My Aunt Eva
Born in 1921 Aunt Eva would have been 95 years old today the 4th of February had she been alive.
As a child I admired my mother’s sister Eva. She was full of humor and she had four lively boys. Three of them a bit older than me and one six years younger. I always dreamt of getting a little sister or brother so it was great that she got a baby when my mother didn’t.
The sisters liked very much to dance and knew many dances via their dancing lessons.
In their youth even during the war she and my mother took their bicycles and went through Denmark to see families and sightseeing.
After school was finished she started to work for a family with children. That was a demand before being accepted to a nursing school. She started to study nursing in the beginning of the war at the hospital called Bispebjerg where I also studied the same some thirty years later.
During that time she met my uncle Hans and got pregnant. They married in the autumn of 1943 and my oldest cousin was born in May 1944.
At the time it was impossible to study nursing and to be pregnant even if you got married. She never finished her education but stayed at home working there and later helped her husband in his firm. He was among the first here in Denmark producing things in plastic. It was told about him that he hired a place to make the things and then went around on his bicycle and sold the things. I guess mostly toys.
The firm is still existing in another country. They make things for street lamps and lamps for highways and many other things for industry.
Many firms can’t make money in Denmark because the salaries are so high. I remember so clearly that my mother has told how she was trying to get some milk for the little two months old nephew. A general strike had broken out in the big cities in Denmark because of anger as the Germans had started to execute the young resistance fighters. Later Eva’s husband Hans Nielsen was in prison at the Shell House mistaken for another of the same name. He was transferred to another prison just before the bombing of the Shell House where the Gestapo had their Head Quarters and all the files on the resistance movement.
My mother had just come from the province to Copenhagen to start a new job in a pharmacy. She couldn’t start that day in July 1944 because of the strike and tried to help my aunt to get the milk for the baby.
When she came back with the milk her sister and the baby were gone. I think evacuated to a summer-house. They found each other but it was difficult times and communication was not as now.
Also my uncle was released after some months and my aunt even dared to knock at Gestapo’s door to ask for her husband. Hans was lucky to be able to speak German, which helped him immensely.
I admired Eva for being able to manage all these lively boys. She would shout at them and they would laugh on their way out to their soccer games. I was not used to such a noisy way of bringing up children. Once she took care of me and my brother just for a day and I walked with her for some shopping. I think I was six years old. I saw a shop at the other side of the road with baby carriers and I wanted to see the display of baby carriers for babies and for dolls. She didn’t have the time though and drew me away in my sleeve.
I knew then that my mother would have let me have a look. Her star feel a bit in my eyes because of that. But at another time she invited us all for her birthday and we got warm cocoa and homemade buns with butter and most likely some more with it. The 4th of February was always cold and snowy. There was a nice smell all over the house and lots of happy voices. I hardly ever see my cousins any more and my aunt and uncle are dead long ago.
I ended up having four children myself and was lucky to finish the nursing education a long time before I got my children.