Not a funny article this time - but I just like the Title! The real Title is:
"MY GERMAN PUTZFRAU"...Coming Clean in Deutschland!
For a year out of the 3 my family & I were living in Germany on a Military Base in the 70's; every other week we had a German Putzfrau to clean our Apartment.
It was not lost on me that during a cold December day; she was dusting around our lit Chanukah Menorah - 30 short years after her Country was home to the worst Jewish atrocities.
But what was most ironic about the experience; was that I was required to cook her a full-on Hot Dinner for Lunch.
In Germany, the big meal of the day was lunch & after toiling for half of a a cold winter's day in someone else' debris - who wouldn't need a bountiful break?
I couldn't tell you exactly what I whipped up; but that it was hearty!
It's been so long; I've forgotten whether I sat at my Dining Room Table across from her - not speaking a word; but do recall being delighted as each morsel was devoured giving comfort.
I don't even remember if I joined her eating my Tuna Fish Sandwich; saving the remains of that Hot Meal for my family's dinner.
When I got a "Danke Schoen" from her it was clearly a Feather in my Alpine Hat; and was pleased that I lived up to the Gastronomical Test of a German's taste buds.
At the end of the day, I paid her in Deutsch Marks & thanked her with smiles; luxuriating in the smell of a clean house.
Germans were noted for a scrupulous home & environs & thankfully the job didn't seem like it was demeaning to her. We (meaning Americans) were in her Country & you can never be sure how she or they thought about that.
Don't get me wrong; I had interaction with German people on Base & off - but none so personal as in my house. I understood German more than I could speak it & got all my needs met - whether it looked like a bad game of Charades or in desperation; laughter - especially if I had to go to the Bathroom!
In order to be approved for this major move to West Germany from the States; all Husbands & Wives had to pass both Physical & Psychiatric Tests with doctors & luckily I knew how to cheat on both! ha ha
Since living abroad & traveling to other countries, I found I've been more tolerant of other Nationalities, Races & Faiths; opening my eyes to things important & not important & saving the side trip to Dachau Concentration Camp for the very end & acknowledging - without children was the right decision.
Besides becoming a Mother, I think the one thing that has affected me the most in my life so far - was living in Germany & coming back to America a Woman of the World - making some sense of the German/Jewish Connection & why it was taken away - and at peace; that I put it to rest!