Traume soll man leben
You continue with your years of study in Delft:
“After receiving my grammar school diploma, I hiked with two friends for four weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. My aunt encouraged me to study and to life on rooms in Delft; she liked to see me following the footsteps of my father. Due to the rebuilding after the war, I got interested in architecture and as a consequence I started studying architecture in Delft. I settled in a small room in a house at the “Oude Delft”. I enjoyed my student life, my student association, two year rowing as oarsman, jazz, trips to Amsterdam, Paris, and of course architecture. The shock of the new: “Amsterdamse School”, Frank Lloyd Wright, “De Nieuwe Zakelijkheid” or “New Objectivity”, Glasshouse.
Just after my 21st birthday a disillusion followed. My aunt explained to me how she had managed the legacy of my father and mother. She had done well, but the time was not well-disposed to her.
She explained how the small base capital – that my grandparents had deposited around 1923 in Amsterdam – was used by my parents in 1933 to make a new start in Netherlands. With part of this capital they bought a house in Amsterdam; the rest was used as reserve capital for trade. The trade was rather successful until the other regime from Germany installed barriers of trade for my parents. During their deportation to Germany, all our movable property was seized or has disappeared. Their house was confiscated for housing of others.
The first letters that my aunt in 1945 received on her return in Netherlands, were tax bills from the Dutch Government for recovering taxes not paid by my family during their absence due to their deportation to Germany. My aunt understood that after the war the Dutch Government had to rebuild everything from the ground, like everything and everyone. As heir and guardian, my aunt had to look after the obligations of the deceased relatives and for me. All possessions were gone or not accessible. My parent’s house was inhabited by other people. Many bills for maintenance were not settled or were paid by others. The ownership of the house was also disputed. By transferring the property of the house officially to new owners, all debts and tax bills could be settled.
Luckily my aunt got a post at a Trade Office with which she could start a new life. From this base she could get access to the other base capital my grandparents had deposited in Switzerland. With this base capital my aunt was able to cover my the costs for me and for my study. She wished that I had a good time in Delft and that I enjoyed myself without a worry during the first two years of my study.
One wish of my aunt I could only fulfil much later, when I was in my 50’s. She requested me to honour my father and mother not only with my life as I had done before my maturity, but also to honour my parents with the traditional remembrance of the dead. First I thought of “Dies Irae”  – or “Day of Wrath” – as a commemoration of the days of doom and horror that befell on my father and mother during the war. The request of my aunt went further: she asked me – when I ready to do so – to honour my parents according to the Jewish remembrance – named Kaddish  – with the opening lyrics: “You are praised, and holy is your name in the world – created according to your will”. This text is very similar to the Christian equivalent “Thine Be the Glory” . Many years later I finally reached the maturity and humbleness to say these texts for one year and thus to fulfil the wish of my aunt. I could only start this task after a monk in a monastery saw that I had trouble with bowing down. “Do you know for whom you bow down?”, he asked. I replied that I had trouble to honour God in this humble way. Thereupon the monk said: “These bows are bows for yourself”. The meaning of this answer dawned upon me years later.
After this disillusion following up on my cheerful first two years of study, I received my engineering degree at the University of Technology four years later. My final thesis involved utility-building: a reasonable good job, but outside the level of the best architects”, you said.
“I do not have this maturity and humbleness. I am still full of rebellion “, I say.
“It took me a lot of trouble to get it”, you say.
The following post is about your fruitful years in the society.
– Please, see page: “Who are you – Part 1” –
 “Ketelhuis” near the “Rotterdamseweg” in Delft. This “ketelhuis” is an example of the “New Objectivity”. The design is made by the architecture-office van den Broek en Bakema – see also: http://www.broekbakema.nl/. Source image: Screen-print from Google maps.