A life straight out of a history book

A life straight out of a history book

Olga knieb, nee stadel, from marktbreit celebrated on 9. November their 85. Birthday. Your life so far is like reading a history book. She was born in friedenstal near the black sea in bessarabia, today divided between moldova and ukraine. Between 1814 and 1842, some 9,000 germans immigrated there on the tsar’s recruitment to farm the land.

The story and the corresponding dates are available from the rustic jubilarian. It tells history and stories far more vividly than a history book can. So now she takes the time to write down such stories again and again. Her son reinhard then types it up. Several pages have already been created in this way.

In 1940, due to the hitler-stalin pact, the bessarabian germans were resettled under the motto "home to the reich" – by the way, the most prominent representative is the former german federal president horst kohler.

She was 13 years old when she was relocated. She ended up in a camp in sudentenland, then to poland in warthegau. But after the red army captured the area, it had to be sent to siberia. In the summer of 1949, she met helmut knieb, a prisoner of war.

At the beginning of october knieb was allowed to return to marktbreit, about a month later she was allowed to go to germany and came to ulm. Helmut knieb found out about this and went to see her. "I was homeless", she describes her situation. She was all the happier when the parents of her future husband invited her to marktbreit for christmas. "He’s bringing one from arabia," they had said at the time. For she knew nothing of bessarabia, olga knieb recalls.

In april 1950 they got married. Her husband initially worked as a baker before they both started working in the fruit and vegetable store in schustergasse. In 1957, they bought the building, love to rub it down and rebuild it. From the grandfather of today’s third mayor martina michel (pictured left), who delivered the city’s congratulations. Until 1978 olga and helmut knieb ran the small grocery store and moved to adam-fuchs-strabe, where they still live with a granddaughter.

1990 she visited her hometown with her husband for the first time after a long time. There they were even allowed to spend the night in their parents’ house. Young she was there with son reinhard. "Now her payments for me have got pictures," he says. Her husband helmut died in 2010. But photos and his paintings, which he created from shells collected during many visits to greece, remind us of him in their living room.

Despite, or perhaps because of her experiences, the jubilarian is firm in her faith, pastor jacqueline barraud-volk was impressed. She was among the congratulators, as was olga knieb’s three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She likes to devote a lot of time to them, because family is olga knieb’s top priority.