Hand Knitted Doll Clothes
In May of 1945, the Nazi Army was overthrown and the Tittmoning prison camp was liberated. My grandfather, who was a prisoner of war there, was a free man but he had to make his way from Bavaria to Holland on his own. As he was passing through a small town in Germany, he came across a toy shop. In the window was a simple doll. He thought about his young daughter (my mom) who no longer knew her father. He wanted to have something to give to her that would help her warm up to and accept him. So he called for the shop owner but there was no reply. He searched the shop only to find it empty. He waited as long as he could but no one came. He had hoped to be able to trade something for the doll or to work out some sort of a deal with the shopkeeper as he had very little money but the shopkeeper was nowhere to be found. Finally, out of desperation, he took the doll and carried it back to his daughter. He said that he never stole anything before that time, he never stole anything since and that he always carried with him the guilt of his actions that day. Had he been able to, he would have gladly repaid the shopkeeper but in 1945, there was no way to go back and repay the debt.
My grandfather made it back to Holland, found his family and presented my mom with the doll. Although she was shy at first, she accepted the doll and welcomed her dad back into her life. Her maternal grandmother was skilled at knitting. My mom remembers that she always had knitting needles under her arms or in her hands. She remembers the knitting needles clicking and clacking as my great grandmother swiftly and expertly created items without using a pattern. The items shown in the picture above are clothes that my great grandmother made for my mom's doll. My great grandmother's expert stitches have held up to 70 years of use and abuse. They traveled by boat from Holland to Australia and on to the United States. They survived my mom as a child and my siblings and I as children. Hopefully they will last for many years to come! Unfortunately my mom's doll did not fare as well as the clothes. My oldest brother stabbed her repeatedly with a pair of scissors and she had to be laid to rest.
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Photo shot with SHOTBOX and my Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone.