Still The One I Love: Karla + John


We met in the school holidays of 1944 as children. John was 12 and I was 13 years old. We got along well right from the start. Due to our house being bombed, we needed to find somewhere to live, so we moved to East Germany to an apartment just upstairs from John’s for six months. After the war ended we moved back to West Germany and John and I didn’t see each other for several years. When John was a bit older, he asked an aunt, “Which girl should I marry?”. She answered straight away, “The only girl for you is Karla.” Then at 18 years old, he managed to move to West Germany too and we met up again.

One day we were cleaning up a garden shed for a gentleman we knew and when we’d finished the job, we sat together on the garden bench to have a rest and sip grape juice. John put his arm around me and asked, “Would you like to become my wife?”. I answered, “Yes, but how will we let my mother know?” (as she was not overly happy that as the youngest in the family, I would be the first to marry!). We already got along well as children and realised more and more that we were inseparable. That’s how we got together!

On March 7, 1952, we were married—I was 21 and John was 20. We had a very simple wedding—only 15 people attended altogether. We had saved just enough money to buy ourselves new wedding outfits (my dress was $24— about two weeks’ wages), and a photographer which was $35 for six photos. This was quite the luxury at the time! Our parents advised us, “The smaller the wedding, the longer the marriage.” It seems to have worked for us!

We’ve been through highs and lows together, which have brought us even closer. We’ve always tried to make the best out of whatever situations we have found ourselves in. Both of us kept our own personality throughout our marriage. We accept and respect each other the way we are without trying to change each other. We appreciate each other more and more as we get older and that is like heaven on earth for us. Our faith has also helped us a lot in our marriage, and we’ve experienced God’s help many times. We’ve been married 65 years and hope we can be together a lot longer.


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