My husband and his siblings knew their father had written some kind of diary in his younger years, but the notebooks were tucked away in one of the sister’s closet after the parents’ deaths. She had intended to transcribe them, but she became ill with cancer and died in 2009. After that, my father-in-law’s papers came into another sister’s possession. She set to work on them. Just last week, we received a transcript of “Papa’s Tagebuch [diary]” from December 1929 to December 1932.
For me, this is a great treasure, because I can “hear” Heinrich Dueck for the first time. My father-in-law died suddenly – his funeral was on my birthday, in fact – before we were married. I lived a continent away. All who married into the large family had come to know him, except me, spouse of the youngest. I’ve heard much about my father-in-law, of course, gathered stories, viewed pictures, but I feel a hole in my experience of this second family of mine. Here in his diary, however, is something of his voice. Continue reading