Monika Anni Charlotte Khalaf (Georgi)

* 1949  

  • “When it got worse they must have warned my parents. They told them that it was time to go. I have no idea how they did it. The inn still existed at that time. We had the police-men’s Stammtisch. I remember that because there were two striking men there. One of them suffered from Graves’ disease. I do remember that one quite well. He gave us a call and said: ‘they’re coming’. It was at three o’clock in the night and my mother and I ran in our winter clothes and with a suitcase to my grandpa’s place. He put us on a train to Berlin. So it was a policeman who warned her. He told her: ‘you have to leave now’.”

  • “We had one suitcase and she put on several layers of clothing. I think that I was wearing a few layers as well. There are many people commuting with the S-Bahn every day. It might as well have been a trap. But somebody advised my mom to stand in the back and to put our suitcase there. He covered it with his jacket and we stood on the side. I remember it until this day. That’s when you know that something is happening - when you have to hide your suitcase by covering it up with a jacket. These people were probably daily helpers of runaways.”

  • “I think it’s quite usual that the guests who come to a particular inn regularly have their own table, a so-called ‘Stammtisch’. So there was a Stammtisch as well in the inn of my parents and naturally, as in the other pubs, the guests at that table would also talk politics and things like that. One day a man came to the inn and asked my mom: ‘Mrs. Georgi, tell me, who talks the most about Walter Ulbricht or about Wilhelm Pieck?’ My mom told them that even if she knew it, she wouldn’t tell. That was enough. Afterwards the portraits of politicians were missing from the walls of the inn. It was little things like that. They didn’t make her life a hell, just niggling a little bit.”

  • Full recordings
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    Speyer, 17.07.2013

    duration: 37:58
    media recorded in project Iron Curtain Stories
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No economic refugees

Foto_Khalaf_zehn Jahre alt.jpg (historic)
Monika Anni Charlotte Khalaf (Georgi)
photo: Privatarchiv der Zeitzeugin

Mrs. Monika Anni Charlotte Khalaf, née Georgi, was born on March 16, 1949, in Erfurt. Her family had originally owned an inn but it was forcibly taken away from them. Her father was transferred to the Baltic Sea to work in tourist resorts. From there, he flees to the West. Monika Khalaf and her mother still reside in Erfurt at that time. After her mother is warned by two policemen, the two women flee to Berlin with the S-Bahn. On the way, for a short moment, it seems that they’ll be given away by a ticket collector. However, in the end, the man saves them by covering their only suitcase with his jacket. From Berlin, they take the air lift to Nuremberg. Their journey continues via Munich and they finally arrive in Vogelsberg where the family reunites again. Afterwards, the life of Monika Khalaf gets back to normal again.