Is there for you …
a place that you associate with the term "homeland"?
Especially important for me is the place where I come from, Leimen near Heidelberg. My grandparents lived there, both my parents are from the town. But our family moved away from there to Cologne at an early age. For me, Leimen is a place that feels like home. Whenever I drive past there, I experience that.
My mother's father worked in the cement factory of Leimen. It was hard physical work. The workers lived in settlements that belonged to the factory. And every family got a piece of land from the factory. That was the time of transition from farming to industry, the workers were still working their fields. My grandfather too. He had a pig and chickens and fields. The men and women worked from morning to night. By the time I was born, my grandfather was no longer at the factory. I witnessed him and the people and life in the settlement. There was something warm there, and something upright. That has influenced me all my life. I have a heart for this simple life, for the simple things.
Before I went to school, I spent a long time with my grandparents. During this time I grew up in this environment and experienced the life of the simple people. The families had many children, and the children were naturally together a lot. We were able to enter the different families as if we belonged to them. Basically, it was like an extended family.