ICH WÜNSCH DIR EIN GLÜCKLICHS LEBEN. Das Leid meiner Mutter und ihr Geschenk an mich/
I WISH YOU A HAPPY LIFE. My Mother’s Suffering and Her Gift to Me
Ca. 400 pp.
The suffering of a Jewish mother and her son
“You don’t want to learn how to sew buttons on? You will freeze in the concentration camp in winter if you can’t close your jacket.”
It is the beginning of the 1950s and Jacky is just under five when his mother, in a loving but resolute manner, teaches him everything that he has to be able to do to survive in the world she knows – darning socks, peeling potatoes, braiding pigtails, washing clothes, reading and writing. Her world is a world of horror.
His Polish-Jewish mother has survived two ghettos and two concentration camps. A story of suffering that does not end when the war is over. Only two months after her liberation, she is wrongly denounced by another former concentration camp prisoner ¬– accused of maltreating prisoners in Auschwitz.
Whilst in prison, she gives birth to a son, Jacky – and finally, she is also given help. The prison warden Claire Stahl takes pity on her and eventually achieves a pardon on the grounds of her poor state of health. Jacky and his mother move to their saviour’s home. Before too long, little Jacky notices that the motive for Ms Stahl’s willingness to help is not at all based on neighbourly love. Behind the mask of the self-sacrificing helper, she is a National Socialist of conviction.
When Jacky is nine years old, his mother dies and leaves a son behind who knows little of life beyond suffering, alienation, lies and repression. In his book he explains how he still managed to become a successful man and the happy father of a family. And he explains how the unusual motto of his mother helped him:
“You must try to be happy. Regardless of what happens. You have to want it. More than anything else.”
Jacky Dreksler was born in 1946 in Fresnes near Paris in a French prison. His mother was a Polish Jew and a survivor of concentration camps. His father was a French Jew who he never got to know. He spent the first years of his life in French and German children’s homes. At the age of nine he became an orphan and a few years later he moved to Cologne. After an apprenticeship as a laboratory assistant, he studied and became a teacher. In 1976 he left the teaching profession and over the years that followed, he worked as a singing teacher, a journalist, a guitar teacher and a songwriter, e.g. for Charles Aznavour, Heino and Costa Cordalis.
As of 1982 he wrote and performed radio sketches for, among others, the SWF, the WDR and Radio Luxembourg. Here he met a friend for life: Hugo Egon Balder. A short time later, television producers noticed his comic talent. In the years that followed, he became one of the most sought after television authors for comedy and shows. In 1991 he founded his first television production company and produced over 600 television series in the years that followed, for example, RTL Samstagnacht and numerous other comedies, game-shows and late-night shows.
Jacky Dreksler wurde 1946 in einem französischen Gefängnis geboren. Seine Mutter war eine polnische Jüdin und KZ-Überlebende, sein Vater ein französischer Jude, den er nie kennengelernt hat. Jacky Dreksler studierte Pädagogik und arbeitete als Segel- und Gitarrenlehrer, Journalist, Comicautor, Gagschreiber und Liedtexter. Er war lange Jahre einer der meistbeschäftigten Fernsehautoren im Comedy- und Unterhaltungsbereich und erfolgreicher Fernsehproduzent. Jacky Dreksler lebt mit seiner Frau und seinen beiden Töchtern in Köln.