Inspired by the unfulfilled dream of homecoming
When Eleni Delidimitriou- Tsakmaki- born in Thessaloniki- left for Germany with her husband in June 1961, she was convinced that her stay abroad would be brief. In 1967, the couple returned to Greece, but the difficulties they faced drove them away again, this time for good. Today, the 72year old lives in Munich with her husband, their three children, six grandchildren and a first grand-grandchild.
The hardships and obstacles she had to overcome as a stranger in a foreign country, together with the undying dream of returning home, have always provided inspiration for her work. In her first autobiographical book, which was published in 1992 and made her name known to public, is entitled “The rag doll” and recounts her traumatic childhood experiences- she was given up for adoption and grew up with a poor foster family. In 1994, the book was published in German under the title “Die Stoffpuppe». In her second book, “The decision which was never taken”- also autobiographical- she recalls upon her first journey to Germany and the story of her life ever since.
Her accomplishments in the filed of theatrical plays include “Serio-comic scenes from the lives of immigrants”, which was staged for twelve consecutive years in several German cities and received enthusiastic reviews from the media. Nowadays, her play “Munich station”, telling the stories of four generations of Greek immigrants in Germany, is considered a great success.
She has also published the novel “Aris, the child of the immigrant”, the book “Trees that never rooted” and several children’s stories such as “Mama come back”, “The travelling birds”, “In Delphi, with the Charioteer” and “Astropalamidas, the protector of animals”. Currently, she is working on a book recounting the experiences of Greek survivors from World War II concentration camps.
Mrs Tsakmaki has finally found the peace she was seeking, and now likes to spend her free time in the company of her youngest granddaughters. She converses with them in greek, since she considers it her duty to pass on her cultural heritage to the next generations.