I remember walking through the streets of Freiburg-im-Breisgau thinking that the giver of life is the taker of life; and that to God, death is not a tragedy.
I was a research assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, a mother of 2 little boys whom I hoped would grow up to be scientists (they did! Bravo Angus and Miles!) and I had gone to Germany to get evidence for my theory of how carbon dioxide is metabolized in our bodies, and came back to the US knowing our future was at least partly German ....
May Day. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2015 v9n1 p0501
74 years ago today, a "half-Jew" gave birth to my
husband, father of my younger 2, in Wiesbaden. He now sits in a chair
& shakes, imprisoned by a "guardian".
Olympic reserve rower,
inventor with 57 patents: I am fighting to get him free.
does not allow family phone calls, packages, visits: breaking all rules
in the Geneva Convention.
In 2013 and 2014, I was trying to find him, contacting his tax lawyer, his place of work for 40 years, his doctor, the German Embassy, local hospitals. No response. My daughter and I went to Germany in Aug 2014
to find him, we were about to start checking graveyards when we went to
the police to first file a missing person report.
The police told us he was alive, and I am his wife. We followed their leads and found Lothar in a
lovely nursing home, surrounded by kind people.
We were there less than 1
hour when a loud large woman burst into the room, told us it was the
last time we would ever see Lothar, because she will not, would not
give permission. She is a bridge enthusiast Sylvia
Maurer-Ilgen, a former mathematics teacher, for a decade or so his
next-door neighbor, and later his land lady. She spends a great many
days of the year driving in Lothar's cars to bridge competitions around
the Black Forest, and at least once a year, to other parts of Germany.
The hospital personel told us she shows up occasionally once a week but
often less frequently, and screams at him for 30 minutes before driving away in his cars. We
are slowly, painfully slowly, going through German courts in which they
are determining whether she is allowed to file for a divorce from his
family so she can keep his cars, his possessions, his bank accounts.
Roses for Ruth click here
May Day. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2012 v6n1 p0501
Today is May Day, 2012.
In the United States,
National Asthma Day. I have gathered some articles on asthma. In the
United States, asthma disproportionately affects children of African
ancestry. Is it a poverty issue, a genetic issue, both? Articles have
been produced claiming both. The fact is, if your child can't breathe in
the middle of the night, you really don't care.
What can you do
to lessen the frequency of asthma attacks? Keep your house obsessively
clean. no dust, no curtains, no carpets, books behind glass, get rid of
anything that will attract cockroaches.
To read more from the NIH, click here, data from the CDC published by the Office of Minority Health, click here and about how household intervention can help children with asthma, click here.
is the month of continuing miracles. All is green, flowers are
continuing to bloom, tomato plants are finally looking like tomatoes
will be produced.
May is the month America gets impatient with
summer starting in June. "Damn it", I hear echoing through the
centuries, "end of June? You have got to be kidding, my summer is
starting at the end of May, Memorial Day." Hey, that works for me, and
for my town, my swim-club opens its doors at the end of May. I have paid
the annual fee, oiled my bicycle, made sure my tennis racket and
basketball hands are in working order.
That is May Day for me now.
long time ago, in Germany, in 1941, when the German government had an
official policy of equating Jews with vermin, a young Jewish woman gave
birth to a boy on May Day. May 1, 1986. I had met Lothar the previous week, on April 25, on Anzac Day, and the Black Forest spring was intoxicating.
Because of miracles that happen when
people pay attention, the young woman survived the war, and the boy grew
up to become a prolific inventor.
Later than most men, he
became the father of a boy and a girl. I have the great privilege of
being their mother. Happy 71st birthday Lothar.
Listen to the story of Lothar's mother, Ruth, click here, or click on the picture of Lothar above, the man with thick white hair fiddling with a camera.
1, 1941. Citizen Kane was first shown in New York. That is the good
news. Two British ocean liners were sunk, General Rommel invaded Tobruk,
and the citizens in Liverpool awoke to devastation, the German Air
Force (Luftwaffe) had started dropping bombs, and continued for the next
The head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, was also
second in command of the Nazi empire, on May 1, 1941, he signed a law
called Einsatzstab Rosenberg, which was a directive for theft of
anything that looked valuable in countries that were occupied by
that week I traveled to Essen for 2 days to visit Professor Gerolf Gros
and stay with his family. He showed me around Essen, around Albert
Speers mansion, and in the evening I drank red wine with him and his
The next day, April 30, I had a splitting headache, and I
called Lothar from a train station. He told me that I needed to know
that red wine that comes from north of Frankfurt should never, ever be
consumed. Ah! And in the evening we partook in the German ritual of
eating spargel - freshly harvested white asparagus.
May 1 is a
holiday in Germany, and Lothar held a party. A lovely party, filled with
keen skiiers who saw Spring as a necessary evil between decent
snowfalls. A lot of the discussion was about Chernobyl, because during
that week the nuclear reactor had malfunctioned, and started spewing out
radioactivity, some of it eventually landed on Germany. I was going back
to Philadelphia the next day for a week after 2 months in Freiburg, and
would return for a conference in Titiisee, high in the Black Forest.
remember 2 party members rather liking each other's company after the
wife of one of them left the party; and Lothar staying up all night
talking to them to prevent them connecting intimately in his house. In
the morning, Lothar piled me and my luggage into his Audi and drove me
with the couple to the train station. He walked with me into the train,
and as I looked out of the window and waved him goodbye, I saw the
couple connecting inappropriately against a wall. Well, not in his
I returned to Freiburg a week later, and many more times
over the next 12 years. Lothar was so strong, so principled, so
Below, my 56th birthday with our 2 children in 2007.