After his mother’s love letters revealed the family secrets, a German man set out to discover more about his history. 

Six years after his mother died, Raimund Schmalbeins was given letters by his grandmother. These included photos and details about her secret love affair from a Liverpool soldier during his 20s to 30s. 

Stax, Raimund’s mother, fell in love at the station of Jim Miller near her factory in Kettwig. This is now the city of Essen. It’s in western Germany state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

After his return from Liverpool, in January 1946 or February 1946 he began writing letters. This was a few months prior to Raimund’s August 31 birth. 

However, fate intervened and Stax never received the letters that Jim had given to a friend. She moved on to her married life. 

Raimund was raised to believe that the man who gave him his upbringing wasn’t his father. Now, he believes his mother became pregnant by Jim. 

The letters were not given to Raimund’s family until her passing. The Liverpool Echo reports that Raimund is now trying to get more details about his father through translations. 

Raimund Schmalbeins, pictured with his wife Angelika, got a surprise when he read letters meant for his mother

Raimund Schmalbeins is pictured here with Angelika. He was shocked when he began to read the letters written for his mother.

Raimund Schmalbeins' real father, Jim Miller, from Liverpool who sent Raimund's mother letters for years

Raimund Schmalbeins was sent letters by Jim Miller from Liverpool, his father. He had been Raimund’s real dad for many years.

Jim shared the story with Ralf, his neighbor. Ralf helped him to get in touch Leonie Jakobie (a Liverpool-based German musician), through a Facebook group called “Local History”. Leonie helped translate the letters.  

One, dated February 1, 1946 stated: “My Darling. I hope Mama, Papa and you are all doing very well. It’s not something I care about. I’d rather be a soldier, and then back in Kettwig together with Darling.

“I think you are missing me a lot and I’m sure you have been crying. I haven’t been to any dancing. I had promised that I would not attend any.

“Well Dear, Kettwig still is cold? Liverpool has plenty of rain.

Raimund's mother. Depsite waiting on letters from Raimund's father, Jim, for years¿a friends of Jim's had kept them from her

Raimund’s mother. Depsite waiting on letters from Raimund’s father, Jim, for years—a friends of Jim’s had kept them from her

Leonie Jakobi and Raimund Schmalbeins at the Cavern in Liverpool in November 2021 during their search for information about Jim

Leonie Jakobi, Raimund Schalbeins and others at Cavern Liverpool on November 20, 2021 as they search for Jim’s information

A collection of photos of Jim Miller (third left), included a group photo with some army comrades

Jim Miller’s photos (third from the left) include a group shot with his army comrades.

Because it was hard to send letters by direct mail or travel to Germany post-war, Jim used Fred as his friend. Fred is still with the Army. 

Later, on February 20, 1946, the letter stated: “I am still waiting to receive a reply from you dear, but I feel you’ve forgotten me?” Because I expected one.

“How are your Darlings, Mama and Papa?” You are fine. All the best.

“Well sweetheart! I will be sending you a gift, Fred. So you can go see Fred next week, and check if Fred has it.

“I still have to get my money back, and I’m just waiting to hear from you.”

“I still love Darling. I love you always, Darling. I dream of you every night.

“I’m hoping it won’t take long for us to be together again and that I can finally sleep in your mattress?”

Raimund’s mom, Stax never got Jim’s messages sent from L23, 26 Carlton Road.

Jim Miller wroter to his German girlfriend Stax when her returned home to Liverpool and gave the messages to a friend to pass on to her, but for some reason they were never delivered and she died without knowing he wanted to reunite

Jim Miller wrote to Stax, his German girlfriend. When she got back home from Liverpool she gave the messages on to a friend. But they never arrived and Stax died not knowing that he had wanted them to be together again. 

Fred, Fred’s friend who was responsible for passing the mail, kept the letters secret until Raimund’s mom’s funeral when he sent them.

While it’s unclear why Fred chose not to give Stax this post, it does seem that Fred had an unexpected change of heart after she passed away.

Raimund lost her mother in 1980 at the age of 57. She never knew that her father had attempted to reach her.

Her life was eventually over and she had a new relationship. This man Raimund knew as his father.

Raimund was always suspicious of his father and the letters only confirmed this suspicion.

Raimund shared the news with Ralf 5 years ago. However, it wasn’t until October when Raimund showed Ralf the letters and photos that Ralf got motivated to take action.

Ralf & Raimund discovered more contacts through Leonie’s Historic Liverpool Facebook page.

Ralf stated that Raimund wondered if Raimund was in the exact same spot in Liverpool where his father had drank a pint. 

“Or, when we stepped off the Waterloo bus and walked along the shore, perhaps my father was there, swimming among all the statues,” he stated.  

Raimund wants to learn more about his father and the events that followed those 1940s letters.

Ralf, Raimund’s neighbor, stated that Raimund has been searching for answers for 15 years and is now eager to get them. He also said it was ‘nice’ to have a friend who could help him, but this isn’t his priority.