My mother Christa, born in Berlin in 1939, came to Australia in 1950 with her immigrant parents Hans and Charlotte. She remembers visiting cousins in Pankow and at an allotment garden in Kladow shortly before they left.

My father has recorded some of my mother’s memories from her childhood:

"A cousin of Charlotte, Hilde lived with her husband in Pankow, part of the Soviet Zone in East Berlin. Christa cannot now remember the family surname nor the husband's personal name, but she and Mutti [her mother] visited the apartment, and she played quite frequently with their daughter Marianne, her second cousin and close to her in age.
The family also had an allotment in Kladow, just across the Havel from Zehlendorf, but in the British rather than the American sector, and close to the Soviet Zone of Germany which surrounded Berlin. Christa has little detailed memory of travelling there, but does recall passing through a frontier post with armed Russian soldiers, so it is probable that they travelled by bus through Potsdam,which was in the Soviet Zone – she does recall that there followed a long walk to the allotment and that it was quite close to a lake. The property itself was about an acre in extent, with a small cottage and fruit trees: in a letter of on 2 September 1949 to Hans in Australia, Charlotte mentions that Hilde had arranged a children's party there on the previous Saturday, 28 August – presumably for Christa's tenth birthday – and had also given her forty pounds of pears. For their part, they had given Marianne Christa's satchel, and Christa was now taking a briefcase to school.
My mother on her first day of school in 1945 carrying the briefcase later given to her cousin Marianne
Christa and her family kept in touch with Hilde and Marianne, but a few years later, when the Berlin Wall was built dividing the city in 1961, they were asked not to write any more: Pankow was under the control of the East German communists, suspicious of anyone with contacts in the West."

I think my mother’s cousin Hilde was Hildegard Kabis born Gartz, born in 1907 to Gustav and Auguste Gartz born Stern formerly Peters. Auguste Gartz was the sister of my great grandmother, Helene Auguste Minna Manock born Stern formerly Peters.

Hildegard married Gustav Kabis in 1932. Her daughter Marianne was probably just a little younger than my mother, so born in the early 1940s.

Hildegard’s mother Auguste died on 16 September 1945. From her death certificate registered at Prenzlauer Berg civil registration office (viewed through, she was living at Flandern Straße 34 at the time of her death. This street was renamed as Sültstraße in 1952 and is in Pankow, district of Prenzlauer Berg.

I do not know where the Kabis family lived.

From my mother’s description of her journey there, the allotment seems to be close to a teaching garden on the banks of the Havel in Kladow. The garden featured in a 2018 news article in Der Tagesspiegel. The journey to Essbarer Garten Kladow includes a ten-minute walk along the a path beside the Havel. Perhaps the garden my mother remembers was in this area.

Pankow became part of East Berlin; Kladow remained in West Berlin. It may be that Hilde and her family were no longer able to visit their garden after the Berlin Wall went up.

Map showing Pankow and Kladow and my mother’s home in Zehlendorf at Eschershauser Weg 27

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