Station: [10] Beate Roberts (1941-2017)

Beate Roberts

born 1941 – died 2017


Diary 1952–2017

From now on, you shall accompany me to my grave.

On the 2nd of February 1952, Beate Roberts started her life as a diarist with an adorable description of a family scene and a little drawing. It was her way of introducing herself to her diary. She was ten at the time and loved writing and telling stories. At that point, the entries are brief and follow each other in an irregular sequence. 

The 20th of May 1957 marks the first appearance of the “Silberfee” – the “silver fairy”. Inspired by the diary of Anne Frank, Beate, now 15 years old, gives her diary the name “silver fairy”. It will “from now on accompany me to my grave”. Until the end of 1960, she gives very detailed descriptions of her everyday life, her concerns, feelings, conflicts and many happy moments...

“I’m extremely happy at present. I feel like a little bird that flies across the world singing, carefree. Or I could compare myself to a gushing spring that’s delighted with all the flowers, grasses, butterflies, insects and animals on its banks. To me, life isn’t a void.”

For the next 14 years, no continuous diary entries exist. This was the period when she married, had two children, separated from the children’s father, and entered into a second marriage with the musician Henry Roberts. In a notebook with the title “Part of my Life in Words and Pictures”, she looked back at this time and wrote about it.

It wasn’t until 1975 that she went back to recording her life in every detail. She continued up to her death in 2017. This is what she had to say about her writing habits:

“First, I live through my hours/days, then I write them down, and then I can read up on them. That’s what I call all-out living.”

All depictions: © Gerhard Seitz, Das Deutsche Tagebucharchiv e.V.