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article imageThe Story of a 106-Year Old Author Emmy Herzog Special

By Roger Tshiamala Tubajiki     May 11, 2009 in Lifestyle
At 106, Emmy Herzog is Germany’s oldest author and the oldest person in the city of Münster, Germany. Emmy Herzog was born on April 13, 1903 as Bogatzki in Ludwiggsdorf, Upper Silesia. She spent her childhood in Kattowitz, in southern Poland.
According to the history, Kattowitz was inhabited by Germans, Jews, Poles and Silesians.
After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles provided a referendum to determine if Upper Silesia was to remain German or to pass to Poland. In 1921, the result were favorable to Germany, but in the eastern of Upper Silesia mainly inhabited by the Polish population that became a part of the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship of Poland.
During that period the parents of Emmy Herzog decided to move to Berlin and then to Münster. Today Emmy is the oldest person in the city of Munster and recently celebrated her 106th birthday on April 13, 2009 at a Senior Residence where she lives.
When I learned about Emmy Herzog, I longed to meet her. My first attempt to ask for an appointment was unsuccessful. Emmy was not available for a talk during his birthday ceremony. The second attempt finally got me the opportunity to meet her. It was on a Saturday afternoon, and the elevator took me to the first floor and a few steps to Emmy’s door. As Emmy Herzog heard the doorbell rang, few minutes after, she opened the door and stood there to welcome me. She was smiley and the image of a 106 year old woman I had in my mind disappeared on the spot as I walked into her apartment and we greeted each other pleasantly and she made me feel very comfortable in her apartment.
At 106, Emmy Herzog has vivid memories of so many things that occurred several years ago. She knew why I was there and started after a few introduction words to tell her story, a story that reflects a mixture of happiness and sorrow. She was opened to questions and answered them with pleasure. On the wall inside Emmy’s apartment there are pictures of two persons. One is her first husband the late Leo Steinweg, a motorcyclist and the other is her second husband the Eugen Herzog from Vienna, Austria.
Briefly, Emmy describes both Leo Steinweg and Heugen Herzog as wonderful persons and good husbands. Leo Steinweg was passionately interested in racing and won many competitions locally and nationally, and ran a successful Motorcycle Shop.
“Leo was Jewish and when we heard about German National Socialism was coming into power in Germany, we decided to marry because people said under German National Socialism , Leo, as Jewish, would be banned to marry me,” said Emmy. While speaking about her first husband, one souvenir came to her and she elected not to talk further. It was a car accident that happened when she was pregnant. That baby didn’t survived that accident and Emmy would remain without a child ever since.
“Most importantly in my life is that I loved my first and second husband very much and had two great unions.”
Leo Steinweg, who went to Nederland fleeing the National Socialism regime and was followed shortly by his wife, Emmy, was finally arrested due to his Jewish origin and taken away from Emmy to KR camp where he died. Years after, Emmy returned to Germany and married Heugen Herzog, who died after 20 years of marriage. It was in 1973. “Today, good memories of my life are my strength and sheer comfort,” said Emmy.
After so many years, Emmy Herzog, at 96, decided to write a book about her unforgettable memories of her life with Leo Steinweg durind the German National Socialism, a book subtitled “Leben mit Leo” she finished to write it in December of 1999 and it was published in 2000.
Emmy wrote another book subtitled “Bunte Zeiten”, a book that tells story of four young women and their vicissitudes fate from the end of World War I to the end of World War II. During our conversion, Emmy’s telephone rang three times and Emmy stood up those three times to answer those phone calls and I could see her enthusiasm.
Emmy Herzog is an active woman. She still makes her breakfast and clean sometimes her room. She reads newspapers every morning and as she said, she still plans to write another book.
Our talk was over and we both felt how interesting our meeting was and it was time to say good bye and a smiley Emmy saw me leave pleasantly an I saw her stay happy., a bout a visit that she said was very interesting.
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