Divorce papers for Renate’s parents 1942.
Why did they divorce?
What do you notice about her mother’s name?
Käthe Edler (nee Lehrs) was not represented – why do you think that was?
A bit of a joker.
Hans Edler used to comply with the Hitler Salute but he said “Heil Edler.“ It amused Renate and her grandmother but made her mother angry.
What do you think?
Was it brave?
Was it foolish?
How easy would that have been? Try it!
Part of a letter to Renate
The most difficult piece of news to tell is that I have married again. I’m afraid I fell in love. The war was difficult and Ingeborg was so kind to me. I was actually completely convinced that both you and your mother had died. That seems unforgivable now. But Ingeborg helped me through the darkest times. I hope you can forgive me and I hope that you will meet her one day soon and that you will like her. She deserves to be liked.
Hopefully, they will lift the travel bans soon. You are then, of course, most heartily invited to Germany and I would also like to visit you in your new home in England.
Do keep on writing.
Your loving father,
Hans’s sense of
This is what Renate says about him in her first letter:
But yesterday they got into a bit of the Christmas mood. I almost choked, though, when the telegraph boy came round.
“Heil Hitler!” he said.
And my father replied “Heil Edler!” Thank goodness the boy didn’t notice. But I was going redder and redder with trying not to giggle. After he had gone I almost spat the whole mouthful of Apfelkuchen out.
That scene repeated itself at dinner. Father knows very well that I hate spinach. And that I just hide it in my mouth until I can get rid of it later. He kept trying to make me laugh. Then it happened. A great explosion of green all over the white table cloth. Mother made a terrible fuss and muttered something about young ladies in her day. Wilma was trying not to laugh, I could tell! Father just roared.