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Rose von S.

by Ildiko D.



Mrs Rose von S., 76 J lives in Ulm – Wiblingen


Mrs. von S. I have known you for several years as a very active woman. How do you organize your everyday life?

I read the newspaper first, which is very important for me. There was a lot of talk about politics in my parental home. My parents were not party members but they voted differently. They talked about politics every day, but always with acceptance and tolerance of each other.

As a nurse, out of love for my profession, I did night shifts in a nursing home when I retired. I gave away my last service on New Year's Eve. I know that the young nurses like to celebrate. I have also given training courses for the staff of the home.

At the moment I am only a mentor for the trainees and I am still looking after a minor refugee.

I watch a lot of television, always listen to the news, mostly "Phoenix", because that's where the big discussion takes place and I am interested in politics.


Where do you live?

I have been living in Ulm- Wiblingen for several years, in a beautiful condominium with 100m ² roof terrace. This large terrace with the many flowers, provides more work than a garden. I am already a regular customer of Hornbach!

We used to live in the village in a farmhouse near Ehingen and that was just the right thing. The children grew up in the country, they have respect from the work of the farmers, they have a completely different attitude towards food. Then we had our own house, but a house needs renovations and the older you get, the harder it gets. That's why we decided to buy an apartment that is big enough for our grandchildren when they come to visit.


Do you have hobbies?

Hobbies I have four children, working and a foster child?

Today I like to listen to music, not only CDs but also a lot of YouTube, I like to see the instruments on which they are played.


How do you deal with the new media?

I have a smartphone, but only for making phone calls, I read my e-mails every day and also sometimes the news online. But I do not want WhatsApp.


Where were you born?

In Potsdam.


And how did you come to Ulm?

My father was in a concentration camp. He was arrested in 1933 and got out in late 1934. He was a judge, but remained unemployed under the Nazi regime until 1945. In the GDR, they had good use for him as a decent democrat, where he then worked in the judiciary.

1949 He said to my mother: "The color has changed, instead of brown it is red, here I cannot speak justice.

Die Grenze war noch offen, mein Vater ist in die Bundesrepublik vorgegangen und das darauf folgende Jahr sind wir, meine Mutter und meine Schwester, ihm gefolgt. Zuerst haben wir in Berlin, dann in Münster gewohnt.


How has life developed?

At the age of 18 I went straight back to Berlin and did my training as a nurse. After the training I thought that 3 years of learning was not enough and wanted to continue. I thought about whether I would continue in nursing or continue in social work.

I then worked for two years as a nurse at the Diakonie, a mother and child home for underage prostitute mothers. There was little nursing work, it was more about social work, namely the care of the mothers. I enjoyed it so much, I had such respect for these prostitutes, how they stuck together, these biographies, what a resume they had already had. I came from a sheltered home, I did not know what was going on in the world.

After these two years, I decided to study social studies. During my studies I met my husband.

We worked as social workers in Northern Germany and later we both took over the management of the children's home.

In 1976 my husband got a job as a mentor and then as a principal in the Tannenhof home for the disabled. For some time I worked as a volunteer healing teacher.

 When the school for nursing the elderly in Ehingen opened, I was entrusted by the principal of the school to build up the school for nursing the elderly - for 25 years.


What role did the profession play in your life?

Big, very, very big. They are all looking forward to their retirement. Leaving school was very difficult for me. I made it through the day without crying, but half a year later I still looked at the clock every morning and cried.


By whom was your life influenced? Were you able to shape your life the way you wanted to?

I always wanted to become a nurse. My parents liked the social work in the home and supported me during my studies. They accepted my decision to have an illegitimate child without reproach and welcomed my son with love.

I was influenced by the director, she was a special woman and my father with his tolerance.


Have you traveled a lot?

My first big trip was to America, when I was still a young adult. But I was always interested in the East. I was in Poland at least 20 times in the early days, when there were many prejudices against Germans. I established the German-Polish youth exchange. I went to Poland with students, I organized seminars with Polish students - from the social sector - as well as study trips.

