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Email from Herta's son, Christian Ball, 19 August 2004

Your request for information about Herta made me think and remember lots of situations and details about my mother, and I want to tell you some of them.

Having to care for 8 children in those times after the war -- that seems too diffiicult for anybody. Not for Herta. She managed the job very good, so all of the children could grow up very well.

When she was expecting Dorothe, my youngest sister, the doctors urgently advised her not to have the baby because of serious risks to her life and the baby's life. Herta opened the bible to find out what she should do and found the word "you have to obey God more than man" -- and that's why Dorothe is alive.

Mother was educated as a children's nurse, which helped her a lot in managing children's diseases.

I remember having a facial nerve infection when I was 10 years old. My sisters and brothers where laughing about me -- mother sent me to the doctor immediately, otherwise my face would look funny until this day.

Mother was a great cook. My favorite meal was mashed potatoes. This meant -- without electric machines -- half an hour hard physical work for a meal for 10 persons. My mother often agreed to my request -- the condition was that I would help and hold the pot in position while she was mashing the potatoes.

She was able to create meals out of nothing. "Brotsuppe" -- old and hard bread, which people would throw away, was made soft in water and the result was a very good tasting soup.

She was the fear of any shop of the town. She was perfect in buying without having a penny. The baker next door used to send a whole cake when she finally came and payed the bill.

When I was 11 years old, my mother felt we needed a piano. My father played violin, and the whole family was singing Christian songs all day, so my mother felt we had talent for playing an instrument. There was no money, so my mother started talking to people. Result: We got a piano for nothing from the Red Cross, which was the start of my learning piano -- until the examination at music college qualified me as a music teacher.

Mother never attended any college or university, but she was intelligent in her own way. In regard to her husband, she managed to make him feel he was the boss. But in many practical decisions, it was Herta who was leading. In religious things however, my father was doubtless the chief.

File name
File Size
Linked toFamily: Ball/Matthia (F189)
AlbumsMatthia, Herta Ernestine Regina

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