What are the odds?

Today, 79 years ago my father was born, in the midst of a war, son to a Jewish mother. He survived, lived and fled from the GDR with his family when he was ten.

My mother was born 73 years ago, shortly after the war with a heart condition and a club foot.

Both my grandfathers were soldiers in WW II. One in Eastern Europe, one in Africa. Despite the numbers of people killed, both (!) came back.

What are the odds?

My mother’s mother fled from East Prussia and could not get on a boat because it was full….the boat that sank on that journey….
My mother’s father found her after being released from war captivity, no what’s app there.

What are the odds?

Somehow my parents ended up in the same city, meeting and falling in love, despite the age gap and social-economic differences. They got married, moved to Berlin and had me, and lived happily ever after.

Unfortunately not. What sounds like a love story against all historical odds ended badly. My father cheated on my mother and literally broke his neck on the way to his mistress. He was 36. My mum became a functioning alcoholic and died at the age of 52.

Every year on my father’s birthday I ask myself what are the odds of me having been born and actually living a fullfilled and happy life. I ask myself what the reason might be, that I exist and what kind of task the universe had in mind when it gave me the chance to live.

I think, today I got a glimpse of what might be part of it: One of my students gave her end of year presentation in English. The overall topic was immigrants and refugees. She told us, how her grandmother fled from East Prussia and that her family could not get on a boat because it was full….the boat that sank on that journey….

What are the odds….

… that fate allows me to be this student’s teacher?


One thought on “What are the odds?

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