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Couple kept apart 50 years by Iron Curtain

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Couple kept apart 50 years by Iron Curtain


Separated from his sweetheart for 50 years by the Iron Curtain – Fortunat Mackiewicz finally found his true love, Elvira Profe. It is an amazing story of how the East/West divide pulled them apart for all those years. They met in 1946 when Elvira returned to her home town of Mieszkowice in Poland, which was Baerwalde in Germany before the Second World War.

Speaking of how he felt when he first saw Elvira, Fortunat said: “How could she be a beautiful woman when she only weighed 30 kilos? She was skinny like my finger – thin. She was so poor. I kissed her on her forehead out of pity, not out of love.” Elvira had just been released from a labour camp in Siberia and was begging for food. When they tried to marry back then, Elvira’s family were ordered out of the town because her father had been a German capitalist. But when the wall came down in 1989, she eventually tracked him down – and in 1995 they were reunited. Describing the reunion, Elvira said: “We were five metres apart. He said ‘Elvira’, I said ‘Fortek’ and when we hugged. It was as if 50 years fell away.” Though his German is rusty and her Polish is not so good, they are now happily married, and living in a picturesque cottage in the town where they first met.

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