When I was born in Berlin, the year 1925 was just fifteen days old. Fourteen days earlier the Apostolic Nuntius Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, had delivered the congratulations of the diplomatic corps to Reich President Friedrich Ebert. Nobody expected that barely two months later Friedrich Ebert would be dead. After his death the aged Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, a living legend since his victory over the Russian army at Tannenberg, became President. Of course I knew nothing about all this; people told me later that I had enough trouble of my own getting into the world and staying alive. My mother was already seriously ill when I was born, and she died a year later....
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