14  G E N E R . S TA R K His special purpose. I would later call upon this early training to serve well in my calling. Sometimes I felt like a puppet on a string, my every move orchestrated, every moment planned for the traditions and rules of the land. “We are marked by our industry; we are proud of our heritage and wear the colors of the textile tradition,” my father said stoi- cally. “Continue with your education and labor in our industry, and you will do well.” As I got older, I questioned the wisdom of my father: “We are determined by the state, we are limited in our efforts. We can never be truly free. I have labored dutifully and yet the Turnver- eins believe it will never be enough.” “The Turnvereins! Es ist tote! Dead, they have no power, no direction!” my father exclaimed. I had been helped by the Turnvereins, a group of forward- thinking rebels, who believed in building the body and also changing the strict traditions that bound all Germans to a caste- like system. I worked in the mill, carried the heavy spools of thread and seemed to learn only the limits of my back. I suppose that being of a diminutive stature did not help my demeanor in those early years as I toiled in the textile industry in Hainichen. My friend Adolf, tall and dark, built to toil, growing ever stron- ger as he worked, told me of the Turnvereins. “They are free- thinkers, they believe in building the body and the mind.” To be certain my body needed building; I seemed weak and struggled with my health. Pestered by bronchial attacks, especially after spending the day in the dusty mill, I coughed and wheezed. My mother prayed, and I tried to avoid God. My Lutheran traditions were ever-present, yet I made little time for God. “There are places where you can be free to own a business, to own land, and do as you please,” Karl, my fellow worker spoke with passion. He could do twice the work that I could do in the mill. Karl was strong, tall, and his blue eyes always glowed with