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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Frankfurt am Main
Home country: Germany
Current location: Tacoma, Washington
Member since: Sat Jul 18, 2009, 11:55 AM
Number of posts: 22,593

About Me

Ran for US Congress in 1990 from the left. Chairperson of 1989 city advisory initiative calling for 10% reduction in military spending to be divided among deficit reduction and mass transit and social services. Being a miliary town nobody thought we'd get on the balllot let alone win with 64% of the vote. Former chair of peace and justice project for a UMC congregation in Tacoma, Washington.

Journal Archives

just curious

What was George Bush's connection to the Kennedy assassination?

A memory of a refugee

I wanted to tell you the story of a woman who was born in Germany in 1933 right after Hitler took power. Her name is Lieselotte (Lilo) Collier. Some of you may have heard her story before, because I have talked about her on here previously. Lilo grew up in Frankfurt Germany, the transportation and banking capitol of that nation. Frankfurt was massively bombed by the allies, first by the British and then the Americans. In 1943 Hitler was beginning to see the hand writing on the wall, as the war effort was not going his way. He had decreed in the summer of 1943 that all children must leave the cities by December. In early November, Lilo was removed from her home. Because there was transportation, she and many others had to walked in a column for miles and miles. Some of that was through the snows of the Bavarian Mountains. They ended their journey at a Roman Catholic orphanage just inside the Austrian border where
she stayed for a year and a half.

Five days after the war was over, the director of the orphanage gathered all the German children together and told them they had to leave and that there was no money left to keep them. They were driven to the Austrian-German border and then left on their own. Once again there was no transportation. Lilo, wandered the German countryside and towns for 10 and a half months. Often sleeping in barns, church door steps, bombed out schools and on occasion in the home of a kind countryman. Many times, because of the destitute condition of the nation and its' people she had rocks, garbage and rotten food thrown at her and even once was shot at. Finally an American military batallion picked her up and brought her to a "staging" orphanage where she remembers lining up for 16 weekends before her parents found her and she was reunited with her family. Because of her trek through the snows of the mountains and her substandard footwear, she got frostbite on her left leg and right foot. When she became pregnant with her first child, that (because of the change in her body) turned to gangrene and she had to have the toes of her right foot amputated and also her left leg right below the knee with just local anesthetic in order to save the fetus' life.

Her little boy remembers growing up seeing the stares at her of others, being teased about that and also her heavy German accent. Lilo was sickly for the rest of her life. She cringed when ever she heard a low flying plane or a close siren and never watched war movies. She had a brain hemorrhage when she was 39 years old and passed away. Her son had already lost his father at 7 to the Vietnam War and was 15 when she died.

That little girl grew up to be my mother and today would have been her 85th birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LILO (sorry for the long post)

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