Hermine schnabel and her husband peter had long been looking forward to a vacation in gran canaria. Because traveling has always been their great passion. But no one expected that this trip to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary would be their last together: on the flight home, at the beginning of november last year, peter schnabel died in the airplane – at just 74 years old.
"I was still knocking on the toilet door. Then he told me that he was doing well", hermine schnabel still remembers it clearly. Uber france's condition deteriorates suddenly. He becomes unconscious. Two passengers – both of them doctors – were worried about peter schnabel and tried to bring him back to life with heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. "I did not notice much at all. I was just functioning, says the 71-year-old today.
It was the love of their lives
The plane made an emergency landing in toulouse so the 74-year-old could be taken to hospital. A short time later he died. For hermine schnabel the worst time of her life.
A year later, the 71-year-old still finds it difficult to talk about her late husband. "I just miss him so much, she says under tranen. At 20, she learned to be a sailor in the dance bar "zum elefantenhaus" in the generalsgasse know. Only a few months later they got married and from then on they were inseparable. Hermine schnabel even accompanied her husband on the inland waterway ship. For seven years, they traveled through holland, belgium, france and switzerland. In 1968, her first son was born and came straight onto the ship. The small family did not settle in bamberg again until his enrollment in school in 1973 and was happy about their second son.
Six years ago, the couple moved into an apartment in lichteneiche, where the 71-year-old now lives alone. But the question is, how long can she afford it?? Because her rent allowance, which she received for a year after the death of her husband, is now no longer paid. It's just under 50 euros a month – ten percent of the rent. The reason: the 63-square-meter apartment is too large for her alone. "I was moved. But I can't find anything smaller that is more favorable", the pensioner complains.
Anger at the welfare state
When she read an article in the frankischer tag about the social benefits that are paid monthly to the refugees housed in the reception center in upper franconia, she almost burst her bubble. She also made this clear in a letter to the editor. "Today, claims are being made and lawsuits filed against the state because they don't get 100 euros in pocket money. It is said that you will need it for cigarettes and other things. Many pensioners who have worked all their lives don't even have that to live on. Where is the welfare state??", she writes in it. After deducting all running costs, such as rent, electricity and telephone bills, the 71-year-old currently has about 200 euros a month left over.
An FT reader's attention was drawn to the letter to the editor by hermine schnabel. And then something happened that no one had expected. A few days after publication, a woman's envelope arrived at the editor-in-chief frank fortsch – with the inscription "to the editor-in-chief personally – not to be opened by the post office!". At first, frank fortsch boses had a bad feeling? Insults? But the contents stunned him: 100 euros and a handwritten letter.
Hermine schnabel can hardly believe it
The anonymous author refers to the letter to the editor by hermine schnabel, which he describes as "very honest, touching and finally also courageous" found. He pays a lot of taxes and social security contributions from his salary, but this shows him once again that it doesn't go to the right places.
When frank fortsch reads the lines from the letter, hermine schnabel can no longer hold back her tears and begins to tremble: "this is a shock for me, but a positive one, of course."
Hermine schnabel can't believe that an unknown person simply gives her 100 euros. "It's a gift, I can't get over it." For the 71-year-old, the 100 euros are a lot of money – especially now for christmas. "I could no longer afford christmas presents for my two children and eight grandchildren. Now I can at least give my grandchildren a little something for christmas", says the 71-year-old with a smile on her face. She wants to frame the letter from the anonymous donor and hang it in her apartment.
Comment: pure goose bumps!
When i heard about this story, i immediately got goose bumps. A reader who gave 100 euros to an unknown, complete stranger who publicly described her plight – because he found her letter to the editor honest, touching and courageous. What a great gesture, in a world where charity and humanity have hardly any place anymore. We should all take this as an example – not just now at christmas.