In my home in Germany in the "Ahrtal", we were surprised by a flood from 14.07 to 15.07.2021, whereby the dimension and the destruction resembled a tsunami. All from the valley were completely unaware of what a flood disaster would come to us. We knew only that a flood is pending, whereby at most the cellar vlt. with drauf goes. That meant all those who were on the spot naturally went into their houses.
So I was also at home and witnessed the flood night in Dernau. I lived there in the first row on the Ahr, in the house that belongs to my parents. I lived there for almost my whole life. But now it is uninhabitable and has to be torn down. Alone within my family four houses were completely flooded . Lots of stuff and anything but easy! Everywhere where once beautiful memories were made, you now find destruction and many memories are washed away or destroyed. But the flood has also taught me a few things. For example, what really matters in life! I, my loved ones, friends and acquaintances have survived. That was anything but a matter of course that night! There were enough real dramas, besides which one lost not "only" all his belongings, which is already a big burden ...
Beginning of the flood from 21:10 o'clock, I had first carried things up with my buddy, who still ironically laid floor with us. Then my husband (who was at the fire department operation in the village) called us in time that we should quickly save us to the higher part of the house to my neighbors over the terrace. From then on it was clear: Fuck all this stuff! Here it goes straight around our life! Powerless trapped in the attic, clueless when it stops rising or whether my parents are even alive ... we just started to pray.
Then the first relief actually came. The water fell at about 00:30 a.m. At 12:00 a.m. we were rescued by helicopter. Afterwards I ran into my husband's arms as if in a film, relieved and with tears in my eyes. I was full of gratitude and relief to hear that my parents also survived. They were still sitting just dry in the attic in Altenburg. That is the main thing that we are all still alive and then all the stuff, even if it's just four houses are completely irrelevant!
WITH HOPE CAME THE ART
After the misery and the shock that the catastrophe brought with it, there was suddenly a lot of hope in the valley! Many have made themselves Germany far, even from neighboring countries on the way to us, in order to help and with anacken. Private people and even entrepreneurs, who went bankrupt for it, helped unconditionally. Many have freed basements to upper floors from mud and the broken inventory. Words and picturesand pictures can not really reflect. The stench of oil, gasoline, feces ... To see the force of the water ... Without all the helpers there would have been no hope!
The condition of our house in Dernau then became more and more noticeable. You can see from the 1st floor to the basement. It is not rebuildable, we have to demolish. However, this did not go so quickly and easily from the hand, since much must be clarified with the insurance and everything ... In this aimlessness began the mission for my soul and so I started to paint our house. It was also good to thank the whole pool. So I started first to bring the helicopter including the complete pool of thanks to the facade (German Federal Armed Forces, fire department, rescue services, federal and state police, Thw and of course all the helpers, without which would run as said nothing).
However, I quickly realized that I was not only painting for my soul, but directly for those of others with me. I will never forget how a helper stopped and thanked me for sending out hope. He had seen a lot of shit, he told me.
Then I created the helper wall, where the helpers can immortalize themselves with colored hands. First, it began with the fact that I brought helper organizations, which I was allowed to get to know personally and which had already rocked a lot, on the wall. Of course, there were far more. With the time came more and more to it. My artistic highlight were my helper wings. My idea: Before that, the heroes can celebrate themselves!
After that, however, I wanted to paint something explicitly for those affected, and so the next wings were created: Every affected person is a superhero. I also painted with friends and families connected to the house. For example, my mum painted 25 flowers - each representing having lived in the house for a year.
My next highlight got crazy and wild. A helper named Steffen used his telescopic forklift to hoist me up to the places where I couldn't reach, so I was able to put the slogan "Every 11 minutes a helper falls in love with the Ahr Valley" on the wall. Then things got even crazier and we abseiled down our house with the help of cool people from the Bundeswehr. That was fun!