My name is Heide Marie Zimmer and I was born near Koblenz shortly after the war. My mother was a housewife as it was proper at that time; my father, whitewashed by a very white denazificaton certificate, was a manager in the newly rising industry. Although today I get sick at the expression ‘protected’, I had a really protected childhood.
My father was rarely at home, but I didn’t really care. We lived in a big house and my mother didn’t have anything against always inviting a lot of children to us. We frolicked around in the park or in the former stables, built sheds at the banks of the Mosel River, climbed on trees, in spite of the fact that this wasn’t proper for girls, as there was always the danger something would be seen, nobody should see. The other girls didn’t care and neither did I. Firstly there was never any stranger hanging about on our plot and secondly down there I didn’t look differently to other girls.
I can remember one experience, which meant nothing to me at that time, but made me wonder later. During one of his rare visits my father had brought a colleague. Suddenly both of them stood in the garden while I was sitting on a tree looking out for pirates who surely would appear with their sailing ship on the Mosel River.
“You have a beautiful daughter. You haven’t told me anything about her”.
“Look some where else, man. She will stay closed; search something else for your sick phantasies. In our circles we prefer new cars. Or do you think a good catch will be content with a loose clunker”?
However before and after my A levels I had several good catches pass by much to the anger of my father. He treated me like valuable merchandise not like a girl of flesh and blood. Somehow I never cared about boys. My fist great love was my math teacher, but she never responded to it.
In the mid 1960ies I lived my life to the fullest. I studied in Cologne, because in Koblenz I knew every corner. My fellow students and I wanted to set the world on fire, promote the equality of men and women and wear only the shortest miniskirts. Women whose upper edges of the stockings weren’t to be seen were hopelessly old fashioned. The pill had just been invented and the flower-power time started to foreshadow. We demonstrated against the Vietnam War, sang songs of Joan Baez and put not only one flower into our hair. While my friends were screwing around, I rarely got involved in such an adventure. Only after several glasses of fruit liquor I was able to bear bonking at all; it was only just bearable. But kissing men always caused incredible nausea with me. Therefore I did it even more seldom than bonking.
I can’t remember how often we sat together in different female discussion circles, but it was very often. Some of the women liked to show off and raged against those bad men, against suppression and against the rest of the world. However I soon realized that these ladies were more concerned about their show than about solving problems. As soon as a woman proclaimed an opinion dissident from theirs they always made a big fuss about it. Finally these women succeeded in driving away each dissenter. Therefore old circles often went to pieces and new ones were founded.
Someday I had had enough of it and I opted out. The topic ‘women loving women’ had been discussed unwillingly anyway. There had never been a pure circle of lesbians, as lesbians were considered even more inferior than hetero women. Already in those days I found out that many lesbians were hiding themselves in order not to be exposed to the permanent mockery of the other women.
Otherwise we were well. I studied for the bar and mostly sojourned in circles whose members came from high society. Well, we mocked about pictures from Vietnam or Biafra, but as a matter of fact we didn’t have the foggiest idea what really happened in the world. Only when I started my first job as a junior lawyer and encountered the abysses of the human psyche life and in color, I realized in which cocoon I had been living.
There were child abusers and women’s rapists who were set free because of flimsy excuses whereas pickpockets or swindlers were imprisoned. I had been absolutely convinced of our legal system and its practice, but now the first doubts crept in. Again and again I had to state that equality left much to be desired even at the court. Men stuck together; men were punished much less severely, if they came from upper circles. All people are equal before the law, my ass. Some laws seemed to be made out of rubber; they could be stretched to an incredible extent at one’s convenience.
Today I am still working as a legal expert, but due to my age only as a side job. Therefore you can easily imagine why I use a pseudonym. If it came to light, who is behind my books, I could at once take my coat and migrate.
When I heard about Yvonne’s story I was shocked to the core. What would be if I wrote it down and published it as a book? I researched and wrote my fingers to the bone. When the book was finished, I sent it to different publishing houses but I got either no answer at all or partly rude letters of refusal. At a book fair I met Hans Georg van Herste and told him about my book. He did not refuse me but read my copy. I was very much pleased when I held my book in my hands for the first time.
However I had to get used to the damning reviews at first. There was more than one gentleman who didn’t like the story of Yvonne. Verbal assaults of the worst kind showered onto my pseudonym. Without the help of Mr. van Herste I would have fallen into despair. He always said “Don’t care. They only want you to keep quiet. And, do we allow abusers and other trash to forbid us to speak”?
After I had come out stable of this first matter I didn’t care researching and writing ‘Escape and return home’ and ‘Cash cow daughters’. I am still pleased that these three books got into the Top 100 of Amazon and stayed there for several weeks. Obviously there are enough readers who are undeterred by hard realities.
Rita Kruger, one of the cash cow daughters once said „You heard what they did to me and my sisters in former times. What do you think I should still be afraid of”?
While I discussed the length of miniskirts in our women’s circles, a few meters further little girls were tormented to death. Now I realize what my father meant in the garden those days. However I ask myself today why he didn’t intervene, as he already had realized the likings of his mate. Unfortunately I can’t ask him anymore; he has been dead for a few years. I would have been interested in his opinion.