“Did you ever have any interesting neighbours?” I asked Frau Bienkowski.
She paused to consider.
“I used to live next to a woman who worked as a newspaper deliverer. She would get up at the crack of dawn and go from house to house with her Berliner Morgenpost cart. She earned pittance; I felt very sorry for her.
Then there was the man acoss the way on Nehringstrasse. He had a wife, a mistress and a six-year-old boy. The woman he was having an affair with wanted him to leave his wife. But he said no, because he didn’t want to abandon his child.
Early one morning, when the man and his wife weren’t at home, the mistress came by and murdered the little boy.
She took his body to the grounds of Charlottenburg Palace and threw it into the lake.
When the police got there, they found a Berliner Morgenpost cart on the bridge.
They drove around the area blaring their sirens asking if anyone had seen someone with it.
My neighbour was missing her cart. She’d left it in the foyer of the house across the road while she was delivering the papers.She was an obvious suspect. But in the end, the Police believed her when she said her cart had been stolen. They arrested the murderer; she went to jail for many years. The man and his wife moved away.”
Frau Bienkowski paused.
“Now I come to think of it my poor neighbor really had terrible luck in life. One day when she was delivering the papers, she slipped on some ice and seriously injured her leg. A binman who was passing by carried her home, put her to bed and called a doctor. She could never work again. But because she’d been taken home, rather than left on the street, her insurance wouldn’t cover it as a work-related injury and she didn’t get a pension.
Awfully unfortunate. But enough about neighbours Katechen. When are we having beer?”