Come year four and we got a MALE teacher - Herr Hanisch. A returned serviceman with an attitude. He should have been grateful to have survived the eastern front, but NO he was treating us like POW's - or so I thought.
|The Blackboard without the grate|
For whatever reason Herr Hanish disliked me from the start - might have had something to do with that Gisela continuously gave him the cold shoulder. Obviously he didn't know how to impress girls!
One day I apparently was particularly 'naughty' and required appropriate punishment. This was to kneel, only wearing shorts, on this grate for the entire last period. I was not allowed to move or rest my behind on my heels. My first lesson in real corporal punishment.
When I got home I had deep red welds on my knees and upper shins. Well, talk about disaster! Mum got home, saw my condition and started a rather authentic replication of the Spanish Inquisition. I had to fess up, no good defying mum, and tell all.
|Herr Hanisch & his sufferers|
|My Mum - five foot nothing|
Fast forward two years and I'm in upper school in 'town' - Koenigs Wusterhausen - starting year six. We get introduced to our teachers and varying classrooms, like art was in that room, physics & chemistry in another, an so on. We got given timetables and instructed to attend on time in the appropriate classroom.
Just my luck, of course, my art and political education teacher was the well know Herr Hanisch! He scowled at me and said nothing. He did his best to pretend I didn't exist. BUT, he had to fulfil his pensum, especially in political education. We got a schedule of required reading material, which included the local communist rag and 'Neues Deutschland' - the official mouthpiece of the ruling communist party.
What does any eleven year old do? Go home and tell Mum we have to get these two papers daily - home delivered"". Hanisch obviously had forgotten about mum - she exploded, just short of going back and killing him. "There is no way we are going to get these papers, unless he wants to pay for them. Even then, they are only good for lighting fires!" End of story, no more comment!
I go back next day and report to Herr Hanish: my mother cannot afford these papers and would not have them in the house anyway"" - kids are so honest. Actually, he did a very good impersonation of mum - steam coming out of his ear holes, his face went bright red and he was unable to speak for some time. The other kids thought it hilarious and tried to stifle their laughter.
Once he regained some composure he said: "I shall be having words to your sister about that!"
Well, that was it for the day. He did have words to Gisela, who told him it had absolutely nothing to do with her. She was married by then, living away from Neue Muehle. She told Herr Hanish if he wanted to pursue this matter he better go and see mum in person. He wasn't man enough to do that! That little devil had threatened to kill him. He was sure that after the Russians didn't get him that little woman would.
The result: I had a very peaceful year in both arts and political education classes and, predictably, got a very glorious FAIL in my end-of-year report! - SPLENDID - beats all A's in the years prior.