1.  There were 60 morgans of farmland and meadow that had remained with the institution, and these were also farmed, so that the house could support itself and did not need to ask for contributions.  The houseparents were also very conscientious, and took their job very seriously,  During those times many capable people, due to hopeless situations, were dismissed from institutions and welfare, but the children, even during the war years, were well and abundantly fed, thanks to the farm.  I personally had a nice time there, and the Advent and Christmas celebrations reminded me, in their

Fritz Hermjohannes

comfort and coziness, of Obernfelde.  Unfortunately, I could not stay for a whole year because I had to help at harvest time, for the war had created a shortage of people at home.  That fall the houseparents Brumme retired and moved to their hometown of Hamburg, and I remained in touch with them for a long time. 30/06/1958 On the 15th of April, 1912 my brother Fritz was born.  He was a late arrival, and not exactly something wished for by us sisters, 22 and 18 years old.  After he was born, however, we were just as pleased with him as our parents, and lovingly co-supervised and educated him.  Father was particularly happy that he was a boy, and he was able to enjoy him for the next 19 years.


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When he closed his eyes on November 4th, 1932 after a full life, he fell asleep gently and peacefully knowing that he could safely leave his beloved farm with his son and heirs, and that he was continuing on in spirit.  As he always wanted, Father pretty much died with his boots on. Although he was already ailing in the spring, er hat sich aber bis kurz vor seinem Tode redlich gequält, obwohl er das nicht nötig hatte.  What has really ailing him we do not know exactly, but in the end stage he did have an old age-TB.  Father never complained about physical discomfort, even when he’d get the flu about once a year,and was so miserable that he always thought he was about to die.  Almost all of the Hermjohannes family, except for a few exceptions, did not make it past 70.

Ilsabein and Wilhelm Hermjohannes

Although they were all very healthy and strong and worked hard, all of a sudden they just couldn’t go on anymore.  Father, in his work, was always very clean and tidy, just always in a bit of a hurry – we called it “blüstrich”.  Which resulted in some major and some minor accidents.  Our parents had a very good marriage, there were never any serious disagreements.  They worked hand in hand, both were industrious, frugal and punctual.  Father’s only passion was his farm and farming.  Mother was, incidentally, still a great lover of flowers, and she had the rarest in her garden that she lovingly cared for – mostly after work.

Mother proceeded to outlive father by 21 years.  Even at 84, she traveled the long stretch to the church and back.  Her faith almost bordered on fanaticism, and during the time of the first Christians, she could have been a brave martyr.  In her last years she was often plagued by severe and painful heart spasms, but then died of old age at almost 90 years of age.  The fear and terror we experienced in our lives, our parents were spared.  Only the sudden death of Uncle Fritz was for them, especially for father, the hardest blow.  All of their parents, on both sides, reached a biblical age.

All kinds of tribulations father and mother were not spared, which in the absence of major concerns seemed that much more difficult.  But that is always the case.  We think back with only love and respect for our parents.