SEPTEMBER 1943: I start school in Marienwerder (West Prussia). As a start I am beaten up by the farmers' boys in my class.
FEBRUARY 1944: I experience a low-level British air attack on our train travelling from Berlin to Goslar. I see dead and badly wounded children. I pray: "Dear God, let us live!"
SEPTEMBER 1949: I go to high school in Manchester and after six months I am at the top of the class in English.
DECEMBER 1961: I pass my first legal state exam in Freiburg, coming first out of 102 candidates and think I'm very clever.
OCTOBER 1963: I meet the love of my life at Columbia Law School in New York: a painter, the daughter of an orthodox Jewish rabbi. Our relationship fails when I return to Germany because she is not prepared to set foot on German soil.
SEPTEMBER 1965: I meet my wife Dorothea in Hanover. We are still married today and live happily together in Dresden.
FEBRUARY 1970: Our daughter Anja is born in Frankfurt.
NOVEMBER 1972: At Cologne airport we pick up our second daughter Inka Maria. She is a six month old foundling from Ambato, Ecuador, whom we have adopted.
DECEMBER 1973: I pick up our one week old adopted son Björn from Munich and fly with him to Cologne.
JULY 1980: Wella AG in Darmstadt, which had agreed to appoint me Personnel Director, sacks me after six months. I fall into a deep depression and learn to pray again as I see this as divine providence.