Bärbel

Working for the DFVLR I moved now to Munich. I rented a room in Pasing, a quarter of Munich lying on the railway line to Oberpfaffenhofen. Only at the beginning I returned to Landshut at the weekends. To follow my passion and to find new friends I joined the soccer club SC Wessling, Wessling being a small village near to the research center. For some years I played in the A-district league county of Starnberg, a period  interrupted by a heavy meniscus injury and its surgery.

In the noon pauses of summer the flexible working hours of the research institute offered the possibility to take a swim in the nearby lake of Wessling and this was where I met Bärbel. She was working as trilingual secretary in another department of the Institut für Steuer-und Regeltechnik. She was a very pretty young lady with black hair with a steel blue touch and lovely brown eyes. During our noon excursions I had the opportunity to talk to her and liked her open, friendly straightforward attitude. Over time I decided to get to know her better and invite her for a dancing evening in a dance club in München Schwabing. What a brave act! What, if she would say no? But if she would say yes, there was still a problem, because I was a real lousy dancer? Finally I estimated  that this was no serious problem as the popular music in the dancing clubs was Boogie and Rock ‘n Roll, where  with some feeling for the rhythm no special dancing experience was necessary and as a soccer player I was accustomed to move. A little more annoying was that, at an age of 27 years, I had no driver’s license nor a car. Bärbel was living with her parents in Gilching  in the country. As at that time the Munich commuter train system did not yet exist and it was somewhat complicated to go to Munich by train. So I was not sure, if she would accept, if I would propose to meet in the train. But she did and I was relieved and happy to see her, boarding the train arriving from Gilching at Pasing. We spent a wonderful evening, dancing was no problem at all and most of the time we talked.

Bärbel was only 25 years old but had already travelled rather a lot. She had an education in hotel management and diploma in English and French. Her education and her hotel jobs had taken her to London, to Geneva in French speaking Switzerland and to different places all over Germany between Garmisch Partenkirchen and Bad Harzburg. So listening to her she made me curious  to move around, take other jobs, meet new people.

After our first rendez-vous Bärbel and I spent a lot of our time together and I moved to Gilching to be closer to her. During weekends we made hiking trips to the mountains and lakes around Munich, though I did not like walking, but Bärbel convinced me. All these excursions were a wonderful opportunity to talk about us, our interests, our opinions, our wishes and we discovered that we  shared some important viewpoints: personal independence, looking for a life not restricted to the same local area and the same business  organization. The research center DFVLR in Oberpfaffenhofen should be only a starting point. In March 1969 we married in Herrsching, which was to be our home for about one year. At the end of 1970 we left the DFVLR and Bavaria for a first experience in the industry.  Glanzstoff Oberbruch, situated near the border to the Netherlands was looking for a manager for their Physical /Mathematical laboratory.