Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

life that history didn’t allow me to bring together. Not inviting Lieesa was to betray my youth. Not inviting Anna was to betray my gratitude toward her. But it was unimaginable, and in fact dangerous, to bring Anna, my Jewish friend, in contact with Lieesa. And both Kurt and I wanted the ceremony to gloss over our tricky pasts. Consenting finally to give me his name, Kurt had also passed on to me his worst feature, his inability to make difficult decisions—when, that is, the choice involved flesh- and-blood creatures and not mathematical symbols. Anna had made no objections; she understood. I brought her a slice of wedding cake and some candied almonds for her boy. Lieesa no longer spoke to me and hadn’t for some time. “Frau Gödel.” Now I was upper–crust . In a few minutes on September 20, 1938, after ten years of shameful cohabitation, I, Adele Thusnelda Porkert, no profession, daughter of Joseph and Hildegarde Porkert, was married to Dr. Kurt Friedrich Gödel, son of Rudolf Gödel and Marianne Gödel, née Handschuh. I removed my white gloves to sign the register. Then Kurt took the fountain pen and flashed one of his contrite little smiles at me. He kissed me, looking away from his brother. I readjusted the flower in his buttonhole. I was happy. A tiny victory, but a victory all the same. The circumstances didn’t matter, the old coat, the unanswered questions. Why now? Why so quickly, two weeks before his departure? Kurt’s mother, who had stayed in Brno, filled the echoing room with her unspoken disapproval. Marianne Gödel had given her consent but not


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