A Superwoman Needs no Cape
In the years surrounding World War II, more than one female superhero appeared on the scene. In 1941, Wonder Woman made her debut and, not long after the war's end, Superwoman was introduced to us. Girls, it seemed, finally had at least two players from their team to fight for justice and defeat evil. Those other-worldly women were young and beautiful, well-endowed, and had an arsenal of secret weapons at their disposal. They were joined by other super women throughout the years and, most recently, have even been reincarnated in television and film. Their strength is incredible, but unfortunately, their stories are fiction.
I never met Marta Röpke. She died in 1985 at the age of 85. But, her daughter Edith shared her story with me, and I have come to believe Marta was a superhero. Like those fictional comic heroines, Marta's strength was forged during World War II. Unlike them, she had nothing to help protect her children in Nazi Germany but her own instincts, courage, and love. Perhaps reading her story is a good reminder that most women don't wear capes and aren't built like super models. They have little in their quiver to pull out for defense, but they are mighty nonetheless.
Marta lived and died with little fanfare, but she left an indelible impression on her family as a mother, a protector, and a woman. It's very inspiring to know it isn't necessary to have superhuman powers to effect change. Marta is proof that a common woman with an iron will can make a lasting difference in the lives of her children. She left quite a legacy and I'm very proud to share her story in Back to Bremen.