Dear Axel Ackermann,
On August 1st, 1936, I met you.
A German Girl
If he hadn’t come to formally introduce himself, I would’ve never picked his face out among the hundreds of black clothed soldiers. He would’ve just been another Wehrmacht soldier with a red armband.
“Ah, Generalmajor Ackermann, I’d like you to meet my family.”
The piercing blue eyes landed on me first, maybe because I was the oldest child. As a young eleven year old girl, I would’ve liked to think it was due to more…romantic reasons.
I’m frozen in my spot, my eyes widening. My brain cannot remember how to politely introduce myself to soldiers, something my father instilled early on, as he is one as well. A well respected one, just like this man is.
“Forgive her manners, Ackermann. She is such a young girl at times.” The men chuckle with each other, though their eyes said very different things. My father’s: annoyance at my behavior. Generalmajor Ackermann’s: complete mirth.
“This is my oldest daughter, Lucienne.” My father then points to my little brother. “And this is Fredrick, my only son.”
“Nice to meet you both,” he says to both of us, though my brother isn’t truly paying attention at the young age of nine. “You can call me Axel. Enjoy the Olympics, young lady and young sir.” With that, he leaves my family behind.
But not my heart.