"I always kept a sausage for my father." Anni buchheim remembers. She remembers many things from her 104 years of life. The sausage, that was because of the hunger the family suffered during the first world war. On 4. She was born in january 1915. Her mother died soon after, her father was a soldier. It was the grandmother who raised the three children. "A very nice woman", buchheim says several times.
Her thoughts quickly turn to her childhood, quickly to her hometown of poland. "It was such a bad time, the 1920s. That was very bad. Her father was unemployed. He received 18 marks a week from the city with three children. We had to live on that. But my grandmother has managed it all. She rented out furnished rooms when she was still an old woman!"
A lot of old people like to remember the old days. "The youth becomes more and more present. And the times that burn themselves into the soul", says sibel linz, the home’s director. What she also observes: the years of life that were good become blurred in the end. And so anni buchholz tells very little about the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the time until today. She has been living at the waldenfels senior center for about a year and a half, because her strength is waning. But the spiritual clarity remained.
Adenauer and hitler seen
"I saw adenauer when he was mayor of the city", the old woman remembers. From 1917 to 1933 and for a few months in 1945, konrad adenauer was mayor of koln. After the war, he became the first chancellor of the newly founded federal republic of germany. She also saw hitler at a hotel in koln. A rhyme falls, then she jumps back again to the 1920s. "Our grandmother always made us little dresses. We were poor. We will probably never have a time like that again."
Women, men, role models and cliches: anni buchheim doesn’t talk tough. She just tells us how it was back then. "Our grandmother did not let us girls learn anything. That was not modern." She taught herself shorthand and worked as a typist until her wedding day. At the age of 19, she married a 27-year-old professional firefighter. "We got along wonderfully", she says and tells how they first met on a street corner. It was the happiest moment of her life, she says. A son and a daughter were born. It was important to her that the children learn something, including her daughter.
"Life is already"
Housework, gardening, sewing, knitting – until the hands didn’t want to and couldn’t anymore – and bicycling, that was the life of anni buchheim. Her husband died too soon, that still resonates decades later. Nevertheless: "life is already", says buchheim. The most important thing is love – whether it’s for her partner, her children or her family.
"Until a few years ago, she also knew a lot about politics," she says, tells her daughter edith radunski. After decades in rothenburg ob der tauber, she and her husband moved to rhon. "We knew the area here. We like her very much", says the 72-year-old. After her mother had a stroke, she could no longer afford to take care of her at home. "It’s hard for her to accept being here now.", says radunski quietly but firmly.
Buchheim’s favorite place is in the foyer. There she sits and watches the people. Life-affirming and future-oriented, that’s how her daughter describes her. "Even if not everything is according to her wishes, she still holds on to life", says edith radunski. Sibel linz spurts no bitterness at anni buchheim, not a whiff. Not everyone can do it. "Everyone is different", says linz. "Each resident was also told his story – how his life has shaped him."
There are 90 places in the waldenfels senior center. 15 seniors can be cared for in the day care center.
100 employees currently work at the waldenfels senior center – full-time and part-time.