At 100 years old, Peter Meisen is probably Germany’s oldest blogger. His memories go back to the 1920s. That’s why he knows exactly how the soldiers in the Ukraine war feel.
Many years ago, a neighbor came to Peter Meisen’s door and asked for his signature to demand faster internet for the Eifel town of Rott.
“I don’t know anything about the internet, and I don’t want to either,” he replied at the time. He is too old for that. He’s now 100 – and probably Germany’s oldest blogger.
“Grandpa Peter, tell me…” is the name of the blog he has been running for several years. It all started when he was given a tablet. Although he was already in his mid-90s, he learned the new technique.
And then he began to write stories from his life for his two sons, his four grandchildren and six great-granddaughters. This aroused so much interest among the family that the idea arose of making it accessible to other people as well.
This is how the blog was born, which has now been accessed around 75,000 times. Peter Meisen, who was an electrical engineer by trade, is a good storyteller. You quickly notice that when you sit across from him in Rott, a district of Roetgen on the border with Belgium.
“I’m still mentally fit, but my body isn’t made for getting this old,” he complains. “There are no spare parts.” He can still walk, but only with a walker.
He recently fell and hit his head on the bedside table – that’s why he’s got a black eye. He wrote about that too.
After all, he still lives in a wooden house he built himself that looks like Heidi’s grandfather’s alpine pasture in the Swiss mountains. Four years ago he repeated his driver’s license test – and passed it. The family couldn’t believe it, but he has it in black and white.
Meisen was born in 1922. He comes from the tiny town of Titz in the district of Düren in the Rhineland. There he grew up in a strict Catholic family during the Weimar Republic.
They didn’t have a lot of money back then, and he didn’t get his first real shoes until he was ten when he made his first communion. Before that he wore clogs. One of his earliest memories is of seeing his mother cry. “I didn’t know why at the time. Today I know what my mother went through.”
The family was opposed to the Nazis, which led to the Americans promptly appointing Meisen’s father mayor of Titz after the war.
In his blog, Peter Meisen often reports on his experiences during the Nazi era and in the war, which he witnessed as a Wehrmacht soldier. He is visibly shocked that there is war in Europe again.
“You can’t even describe the fear with which the soldiers stand at the front and tremble for their lives,” he says. “Actually, everyone should take part in war in order to know what war means. Who can talk about war if he hasn’t been there?”
He rummages in a pocket and pulls out a small rosary of the kind Catholics use in prayer. He received it in 1932 and always carried it with him throughout his life, even during the war.
When he now sees the pictures from Ukraine, he thinks: “I know what the people are doing, both the soldiers and the population.” He wishes that someone would take Russian President Vladimir Putin out of circulation.
Meisen is still a believer today and therefore often writes about Christian festivals such as Christmas or the Epiphany. At the same time he calls for reforms from the Catholic Church. For example, he is in favor of the abolition of celibacy – the mandatory celibacy of priests.
“Peter was also married, and that didn’t bother Jesus at all. He didn’t care.” He accused the late Pope Benedict of not taking decisive action against sexual abuse.
“You have to have the courage to intervene in this responsible position,” he says.
The blog helps Peter Meisen fill his day. “It gave me a boost. It all comes from my head, I don’t have a diary or anything like that.” The fact that people also want to read it makes him grateful and proud.
“I’m happy that I can do something that people enjoy. That’s my purpose in life. ”In the meantime, it even happens that his followers ask him when the next post will finally come.
It is a pity that his wife no longer experiences all this. She died 28 years ago. Since then, his life hasn’t been as good as before, he says. “I miss her a lot. Every day.”