Meet Theo Knust. This summer he turned 102. He is the oldest resident in New Berlin. His grandparents came over from Germany to Illinois in the mid 19th century. Theo never spoke German „My parents, when I was young, they didn’t want me to know what they were talking about, they talked German.“
Through High School he carried journals for 4 years as a paperboy, earning 15 cents a week. After finishing school Theo ran the Berlin restaurant for 18 years. Then he got out of that and ran a shell service station until he retired in the mid-sixties. He has been retired since 1965. Theo is also huge fan of horse races. He went to the Kentucky Derby a record-breaking 75 times. Quote Theo: „I am just a little old country boy. Never had less, I have had a good life and a good wife and a good family and I just bet a little and if I win a little I am alright and if I loose a little I am not hurting.“ Until 3 years ago you could see him cycle around the streets of New Berlin. Since his small accident, Theo unfortunately has to keep his bike now locked up in the garage.
Dorit used to live in Neu Kölln – Berlin Germany. In the final days of the Second War war, together with her mom she spent several weeks in a bunker in Friedrichs- strasse. One warm summers’ day in 1948 when Dorit was playing with her friend, the sky above her was roaring with planes again, this time tossing Hershey bars to the children of Berlin.
In 1953, Dorits’ mom married an American soldier and moved to Georgia, U.S.A..
Only a few years later Dorit herself married a G.I. and followed his assignments all around the world Okinawa, Japan, Augsburg , Germany Rhode Island & Boston, USA. She is now retired in New Braunfels close to New Berlin, Texas. In 2006 she met Gail Halverson, the “Candy bomber” from the Berlin Airlift whose acquaintance she made, from the distance , 57 years earlier and to whom she addressed anonymous Christmas cards for many years. She is still a Berliner at heart. She is a happy lady, lived a wonderful life always having one foot in the USA and one in Berlin Germany. To quote Dorit: “Ich bin eine echte Berliner Pflanze und berlinern kann ick ooch noch.” ( I am are real Berlin “plant” and I scan still speak Berlin dialect)