A life well lived.
July 10, 2013 1:06 PM   Subscribe

"In life, things happen twice if you're lucky. There's the father you get and the father you choose."

Esquire also published "My Father's Last Words" by the author, Mark Warren last year.

Dr. Hans-Dietrich "Dieter" Weigmann's obituary can be seen here. A PDF announcing his 1990 Olney award win is here.
posted by zarq (10 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

What a great piece.

I live 1400 miles from my own dad (who I love!), and I am fortunate that my wife's father is a warm, wonderful man. His presence in my life makes up for a lot of my own dad being far away, and I am delighted that my kids have such a great grandpa. Of course, that means it will be agony someday when he goes, but we are living it up while the sun yet shines!

Thank you for the reminder to treasure what I have.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:30 PM on July 10, 2013

That is some fantastic writing and reflection.
posted by iamabot at 1:39 PM on July 10, 2013

Esquire really does have some good stuff going on, long may it continue
posted by C.A.S. at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2013

In Wels after the war, Dieter and his mother were forced by the allies to clean the nearby concentration camp and see for themselves what the Reich had rendered. By this time, his mother was in a state of nervous collapse, and for the rest of her life (she would live until 1992) would rely on Dieter for emotional stability. At the camp, she was so traumatized by the experience that he had to hold her tightly until she stopped shaking. He would not ever be able to speak to his family about the things he saw there.

It's a loss that Dieter didn't pass this experience on, in some form or another. It's likely the lager in question was the nearby Mauthausen-Gusen, the last such complex to be liberated by the Allies, having been in operation since shortly after the Anschluss. The testimony of a former Hitler Youth leader and teenage Wehrmacht conscript having to confront the enormity of the Nazi genocide—this forced labor death camp was nicknamed Knochenmühle, or the bone-grinder—would have been an important piece of the historical record, not least with regard to the man he became and whom the author grew to love.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:49 PM on July 10, 2013

Both those pieces were great; juxtaposed in this post they really shine.

I wish Esquire would leave the lad mag stuff to Maxim and its ilk and concentrate more on writing like this.
posted by TedW at 4:26 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

The, Nazi, the.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:33 PM on July 10, 2013

It's a shame there's not more attention/comments on this post/article. Great pieces.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 5:18 PM on July 10, 2013

Flagged as fantastic, sir. Thank you for bringing these articles here.
posted by kimberussell at 8:28 PM on July 10, 2013

Wow. That was an amazing story. Thank you so much for posting it.
posted by jillithd at 11:57 AM on July 11, 2013

Thanks for posting this.
posted by dry white toast at 4:39 AM on July 18, 2013

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