First two months of passion, then 75 years of complete radio silence: KT Robbins lost sight of his first great love when he suddenly had to move to another barracks in France during the Second World War. But the beautiful memory of her would never disappear. In a report following the commemoration of the liberation in Normandy, the American soldier let his heart speak once more. France 2 put the crown on the work by reuniting the lovebirds of the past.
In 1944, Robbins was stationed with his regiment in Briey (in the French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle; ed.). He fell head over heels in love with Jeannine Gannaye, a local beauty of 18 years. “She was very sweet, I think she truly loved me,” the veteran notes in the program.
Fairy tale ended
Two months later, however, the burgeoning fairy tale came to an abrupt end: the soldier had to reinforce the front on the east side and so he had to pack his bags. “I said I might return for her, but that never happened,” Robbins mourns. In America, the man later built a life of his own, he even got married.
However, the warm memories of Jeannine would never fade. In one of his albums, there was even a picture of her. “I would like to return to France again to speak with her family. In the meantime, she herself probably will have died already,” Robbins thought.
Journalists from France 2 then went to work to find the relatives of the woman. To everyone’s surprise, however, Jeannine turned out to be alive herself: she is now 92 years old and lives in a retirement home in Montigny-lès-Metz.
The long-awaited reunion could, therefore, come after 75 years. And it caused a lot of emotions. They fell into each other’s arms with cute kisses. “I’ve always loved you. You have always remained in my heart,” says the American soldier.
“Of course I had to cry”
“He says he likes me, I understand that,” Jeannine replies. “My thoughts have always remained with him, for a long time I believed he would return.” Especially for that occasion, she had even learned a little English, one of her five children explains.
The day of his departure is still engraved in her memory. “When he drove away in that truck, I naturally had to cry. I was very sad. I would have preferred that he had not returned to America after the war.”
“I love you”
But why has he never heard from him again, Jeannine wants to know now. “If you are married, that will never happen again,” Robbins said with regret in his voice.
After sitting together for a few hours it is time to say goodbye again. A tear is wiped away. “My darling, I love you”, it sounds one last time. This time they solemnly promise each other to meet again.