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.

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