My parents met while my father was in the army and stationed in Germany. I was born in the US but by the time I was in 5th grade my parents separated. Things got hectic, and my mother and I moved back to Germany and moved in with her brother.
It was a big old house near Berlin and I hated it. I spoke no German and none of my mother’s family spoke English. My uncle Max and his wife Greta had three kids, all older than me – two girls and a boy, who was the oldest.
It wasn’t long before I found out how harsh and mean these people were. I didn’t understand a word they said at the beginning but they would scream at there kids and beat them unmercifully. My Aunt Greta not only smacked the children’s faces but would also spank them not only in front of each other, but also in front of other family members, including me.
Aunt Greta used a strap that I later found out was a razor strop from my uncle’s barber shop. I’m not sure but I think my male cousin was 15 and the two girls 14 and 12, or thereabouts. The first few times they were punished, mother made me leave the room and I only heard their cries. My uncle would strap them sometimes but it was mostly my aunt who beat them.
My mother worked most days and finally one day when she was out my aunt spanked her son in front of me and one of the girls. I had never witnessed corporal punishment before and couldn’t believe it when she made him take off his pants and underwear.
I don’t recall what my cousin was being punished for, but Aunt Greta made him bend over the kitchen table and beat his bare butt with this strap. By the time she was done, his entire rear was red. He was then made to sit at the table, naked from the waist down, for more than an hour.
It wasn’t like this stuff happened all the time, but as time went on I not only saw my male cousin beaten again but also the two girls. Both my aunt and uncle would beat them bare bottom and didn’t seem to care who witnessed it.
The girls were also forced to sit in the chair after their punishments, again with nothing covering their lower body. I felt sorry for them but I have to admit, I enjoyed seeing the girls’ privates. Both of them had pubic hair, and when they were bent over the table I could see not only see their vaginas but also their anus.
My mother did spank me sometimes over the years but never subjected me to that type of humiliation. My aunt and uncle never beat me but had no qualms about me seeing them strap their own children.
The strangest thing was how brutally they were beaten. It had to be embarrassing for them, knowing I was watching, as they were reduced to tears. Even my boy cousin, who was older was completely dominated by his parents.
I was very shy at that time and remember being embarrassed even if the girls saw me in my underwear. I saw all my cousins completely naked many times, but none of them seemed overly embarrassed by it. They also saw me naked sometimes – but by contrast, I was always horrified when they did, even when it was my male cousin or my aunt and uncle. I could never understand how anyone could treat their own kids with such disrespect.
My mother and I lived there for two years until we got our own apartment. During that time, other family members witnessed my cousins being beaten a number of times. It didn’t matter if other family members were there, male or female. My cousins were still forced to to remove their pants and underwear.
They were afforded no modesty whatsoever and would have to sit half naked on that kitchen chair, sometimes with several other relatives nearby. I could see they were humiliated by it and tried their best to cover themselves with their hands. I could also see how much pain they were in and as old as my male cousin was, he still openly cried when he was beaten.
Of course, my mother also saw this happen. I gather she didn’t approve of it but there was little she could do. Actually, my mother and aunt didn’t get along very well and I think that is why we moved when we did.
We came back to New Jersey when I was 18 and over the years I have become closer to my father. Over a recent July 4 holiday I saw one of my girl cousins for the first time in 15 years. She, her husband and kids visited my mother for a few days. She doesn’t speak English well but I was able to talk to her in German.
We never mentioned the beatings she was subjected to but did recall some of the good times we had. I never forget those years I spent at my uncle and aunt’s house – or the terrible way they treated their kids.