Markus haggberg now and then hans received a slap in the face from his father. This did not happen very often, but whenever it did, the bub was prepared for something, but was able to explain it to himself. Anyway, he always got a smack when he was caught smoking by his father.
Once he told me that he never really knew whether he got it because he had smoked or because he loved to be caught smoking. But smoking in the hand, smoking in the children’s room or behind the barn in the garden had its consequences, and this rule of the game was clear. The boy did not reproach his father, and for the father, too, the matter had always been settled after a slap in the face. "At supper we were already doing mischief together again", hans once explained to me. Then father and son conspired against the mother and took her to the grain. For the son it guaranteed impunity and for the father a brightening of married life. It was april 1945 and hans had just turned 13. He was much too young to smoke, but not too young to dream of being a man. It was the last days of the war, and lichtenfels had been spared. Once there was supposed to be a crash along the tracks at this time, but otherwise the american appeared largely peaceful.
Hans tried his first bits of english, and even though he didn’t like losing the war, he looked forward to the arrival of the tanks and jeeps. Boys just. He went to grammar school, was happy about the fact that more and more classes were cancelled, smoked a cigarette now and then, and got fired from time to time. One day his father asked him if he would go with him to the itzgrund and visit some relatives. They made sandwiches, laced up their hiking boots and went off. On the way they talked about all sorts of things, about the political situation and what was going to happen in the future. And they found time to laugh together.