In Gdansk I met a young student whom we took in to study in Germany - we always had foreign guests.

I was also in Vietnam because my mother supported the Peace Villages during the Vietnam War. Her brother disappeared there. I inherited money that I had not expected. With this money, my husband and I built a school in Vietnam. We went there with our son for the inauguration. From here we brought a young man back to us in Germany to study.

With my 7 grandchildren I go every year to Bulgaria, to the Black Sea coast and I travel a lot in Europe.


Is there a turning point in your life?

Yes, when I made a conscious decision not to marry my great love and move with him to Greece into diplomatic life. Although I was quite happy, I had a child by him.


You are interested in politics. Is there a political event that has impressed you?

The building of the wall, as a Berliner. I had my girlfriend there, she could no longer visit me. I could travel to her in the GDR, or did we meet in the Czech Republic - and November 9, the fall of the Wall. The day after that I came to school totally crying with swollen eyes. The principal came up to me in the hallway and said: "A Berliner is not at school that day. Go home, I'll give you lessons today." These are great moments.

I was also in Israel. My father said, "First you go to Auschwitz, and then when you've been there, you go to Israel." I was there twice, lived with a family, and experienced infinitely moving things. Now I am very disappointed about Israel; if I were given a trip to Israel today as a gift, I would refuse it.

I was in Auschwitz with all my children, always with one of them, so that you have time for the child. I would like to go there with my youngest grandchild (11Y). While thinking about whether he is not too young for this, my father's words came to my mind. I was 8 years old when he told me about Auschwitz. My mother was horrified and my father said, crying. "Children have had to experience that, my daughter can know that".

As political personalities, Helmut Schmidt and his wife "Loki" impressed me, as did Albert Schweitzer, whom I met once.


How do you experience society today?

Sad, because I think we sin against youth. When I think back how light-heartedly I was still allowed to experience my youth. I experienced Gorbachev and we all hoped that things would get better now, and now the East, the West and America are rearming again.

 Parents have no time for their children, teachers today are supposed to impart knowledge and also educate. Everything is too hectic, too fast. The Internet also plays a role, the youth is just sitting in the Internet.


What would you pass on to the youth?

How I raised my children: Go with open eyes, that they have international understanding, that they should keep Europe in their hearts. They should not forget that democracy is a gift, because the people who can vote freely are a minority on this earth.


Are you an European?

Yes, fanatical European. I gave my grandson a day in the European Parliament for his 18th birthday. All my children are Europeans.


Are there things that you would do differently today?

No, I don't regret any of my decisions in life.

But I would be more grateful to my parents.


Have your wishes been fulfilled, do you still have dreams?

Everything. I know that I am going to die soon, but when I think of my youngest grandchild, my great-grandchild, I would like to have a few more years to see how they develop, how everything in their lives becomes good, how they become self-confident people.

Have you thought about how you would like to shape your life in the future?

No, I let that come to me.


Are you afraid of death?

No, not at all. As a nurse you do not have that.


Have you written your will?

It's all arranged. An anonymous funeral, no mourning clothes, grateful music by Bach. My son will deliver the speech. Also that the conclusion is how unimaginably lucky I was in life and that not everything is taken for granted.


To what time would you return?

From my vocational training - nurse school and social work - because it was my decisions everything was fun. And there the grades were much better, not like at school.


Were you brought up religiously?

Yes, evangelic and I stayed religious.


If you met God today, what would you tell him?

 Simply thank you. Thank you for a life in peace. Thank you for a life without hunger. Thank you for the children to whom I could give enough to eat.


The question about a motto for life is often asked. Is there a motto that shapes your life / your life?

The Prussian upbringing: politeness, respect for others, punctuality and fulfillment of duty.

My name is " von", that is a pure coincidence. If you stand at the end of your life and say I made a lot of mistakes, but I did some things right and you achieved something in your job, then you can be proud.


What do you wish for the future?

Peace. Peace for humanity.