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4. Allegro


While we four women were highly productive yesterday on April 30th during tea time and prepared the blog for our joint diva project, one of us set everything so that 

we could simply fill the cornucopia with content, the infamous Bild-Zeitung had nothing better to do than to punch out one negative headline after another:


What the economic crash for our money means (…)

BILD Newspaper Headline 1.page April 30, 2020


Does anybody remember what it was like after 1945 in Germany’s big cities and city centers?


Just because a string of numbers economically reminds us of a very big stagnation and the slowdown caused by the pandemic is much bigger than initially thought at the beginning of March: World War II, really now?

Because normal life is once “on hold” and not everything is working like a clockwork, and we suddenly have to be considerate of one thing or another?

Of course, whole branches of the economy must not be left out in the rain, but the mental fire damage that such a headline triggers again, I still find 46 years after 1974 Heinrich Böll’s publication out of place.


Which leads me to my first heroine: The first Rolemodel

Dorette Raabe, my grandmother, who had to raise and feed her two sons Paul and Karl alone in a collective accommodation at the harbour In Hamburg.

Dörchen, who, as my father aptly put it “made gold from shit”- never lost her courage and lived her little life until she turned 89.

Just a few black and white photos and her stories of walking in Hamburg Wandsbek through the whole of Hamburg, 35 minutes to work in the morning and back in the evening. To the family von Bülow, silver cleaning and the like, that was her activity in the 30’s. b/w photos, which show her laughing with a hat and with her friends while dressing up in the 20’s, exuberant, cheerful.

That is, how I will remember her …she, who was born on 31.03.1901.

I quote from the GEO EPOCHE article about my hometown Hamburg, which was the 3rd largest port after New York and London before the 2nd World War:

We remember: In Hamburg 45,000 people died in bombing raids, 66,000 died in the war or were killed. In my home town alone. My father, born in 1945, had to help out in the 50s and at the age of 14 he had to start to help feed his family.

© Nadja Raabe | PIP © GEO Epoche
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The coffee merchant Hans Erich Nossack wrote on November 30, 1945:

“Our day begins at half past five. I stop at the shop from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. – only at 3 a.m. do the vehicles leave again, but then I am frozen, especially since I can only take two slices of bread with me, so I can hardly walk any more. And then a hard fight for the subway begins. Meanwhile my wife has given lessons in the morning, at noon she hurries an hour to get to the people’s kitchen, which we depend on for lack of gas, electricity and cooking facilities. Around three o’clock she makes the food warm on the burning „stove“, which makes the room a bit shifty, between 5 and 6 o’clock I try to sleep to draw a curtain behind me and replace the missing calories at the same time. Later we have something tea-like and a small snack and sit across from each other with a 15 watt candle, I myself sit wrapped in blankets until 1 o’clock and then crawl into bed frozen.”

40.000 children without parents, the rations of the British will soon be reduced to 1200 calories per day because the supply is so poor.

It takes a few years and almost a decade later, until in the 50’s 31 million tons of goods in the port of Hamburg are delivered again.

40 million cubic metres of rubble have to be removed before- and who removed it?


Well, who do you think: The women in the rubble were certainly not included in the gross national product, just like the blogs, contents, relief actions, like “BeyondCrisis” nowadays, social engagement and “soft skills” are not mentioned in the GNP (gross national product) of the GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC, but I think that clearing away rubble and keeping the shops running is rather “hard skills”.

-and not only soft skills.

Without this, the 31 million tons in the port of the Hanseatic city at the beginning of the 50s would not have been cleared as well.

My mother was born at the beginning of the 2nd world war, my father in the year of the end of the war -1945.

So all of this was not sooooo long ago….

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