from Herta's son, Christian Ball, 19 August 2004
Your request for information about
Herta made me think and remember lots of situations
and details about my mother, and I want to tell
you some of them.
Having to care for 8 children in
those times after the war -- that seems too diffiicult
for anybody. Not for Herta. She managed the job
very good, so all of the children could grow up
When she was expecting Dorothe,
my youngest sister, the doctors urgently advised
her not to have the baby because of serious risks
to her life and the baby's life. Herta opened the
bible to find out what she should do and found the
word "you have to obey God more than man"
-- and that's why Dorothe is alive.
Mother was educated as a children's
nurse, which helped her a lot in managing children's
I remember having a facial nerve
infection when I was 10 years old. My sisters and
brothers where laughing about me -- mother sent
me to the doctor immediately, otherwise my
face would look funny until this day.
Mother was a great cook. My
favorite meal was mashed potatoes. This meant --
without electric machines -- half an hour hard physical
work for a meal for 10 persons. My mother often
agreed to my request -- the condition was that I
would help and hold the pot in position while she
was mashing the potatoes.
She was able to create meals out
of nothing. "Brotsuppe" -- old and hard
bread, which people would throw away, was made soft
in water and the result was a very good tasting
She was the fear of any shop of
the town. She was perfect in buying without having
a penny. The baker next door used to send a whole
cake when she finally came and payed the bill.
When I was 11 years old, my mother
felt we needed a piano. My father played violin,
and the whole family was singing Christian songs
all day, so my mother felt we had talent for playing
an instrument. There was no money, so my mother
started talking to people. Result: We got a piano
for nothing from the Red Cross, which was the start
of my learning piano -- until the examination
at music college qualified me as a music teacher.
Mother never attended any college
or university, but she was intelligent in her own
way. In regard to her husband, she managed to make
him feel he was the boss. But in many practical
decisions, it was Herta who was leading. In religious
things however, my father was doubtless the chief.