The Second World War ended in 1945, and the Allies were already penetrating far into the German Reich. In the east the Soviet troops were on their way to the last blow against Berlin and Adolf Hilter. They passed the small German town of Bärwalde, which was immediately occupied by the Russians. Many inhabitants were sent to work camps, including the 19-year-old Elvira Profé. In a forced labor transport she was transported to the northernmost Russia, where the tender woman had to perform bone-hard work from now on.
Elvira Profé: "Already during the transport in cattle cars, dozens of people were killed. In Siberia hunger and cold, scarlet and frigid fever, called for more victims."
After almost a year Elvira was already ill and very emaciated in the hospital there. Because she could no longer be used for work, she was sent back again. When she returned to her homeland, however, she could hardly believe what had happened in her absence. Bärwalde was now called Mieszkowice and belonged to Poland. Almost all their friends had escaped or were expelled, many Polish families from the East were forced to live here and now lived here. The only bright eyes were her parents, who were still here. Her father was used here to operate a scale factory which belonged to him before the occupation of the Russians. But not only the factory was taken from the family, but also the house and its entire property. Hardly any helped the excluded Germans.
Elvira Profé: "There was little to eat. But the worst was that we were treated as free-lance prisoners, we had no rights".
One day Elvira knocked at the door of Fortunat Mackiewicz to beg a little bread and milk. When the 25-year-old Pole saw Elvira, he immediately felt compassion for the emaciated young woman and immediately gave her something to eat. In the days that followed, Elvira spent more and more time with the Fortunat family, helping to milk the cows and haul the hay. Fortunat and Elvira spent many hours together, and with time a gentle love developed between them. Soon her love and affection became so strong that they wanted to marry.
Elvira Profé: "We were first friends. Friendship, a great friendship, trust. And then love".
But the Communist bureaucrats were horrified at this relationship with a German and forbade them to marry. A short time later the next heavy setback for the lovers fell, because in 1947 the last German people suddenly had to leave the town of Mieszkowice. Within a few hours Elvira had to pack with her parents the few belongings and leave the city. Elvira and Fortunat said good-bye to each other, and they quickly exchanged photographs. Then the family broke up to Germany, and Elvira and Fortunat were to look longingly in the eyes for a very long time.
Elvira Profé: "Of course I cried. But there was no time for grief. We had to survive".
Back in Germany the family built a new company, but Elvira and Fortunat did not hear anything from each other. And so the time passed, and the Iron Curtain also helped the two lovers not to see each other again. Elvira thought a lot about Fortunat, her heart was always with her, but the times were hard and everyone had to go his own way now. Over the years, more and more confidence disappeared. However, when the Wall suddenly fell to the East in 1989, hope re-emerged and Elvira took advantage of the border opening to search for her beloved. After some misunderstandings, she eventually caught on to Fortunat, working in a workshop for agricultural machinery but in another area. They began to write and in 1995, Almost 50 years after they had last seen, they met again at the old station of Mieszkowice. Elvira was now 70 years old, Fortunat was 75 years old.
Elvira Profé: "I had had his photo with me for 50 years. We fell around our necks, and it was as if these fifty years had just disappeared as if these 50 years had never been"
In 2005 they finally managed to get married to the event, which had been denied them over the many years, because their love had become much stronger over the years. They built a small house in the small town of Mieszkowice, where they had known each other for a long time. The two over 80-year-olds enjoy each other every moment and they are more than sure about one thing: Love holds up to life's when it is true love.