Altenfelden / Upper Austria
I was born as an Austrian on June 27th, 1946,
in Altenfelden in Upper Austria.
So, I actually grew up with my grandmother in a house in the center of Altenfelden. She really loved me and I was her darling. My mother was single
and had to earn and was living in Aigen - twenty kilometers away, because my grandma received only a small widow's pension.
From three years on, my memory began. And that was the time
when my mother got married on June 6th, 1949 .... and I was allowed - at times - to be at the wedding ceremony. A short time later my brother Franz was born.
With the baby Franz I could
not “do” much - certainly not play .... And so I was "busy" with myself alone and was very happy on the neighboring farm - a wonderful "adventure playground"!
One and a
half years later my brother Christian was born and I had - with the passage of time - another "playmate".
There was no kindergarten - at that time in the end-forties and early fifties
and so I was then from 1952 in the Elementary School in Altenfelden. We had a teacher who had her first professional year and I liked her very much, which was mutual.
And then I was
often called by my classmates "Russki".
Why? I had no explanation. Furthermore, I noticed that I had - according to my mother – the last name Nigel, and not Bruckner like my brothers and also Mom after the marriage.
The "Russki" had not been involved in the various groups of his classmates - many children of peasants in the village or businessmen and craftsmen. That did not bother me, because I had the farmhouse
and another "adventure playground" in the neighboring forest with a brook, where there were fishes. So by and by my brothers were with me.
Already as a child I was very curious and always interested in asking questions hopefully to be answered.
And I wanted to know what was going on with the "Russki".
the Others" .....
For my mother
was it "not easy" to tell me the background:
It was after the end of the World War II and the “Mühlviertel” in Upper Austria north of the river Danube had been occupied by the Soviet Army. Altenfelden was a road junction,
where there was often a Soviet armor, and I liked to look there, because I was then allowed to climb on the tank. WOW!
So, in our
house - as I learned gradually from my mother's tales - an officer was living there who, as was later known, had a very "bad" relationship with the local pastor in the neighboring parish.
And – one day - it "happened": I was born on June 27th, 1946.
my real father - the "Russki" - had not known this, because the troops were moved very often and surprisingly to other locations.
So it was: I am the son of Vasily Andreyvich Makarov from Samara in Southern Russia .... And somehow I was even proud of it because I was "different from the others". I later always had a picture of my father
with me which gave me mom.
Thus, the first question about the "Russki" was answered.
There was still my last name Nigel. That was logical, because I had the name after my - at time of my birth - still single mother. In 1954 my stepfather gave me his name Bruckner.
School / Vocational Training
Well, at school it ran smoothly for me and I always got good grades. Only when something was broken, then it was "the Bruckner" .... Or - in the fourth grade - was "missing" a keybund
of my Lady class teacher who did not like me. It was also her first “job” in our school. So we all had to stay in the classroom after school closure and it took us two hours to find out where the keys were not. They all challenged me, that I ought
finally to "confess". And so the matter became too stupid for me, and I "said" that I throw the keybund into the fire brigade pond. Then we were able to go home.
The keys were “found” later in the school building - not in the water,
of course. Well!
And then - in the fourth grade, when it was scheduled a transfer to the High School – which would have changed my later life in a completely different direction:
I should apply in St. Florian near Linz to the "singing
boys choir" where I could have been registered, but there were my “records” .... in grade four. So I had a “four” in "behavior", a "three" in "industriousness", a "four" in "religion" – and my other records werde alle “one”
- the best note!
With this “paper” - my mother said - I could no longer go to St. Florian .... And, of course, with High Schoole it was nothing. There was a High School in Rohrbach, eleven kilometers away, and that was impossible for
my mother and even my father was not exactly one of the "well-earners". There were also my two brothers.
For that I went to the Secondary School in the neighboring Neufelden. It was very good at school, but I was often alone with myself and enjoyed
the "free time" in which I always found "entertainment" for me.
Well, I "left" - in an age of eleven years - the narrowness of my home place already one time or another .... And was then "on the road" instead of at school.
The longest journey I undertook when I wanted to visit my letter-friend, Manfred, in Solbad Hall near Innsbruck, and I travelled
on board of a night-train to Innsbruck - without a ticket. It was “easy” because I was in a car with solders. Manfred and his family were not at home but “on tour”.... And so I wanted to continue to Bad Gastein, where the 1958 World
Ski Championships took place.
I was not quite there, because before I was caught by a conductor on the train - without a ticket, of course - and handed over to the police in Salzburg, who ordered me to take me back to Altenfelden.
a while I did not mind. And I listened radio and read about Hamburg and the harbor where ships from all over the world were docking. I wanted to go there! Maybe I could be hired. I thought.
So I travelled on board of a bus - without a passport or
ID card - to Julbach near the border to Bavaria and at the final stop it was - for now, because the bus stopped there until the morning before it went back to Linz. To shorten it: In the local hotel I got, of course, no room .... But a "visit" by police. And
so my "journey" ended.
Well, the school did not find my "Trips" funny .... And still
less the Youth Office.
And so it was ordered in 1958 that I had to go to a boarding school in Gleink near Steyr, to stay there until the end of compulsory schooling.
All in all, I had a “nice” time there, often I was visited
on Sundays, and was even allowed to go home to Altenfelden during the holidays. I had a very good relationship with the Director of the School. He recommended to attend the Commercial School in Linz and to complete a vocational training in the "Economy".
Well, my time in Steyr-Gleink ended in 1960.
And from then
on, my life has gone completely differently than if I had been able to do my training with the "singing boys choir" in St. Florian.
From 1965 to
1966 I was first as a registrar at the Austrian Federal Railroad in Linz, later at the route management in Selzthal in Styria.
In 1966, I moved to Munich. I was employed by the German Federal Railways on the station in Munich-Laim and married Monika on December 31st, 1966. And I moved to her to Landshut. We were divorced in 1968 - I was not the father of Baby Angelina, born on March 16, 1967 .... and
the mother-in-law, where we lived, was very "dominant".
In 1967, I was back at the Austrian Federal
Railways in the investigation service in Salzburg.
Also in 1967, I volunteered as a soldier to the Airforce in the Austrian Armed Forces, and was then deployed in various locations until 1971. From 1969, I got civil
In 1972, I spent a short time at the air traffic control school in Munich, before I changed in August to Lufthansa
During this time I met Rosmarie - a widow (her husband was deadly inured at the airport in Munich) with
two lovely daughters, Petra and Monika, at the age of four and three years .... And I became her "daddy". From 1973 we lived in Haar near Munich.
By the way I was - beside Lufthansa - a while at American Express in the "card organization" and advised contractors in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald and Oberammergau.
And I could also - by the
way - fly in the civil aviation and had a small "travel service" in Haar and operated with one unit a taxi company.
From 1984 to 1986, I was sent to provisional pension because of a back problem after surgery
and numerous rehabilitation measures. So I was glad to be temporarily in the American "pensioner paradise" Florida.
In 1986 I returned
to my workplace at Lufthansa.
Rosmarie and I parted amicably and I moved to Glonn in the Ebersberg district. The very pretty apartment was right on the edge of the forest and was only 30 kilometers from the airport.