Almost every day Teresa Enke passes by the street bearing the name of her husband. The Robert-Enke-Strasse in Hanover is on the way to the school of her daughter Leila. It leads directly past the HDI Arena, the former Niedersachsenstadion.
In the stadium was Teresa Enkes man as goalie of the football Bundesliga Hannover 96 respected, celebrated and revered by the fans. And there on an autumn-Sunday ten years ago, nearly 40,000 people said goodbye in a memorial service. Five days earlier Robert Enke had put an end to his life on 10 November 2009 at a railway crossing in Eilvese at the age of 32 years.
Teresa Enke stands on a forecourt at the stadium. Two years ago, she returned to Hannover after living in Cologne for six years. "At first it was difficult, because the memories were very painful and I therefore avoided such places," says the 43-year-old in an interview with the German Press Agency. "But man is a creature of habit, and at some point that does not bounce that way."
«We thought so too, with love it works»
Like a shockwave, the news of Robert Enke's suicide seized nearly a whole nation ten years ago. His death shakes and disturbs the people. Only two days earlier he had stood in the 2-2 Hannover 96 against Hamburger SV goal.
The urgent question of why his suicide Teresa Enke answered no 24 hours after the tragedy. In a press conference, she talks about her husband's depression, his anguish, his fears of discovery, about failure. She speaks of his fear that her nine months old adoptive daughter Leila could be taken away because of his illness. "We thought so too, with love that works. But you can not always do it," she says in front of the cameras – and stirs the people.
«He was not an unhappy person»
At a devotion one day after Enke's death, over 3500 people take part in and in front of the Marktkirche in Hanover. Afterwards, 35,000 mourners march through Hanover. The then DFB President Theo Zwanziger gives a much noticed speech. His admonition is clear: «Soccer is not everything. »
Robert Enke becomes a hero. To this day, the image of the man who perishes in the merciless system of professional football remains tenacious. Against this myth, Teresa Enke sets a counter-proposal from the beginning. It was not football that "broke him down," she says, emphasizing today, "He was not an unhappy man. He had his illness, his depressive phases. And maybe he was not an extrovert human. But he was still a jolly fellow and someone with whom you could have a lot of fun. "
For her attitude Teresa Enke is then admired as today – a woman whose husband died tragically and three years earlier with the death of her two-year-old daughter Lara has suffered a first stroke of fate. "I was put on a pedestal, which I would not have promised myself," she says looking back. She was not that strong.
Sometime after the memorial service and the media storm comes for Teresa Enke the booming silence. "You were a family before – and suddenly you're alone. I went to the grave and there were two names on it, "she says. Before she moves to Cologne two years later, she takes a break with her daughter. In Cologne, she begins to feel slowly back to life.
Virtual reality experience should help with education
An important step for her personal mourning work in 2010 is the founding of the Robert Enke Foundation. The sponsors are the DFB, the German Football League and Hannover 96. She becomes the CEO and is still the face of the Foundation. She gives interviews, seeks to educate people about the long-standing illness. She wants to do abatement.
In the run-up to the tenth anniversary of her death, she and the foundation are increasingly drawing attention to the disease. Together with Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn Teresa Enke presents a project in which depression for the non-sufferer is at least suggestively felt: a virtual reality experience with VR glasses, headphones and lead vest.
The football has not changed
Teresa Enke believes that after the death of her husband, the public handling of the disease has generally changed. "It has become a big and now public issue." Football has not changed and will not change, she admits. «But: There are now networks. There are 70 sports psychiatrists throughout Germany. If an athlete is ill, then there are everywhere contact points. »
Valentin Markser, who treated psychotherapeutic Robert Enke and sat next to Teresa Enke at the press conference after his death, is more skeptical about the situation in professional sports in general. "The system is unfortunately still on the level of 2009," said the former handball goalkeeper the editorial network Germany a few weeks ago. "Overall, there is a big misunderstanding: Health is not the goal of competitive sports – you just expect them throughout the entire career." Nobody wanted a loser.
VfL Wolfsburg manager JOrg Schmadtke, head of sports at Hannover 96 ten years ago, sees no change in professional football in general. "Not with the media, not with people who are in public. The pressure is still great, »said the 55-year-old in an interview with« Welt am Sonntag ». "I have not noticed any big changes in the football business. But not in society itself. "
Bavaria boss Hoeness also does not believe that lessons were learned for the coexistence of the tragedy of Robert Enke: "I think that right now in our society, and not only for football, we are relatively irreverent in many areas deal with each other . "
Being "at peace"
For Teresa Enke, the death of her husband and that of her first daughter have become the themes of her life. On her right forearm she got the name Robbi, on the upper arm she tattooed the name Lara.
Yet she does not remain trapped in the past. She was "at peace" with herself. "I'm fine," she reveals. "I now think with gratitude and joy of Lara, Robbi and the time together." Of course there are moments when she is sad. "But if someone told me ten years ago that I could be happy again, then I would not have believed that."
Created: 10.11.2019, 14:18 clock