Kurt Simon and the Governess

Brasserie De Bademeester 19.4. (3) Ausschnitt

When we had met in the South Pacific Kurt had given us a name and an ad­dress in Essen: “She is a sweet old lady called Else Erdnüss and I love her very much. You should get to know her and give her my regards.” 

Back in Germany, I wrote her a letter and got a neat hand written reply. We all used to write our personal letters by hand those days. Even Kurt did. He con­stantly used to excuse himself for his handwriting that looked like chicken scratching.

She invited my husband and me to her apartment in Essen. It was one of those huge old flats that seem to grow larger the tinier and wispier their old inhabitants get. She was in her nineties, tall and slim, her hair, which was still dark blonde, put up. She was more interested in her visitors than in making any impression herself and probably never had made any fuss about her looks. When she was young she had been little Kurt’s governess. 

She talked about Kurt with great compassion. What an excellent driver he was, when she once visited him in Los Angeles, what a thoughtful, attentive and solicitous person and a true friend he had always been. “I love him”, she said, “I’ve always loved him. Even as a child I loved him.”

Scan 30
Else Erdnuss

Ulrike Eisenträger
Frankfurt am Main
December 3, 2012

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