My name is Elisabeth Margaretha Countess of Schöngau-Brixendorf. Don’t be afraid, counter intuitively to my name, I am concerned with noble people as much as an ant is concerned with a rubber tire. Noble behavior has never suited me.
I was born in the middle of the 1950ies in the Ruhr area and qualified as a bank clerk. I absolved many further trainings but only had chances to move up the ladder with some reservations. Many a time some young men made a career past me, although they didn’t have the same qualifications as I had. So I experienced the glass ceiling myself.
I took some years until I realized that I would never reach the working and salary level of men without sleeping my way up to the top or denying myself. Someday I was fed up cooking coffee and having my proposals and elaborations presented by others. Many of my ideas had been taken without naming me as the source.
“You can be proud, Mrs. Countess, we happily seized on your proposals and will implement them in our house”.
“And why is my name not written down on the paper”?
“What do you think? You are working for us, so everything you produce for us is our property. Therefore it isn’t necessary to put your name under it”.
“But with the last changes the editor was named”.
“That may be true, but in this case we just want to refrain from doing so; be happy we seized on your proposals”.
How could I have been happy about it? Again and again in the course of the years I had been shown that the bank business is actually a man’s thing. Here and there I had been allowed to join the game. However the big pieces had been always spread among men. Stop, here and there had been an exception. Sometimes a woman was allowed to put her name under the paper, however only if it had been approved by the bosses, that is by men or if the dear lady had been in a relationship with one of the upper ones, at least for a short time.
Fortunately the stalking had ceased over of the years. Being an apprentice girl and later a young bank clerk I had to guard against the assaults of male coworkers and superiors more than once. They liked considering female apprentices and good looking female coworkers being a fair game. Some gentlemen contented themselves with caressing the backside. Others grabbed the bosom as a matter of course. The next level I had to experience I would call a sexual assault today. One of my superiors made a clear offer. If I would take it, it wouldn’t do harm to my career. I refused it and had myself transferred into a different department, where things weren’t much better after all.
Someday I was fed up. Since then I have been working independently, that means on a fee basis for several financial institutions. I have absolved many courses about real estate industry and today I advise customers willing to buy houses or villas.
During a party in Cologne I met a woman whose existence I soon forgot again because of our alcohol consumption. She hadn’t forgotten me and later she introduced me to a woman whose fascinating life story made me become an author. In a hospital in Hanover I encountered Sara the weasel.
Sara, born as a Jewish girl in Bremerhaven had been caught and carted away by the Nazis. She had been the only one being able to flee from the cattle car and struggled through a mad war. Being lucky and fitted with brains as keen as a razor she survived the horrors of destruction as a partisan, met her great love, wandered back to Germany and built up a wonderful life.
A few months later, my discoverer end editor Hans Georg van Herste told me about some diaries a man had entrusted to him. This man had found the diaries in the attic of his house and stated that his died wife had written them. I didn’t only read the diaries but also got through the one or other archive. “Golden Straw in my Hair” was the result.
A man and a woman near Bremervoerde start a family. A child is born. Because of the raging of the World War II the two of them can’t spend much time together. When back at the front the man refuses to shoot down prisoners, he is shot himself by an SS man. When the news of his death spread in his home village, his wife is immediately claimed by the near large scale farmer. Although she fights vehemently and asks many people for help she is not able to escape her fate. Only her daughter finally manages to put an end to this drama and build up a life worth living.
During my research I had to realize that the often praised idyllic of the village doesn’t really exist anywhere. Furthermore I realized how much power and endurance some women have to put up to be able to live reasonably happy.
I would never have thought it possible to get into the Top 100 of Amazon with my debut works. I was very much pleased indeed and I hope that the content of these books will encourage more than one woman and stimulate them to try something completely new now and then.
Golden Straw in my Hair
Antje’s father is shot and killed by a SS-man because he had denied shooting innocent men. A rich farmer takes advantage of this death and marries his son Manfred off to Antje’s mother Helena. Being incredibly brutal Manfred makes Helena’s and Antje’s lives a living hell. Only when the neighbor’s son Guenter enters Antje’s life, the situation gradually changes connected with many difficulties.
However Antje is that much traumatized that she tries to make herself popular and indispensable everywhere. Only a severe illness makes Antje see reason.
Based on diary entries, talks and enquiries the author Elisabeth Margaretha Countess of Schoengau-Brixendorf lively and comprehensibly created this work. This book enables the reader to get insights into a village community which is not idyllic at all, but it also shows that true love can’t be destroyed and can move mountains.
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Sara, the Weasel
In the middle of the twenties a little girl was born in Bremerhaven. After a happy childhood she is pushed into the cruel reality, when the Nazis came into power. All of a sudden she is an outcast.
Someday the family was arrested and together with other families bundled into livestock wagons. She is able to flee through a hole on the floor, hides in a hut, is discovered and supposed to be delivered. She is able to escape a second time and finally joins a Polish underground organization.
Together with her partisan friend Paula she learns to handle weapons und some fighting techniques. This way, both survive and struggle their way through to the west, this time chased by the Russians.
Sara the weasel – a dynamically recounted incredible life story full of adventures, setbacks and a heart-warming ending.