Gerd, the Boyfriend

If this book becomes too hard to continue, self will just select her next book and move on. She will not beat herself up.

Unfortunately, with Anonymous still there, alive and kicking, still so formidably present (Now she is formulating survival strategies), how can self abandon her? The truth is, she cannot.

Last night, self read as far as she could stand, and this morning the situation is slightly less harrowing, because now we have backstory on the mysterious, absent boyfriend:

Gerd and I would have married long ago if it hadn’t been for the war. But once he was called up that was it, he didn’t want to anymore. “Bring another war orphan into the world? Not a chance. I’m one myself, I know what it’s like.” And that’s the way it’s been up to now. Even so, we feel just as tied to each other as if we were married. Except I haven’t heard from him for over nine weeks; his last letter was posted from the Siegfried Line. I hardly know what he looks like anymore. All my photos were bombed, except the one I had in my purse, and I tore that one up on account of the uniform.

A Woman in Berlin, p. 74


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