I moved to Bodman-Ludwigshafen in 1992 to work in a four-star hotel on the shores of Lake Constance. There were 11 Swedes; the rest of the lengthy narrative will be told another time. The blog post today is about Ulrike. We used to hang out at "Café Walker" in Überlingen. It was a hip bar/dance club situated along Überlingen's lovely beach walk. One evening we were all there. Most of the Swedish gang enjoyed themselves. I noticed Ulrike seated on a sofa with four handsome Italian guys. I looked at her and smiled. Somehow I already knew Ulrike. At first, I thought she was Swedish. I don't know why but she felt very familiar as if I had always known her.
Suddenly she waved at me and asked me to come to the table. One of the Italian guys had caught sight of me and she thought it was funny. He began to speak Italian and the word "bella" was repeated several times. I laughed and we started talking but neither of them was good at English and I didn't know much German at the time.
Interest waned when I had to ask my friend Tina to translate everything I said, but we all spent the evening together.
Together with her Italian partner, Ulrike owned Eiscafe Cristallo, which was open during the summertime. It closed in October and reopened in March every year.
I, who worked at the Strandhotel Adler at the time ( That today is called the Seehotel Adler), stayed during the winter. During the six months we didn't see each other, I learned to speak German.
One chilly day in March of the following year, I was in Uberlingen and saw Ulrike. I remember running up to her and starting to ask 1,000 questions about everything. I remember her smile when she lit up and looked at me......"You can speak German Helena!"
From that day we became friends and it happened that a week or so later I moved in with Ulrike and Vitale and started working at Eiscafe Cristallo. We lived together for over six months. During that time I got a lung disease which then lasted for 8 years. For 2 weeks I thought I had gotten lung cancer and Ulrike and Vitale supported me through everything. We were a family.
We worked and lived together and that friendship lasted a lifetime. The years passed and Ulrike and Vitale opened a new place in Vienna.
In 2011, we started talking about Ulrike and her sister coming to visit me in Sweden. But one day I received an email from a journalist in Vienna. One email came via Facebook and it said
"I want to talk to you about your friend Ulrike's murder"
It was a hard shock. By then I had already lost several friends, which meant that the murder of Ulrike could not be accepted. I couldn't understand that she was gone. It took a few days before I reached her sister, with whom I now have a good friendship. We sat for over 3 hours on the phone and went through everything that happened.
Ulrike who always stood up for those who needed her, who was always there for everyone.
It is hard to understand and will always be a bitter memory. Those who always stand up are treated so incredibly severely and in this case, murdered.
There have been many deaths in my life. when it comes to cancer etc., you usually get a slow goodbye. It's always terribly tough when someone leaves us too soon. But in this case, such an incredibly brutal end to a life that was so full of joy and love.
I took this photo in 1994 at a party. Ulrike and her sister Silvia. We had so much fun that eve and I remember that we sang a lot.
There are so many fun memories and I was so upset the other day when it seemed that all the old photos that were uploaded on Dropbox were gone...... I remember taking shots of all the photos to be able to save them.....But I have them somewhere in a moving box. With all the photo albums that I have saved somewhere.......