Hildegarde Bolter on resilience in life, leaving her husband, and being a German child in the war

#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench

Jul 12 2022 • 33 mins


Episode #41 - Hilda lives at The Village of Wentworth Heights in Hamilton, originally from Germany, joining to share her story from the green bench with Erin Davis & Doug Robinson.  Stories of growing up during World War II, moving to Canada, having a son, leaving a challenging marriage, writing a memoir, and her resilience in all aspects of life.

"We were 6 years old. They told us that the gas masks looked like Mickey Mouse so we wouldn't be scared." - Doug Robinson

At 10 years old, she was strafed by machine-gun fire from a low-flying airplane. She locked eyes with the pilot who was laughing. She was rescued when two women ran out and pulled her to safety. It was an English airplane, and she was a child.

"They forced us to go into the Hitler youth, otherwise you wouldn't have any future. They pushed us in the direction they wanted us to go under Hitler." - Hilda Bolter

"I saw the danger in which my mother was in to giving the Jewish people food stamps. I took the stamps from my mother and was helping to give them." -Hilda Bolter

Hilda is writing her memoir, it is in German, it’s for her son and her granddaughter.  "It is so powerful to what I went through and I want to tell my son that whatever it is, with the lord's help, you will conquer everything. You don't have to be afraid." -Hilda Bolter

"I wave to them and say hi.  How happy they are and it costs nothing." - Hilda Bolter

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it” – Margaret Thatcher

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The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.

It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.

"The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders." -Ron Schlegel

This podcast is brought to you by Schlegel Villages, retirement & long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada.

#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench is produced by Memory Tree Productions Learn more about our host, Erin Davis, at erindavis.com Learn more about #ElderWisdom at elderwisdom.ca