Married for 70 years: “above all, there is love”

Married for 70 years: 'above all, there is love'

Elmar wendenburg delicately reaches for the hand of his wife dorothea. They look deep into each other’s eyes. The two of them don’t have to say much on the bench in their garden at home: after 70 years of marriage, they know about each other: "above all, there is love!", says the 93-year-old senior with a mischievous laugh and receives a nod of approval from his 94-year-old wife. "Love has kept us together for 70 years, through all the highs and lows," adds elmar wendenburg, adds elmar wendenburg.

On wednesday, the mentally active couple will celebrate the rare occasion of their gracious wedding anniversary in their house on the stephansberg – together with their daughters sylvia and isolde, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. One or two guests of honor will drop by. Andreas stark, the head burgermeister, has also confirmed his attendance. It was important for the couple to celebrate the day of the catholic-church wedding: on 29. July 1950 they were married in the knight’s chapel at habfurt. They had gone to the registry office a day earlier.

Dancing close to each other

Elmar wendenburg, a native of habfurt, and the refugee girl dorothea nafe from wroclaw met on club bales. Dancing and chatting brought them closer together. The common future was sealed and also received the necessary rustzeug by the former breslau company of the parents-in-law of elmar wendenburg in habfurt again founded. "Iron merchant" this is simply the name of his profession, in which he moved the business to bamberg in 1953 and, in his own words, made it one of the leading specialist shops in northern bavaria.

The company has long been sold for lack of a successor. But the wendenburgs were never bored without gainful employment: "we gave a lot of parties", dorothea wendenburg remembers the guests in her house with pleasure. Her voluntary work for people in old people’s homes in bamberg also kept her fit until she herself was very old. For decades, the couple had subscriptions to the bamberger symphoniker and the E.T.A.-hoffmann theater. As passionate and talented music lovers they have sung in the tenor and alto voices in the oratorio choir. "I was even an honorary member", tells elmar wendenburg. And: "we have seen the whole world!", he sums up the common desire to travel.

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Old age is now taking its physical toll on both of them. Two "good spirits take care of the household and the cooking, something dorothea wendenburg used to do alone with bravura. The two daughters, who live in bamberg, also take care of the elderly parents and make them happy, for example, with regular sunday outings to the surrounding area and visits to restaurants. In their quieter everyday lives, the wendenburgs continue to read a lot, books such as classics of world literature and, of course, the french day: "what happens locally is of interest to us!", they say as if from one mouth.

You know that it is a grace and a gift to be able to spend a long life together in love. What have they experienced and certainly suffered in those 70 years?! But we refrain from the obligatory question about the recipe for a happy marriage, instead we listen with amazement as elmar and dorothea wendenburg celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary. Wedding day in your sights …