Ich bin endlich angekommen

Dear Diary,

Hans:  Guten Tag!  Ich heisse Hans Kruse.  Ich komme aus Deutschland.  Was?  You don't speak German?  Entschuldigung - er - pardon me.  I will speak in English instead.

My name is Hans Kruse and I just arrived in New Zealand from Germany where I've lived since I was born on 15 January 1943.  My grandmother was Kathe Kruse, a world famous doll creator from early in the last century.

When I was told I was to be auctioned and there was a chance I'd go abroad to live, I was very concerned about where I'd end up.  You see, being born in Germany in 1943, I know all about fascist regimes and how awful they are.  I worried that I'd end up in the country with the now-emerging neo-fascist government and I thought that sounded like an awful future.  Thankfully, I avoided this fate, being purchased by my new Vati (German for Dad) and coming to New Zealand, a socially progressive and stable country.  Bullet dodged.

I was fashioned after one of grandmother's sons, Friedebald Kruse.  He was born just before the end of WWI and so was named "friede" ("peace") + "bald" ("soon").  Sadly, he died at the age of 27, just before the end of WWII, in a military accident.  He was the only Kruse child to have his face used as a model for a doll (his younger brother Max was the inspiration for a doll but he wasn't the model).  His lovely face was used for the famous "Das Deutsches Kind" ("The German Child") dolls by Kathe Kruse. I am one of those dolls.

I have been redressed but I am wearing my original shoes.  I don't know what happened to my original clothing and I have heard from Vati that he has an ambitious master plan for outfitting me.

It's important to say that I have a disability.  I cannot stand alone without mechanical assistance.  You will probably see me with my stand which is like leg braces on humans.

I brought along my suitcase.

It's very light.
I bet you've never seen a doll suitcase with its own key and working lock.

I'd best not lose this!
Sadly, it is empty!

It's clear that I've joined a wonderful bunch of lads.

"I'm so happy you've come to live with us, Hans."

Angelo: We have much in common.  Our grandmothers, Kathe and Sasha were contemporary German doll makers with many shared philosophies about how dolls should be.  I come from Switzerland, but from an Italian-speaking canton. 

"Wilkommen Bruder."

Armand: Welcome my German brother!  We are both from Germany and share the same culture and language.  I am older than you and I've lived abroad for a long time.  However, I can still speak German and I can help you to learn more English and to adjust to the weird and wacky New Zealand culture.

"I'm pleased to meet you, Hans."

Adam: I like the international flavour of our household, each of us coming from somewhere different.  I don't speak any German, but maybe you can help me to learn?  Angelo has already taught me some Italian.  I don't mind that Jesse keeps getting dolls taller than I am - but why are they always so good-looking?

I look forward to making many entries in this diary as time goes on.  Everyone here is so warm and friendly and I'm very happy to start a new life in New Zealand.


  1. Oh Jesse, I am so glad he arrived before Christmas. What a wonderful addition to the family, he is so very handsome indeed! I am sure he will fit in to the open and friendly New Zealand way of life very quickly.

  2. Congratulations Jesse with your newest boy, and Hans with your new home!
    Hans is such a handsome boy. He has a fascinating history. And with such a warm welcome from the other boys, I bet he will never want to leave again :-).

  3. He's absolutely gorgeous! What a wonderful addition to your family.

  4. What a great find! He is adorable.

  5. what a gorgeous boy ! and great that he arrived in time to enjoy Christmas with his new family


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