Heinz Oestergaard and Ursula Kardos

Heinz Oestergaard was Germany's most famous fashion designer after WW II. Ursula Kardos was Europe's most famous clairvoyant for over a half century. Both were my closest friends in Berlin.

When I knew her, Ursula was already retired, except for some work for the largest firms in Europe and the US. She saw people personally for free once or twice a week, by appointment. But otherwise, she lived in a remarkable villa in Berlin Dahlem, which was totally fenced in by a massive cement and concrete wall, with had enormous grounds. Almost every day I picked Ursula up around noon. We drove to one of the nearest lakes (Berlin has lots of lakes) and took a walk around the lake.

Oestergaard and I became close friends when we traveled to Rome for Triumph Lingerie, the largest clothing manufacturer in all of Europe. The Rome stay was busy with work. But when it was over, Heinz had his Triumph convertible sports car driven up to Rome from the island of Ibiza, where he last vacationed, and we drove it back to Berlin by way of Switzerland and the Alps. Although there was no sexual attraction between us, we became very close friends, to the point where every Christmas eve, I spent the evening with Heinz at his elderly parent's home, just the four of us. That was something very special, because Christmas eve is the most solemn holiday in Germany, and everything shuts down. Everyone either spends the evening with family or there is absolutely nothing to do. Being invited to someone's family that night was an especially deep expression of great friendship. We usually started out driving by Ursula's house for a visit and then went on to his parents for dinner.

Ursula avoided all press and exposure and never let anyone else photograph her anymore in those late years of her life.

My photos of Ursula are very rare, indeed. And those of Heinz in relaxed mode are also just as rare. As a fashion designer, his public life was all choreographed and carefully controlled. He seldom let his guard down.

This photo is in the private park surrounding Ursula's home, which is surrounded by the huge wall that shows in the background. It was taken on one of her birthdays.

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