Irmi's uncle
Hamburg, Germany  (1939)
Ernst Walter Schulze  (1916-1990)
Growing up the only son of a village butcher, Ernst had hoped to become a "master meat cutter" like his father and someday
assume the family business.  In the late 1930's, he moved to the large northern city of Hamburg and began an apprenticeship
program as a meat cutter; but World War II intervened, and young Ernst soon found himself serving as an anti-aircraft gunner
in North Africa.  In early 1942, while on furlough, he married the former Marie Götsch, a local woman he had met in Hamburg.
Late that year, Marie gave birth to a daughter, Bärbel.  Before Ernst had met his daughter for the first time, he was captured
at the battle of Tobruk in 1943 and sent to the United States as a prisoner of war.  At Fort Knox, Kentucky, he became the
personal driver for a U.S. Army colonel, based largely on the fact that he spoke excellent English, which he had learned as a
youth in school.  Working as a driver allowed Ernst a relative wide range of freedom for a prisoner; and, as he moved among
the American people, he developed a strong affinity for their character and lifestyle.  In late 1946, he found himself transferred
to England and, one year after that, finally repatriated to Germany where he met his five-year-old daughter for the first time.
The family settled in a small town near Hamburg where his wife had been raised, and Ernst resumed his trade as a butcher.
A son, Rainer, was born in 1952; and, not long afterward, Ernst finally became a "master meat cutter" like his father.  Since
the family butcher shop in Gera had been confiscated by communist authorities, Ernst spent his entire career working for a
large meatpacking company in Hamburg.  In 1990, when Ernst learned that his niece, Irmhild, would marry an American, he
became excited and planned to attend the event at Stuttgart in September.  Sadly, he died three months before the wedding.

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