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Retired - What's that ?

My attempts at not retiring

Do You Really Know Who Your Neighbour Is or Was ?
Wednesday, October 5, 2022 @ 5:39 PM

I wonder how many of you have thought about what a neighbour has done in the past, maybe the elderly gentleman who doffs his hat as he passes you or the elegant lady who smiles but never speaks.?

I've often spotted mysterious characters living near me and tried to guess about their past lives, were they famous or infamous or could they be mega rich ?

 When I first visited Spain in the early sixties there was of course lots of fugitive type people hiding their former identities ,high ranking officers and officials from the Nazi regime who had been welcomed by General Franco and allowed to live in Spain without question.

Many left after a few years to live in various places like South America  but others did manage to continue living quite comfortable lives in Spain.

When I moved to live in Spain in the 1980's I actually lived opposite a very mysterious elderly German couple who really did keep to themselves however they did say hello occasionally but we never had any real conversation until tragically we lost our youngest son in a road accident and the elderly couple knocked on our door with a bunch of flowers and a card and in perfect English expressed their condolences.

Many months later we actually sat next to them in a restaurant and we did have a 5 minute conversation and he commented that he'd heard that I'd served in the Royal Navy in submarines and he went on to tell me that he had also been a submariner during World War Two in the German Navy, and that was it, we never really spoke again and he passed away about a year later.

Shortly after, we moved to live in Alfaz del Pi near Benidorm, on a small urbanisation which was predominately occupied by a Scandinavian community and  I learned that a very famous Norwegian - Swedish actress had lived there until she died a few years before we arrived.

Her name was Sonja Wigert and apart from her appearing in 34 films she had also been a spy, a double agent by all accounts and was actually working with the secret services and the resistance, such a brave lady.

Unfortunately she was seen by many to be a traitor because of her liasons with several leading nazi officers and it wasn't until the year 2000 that the authorities actually cleared her name, 20 years after her death..

Her actions undoubtedly saved many lives and I was told many stories about her by my elderly Norwegian neighbour ,who had been a close friend of Sonja and she told me that Sonja had been very unhappy about the fact that she had been labelled a traitor by some and she died aged 66, some say from alcohol abuse, I don't know how true this is,though.

Because of my interest in history my neighbour gave me some of the personal belongings of Sonja, including a small silver filigree bon bon dish with her name inscribed and dated 16.3.1943, the inscription is in German and I was told she received it in Berlin.

I do have the Sonja Wigert items on display at my museum,' Museo Gordon' ,and I often look at them and think what a wonderful courageous lady she was and how lucky I am to have some of her personal belongings.

There are many more facts available about Sonja Wigert on Google, should you be interested, I've just related the information given to me by my lovely old neighbour.

I'm absolutely sure that many people in Spain will have come across interesting people and would maybe like to share the details ?

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