A photo of the Berking children, Lissy and Rudi, (at back) taken with a relative in Germany during the war, in about 1916. Their upkeep at school was paid for out of their father’s government salary which appears to have continued to be paid. Mr Berking’s salary also supported his mother in Hannover.
Sending children to Germany for education and work was popular with German fathers in Samoa. Caroline and Rudolf Berking paid a terrible price for their understandable desire for a better education for their offspring in distant Europe. In September 1918, Elisabeth died of pneumonia in Hannover aged 16. Wartime internment for Rudolf meant that the parents had to cope with their grief apart. In 1926, another tragic blow – son Rudolf fell ill and died while attending veterinary school in Berlin.
Credit: Klaus Berking Collection.
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