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In the late evening I somehow realized that he will never come back and that I would be forced to stay abandoned and alone with our little son.
Ten days ago, my husband Reinhardt got the chance to receive ten days of holiday from socialism, guaranteed by the approval of our German Democratic Republic (GDR) government, to attend the wedding of his sister in Hamburg (West Germany). Subsequently he did not return back to the GDR.
The 11th day of his absence passed uneventfully. On the 12th day they came as a double pack. Two of them always come, that seems to uplift them and gives them a stronger feeling of having power and control.
With a sharp and determining voice they challenged me to accompany them to the inquisition. I had to stand several and never ending inquisitions and was bombarded by the same questions and gave them the same answers all the time. I didn’t know anything and couldn’t tell them anything useful.
In the late evening it was ringing at my door of flat. Do they even approach me at night?
A friendly man was standing outside. He bend down to me and gently whispered in my ear: “I am sending you greetings from Reinhardt.”. While sitting on my sofa, he reads Reinhardt’s letter to me. Reinhardt assured me, that knowing nothing would be my best and most effective protection. He encouraged me to stay strong and optimistic and to get rid of any desperate feelings. We would surely come together again. His touching words were followed by a detailed action plan.
Reinhardt had a style, a plate and a Braille Alphabet at the Blind Association in Hamburg. Every line he filled in with six dots forms. Only one cell of every line contained a real letter.
Every few days I received such a letter, figured out the real alphabetic characters, combined them to words and got to know in which restaurant he would call me. In his parcels, which I now regularly received, were cigarettes to bribe the waiters at the restaurants, so that they allowed me to receive Reinhardt’s phone calls.
With the support of these mysterious letters, I got to know when and how I could leave the GDR and where I would meet my escape agents.
This correspondence remained invisible to our 'Deutsche Demokratische Republik' state security service. Following the instructions, which I had received in Braille, I met my escape agents in Romania and was little later united with my husband, now in Hamburg.
Without Braille such a communication would have been impossible.