The dull crash still haunts him

Ace enjoys eating silage from the feed table. A christmas tree stands next to the dairy cow. The radio plays news and music. Fresh air permeates nikolaus mohrlein’s dairy barn. Together with his sons david (13), samuel (8) and simeon (7), he keeps an eye on things. Things have returned to normal. After one year. At the beginning of 2011, the roof of the barn collapsed under the weight of the snow and fell onto the 60 dairy cows. Ace was one of them.

It took a long time for nikolaus mohrlein to look at the photos. It was only a few weeks ago, says his wife andrea. The dull crash that woke him from his sleep then still haunts him now. He will never forget that, or the sight of looking through the window and being confronted with a pile of drummers. Today, one year later, the 39-year-old enjoys looking at his stable. It has become better for the animals, brighter and more airy, he thinks. The decision to rebuild the barn was the right one, the couple believes. Even if you are now sitting on liabilities of 250,000 euros. A legal dispute is pending with the insurance company.

But now the couple’s thoughts are mainly focused on the party for the helpers. This is mohr-lein’s real concern. Fortunately, andrea mohrlein kept a diary of who helped and what was done every day after the roof collapsed, including the day of the disaster itself. She was able to draw on these notes when drawing up the list for the letters of thanks. The list includes over 80 people. Without the many helpers, the reconstruction would not have been possible, the mohrleins know. Only four weeks after the collapse, a new barn on the old foundation was ready so that the remaining cows could be brought home again. Until then, the dairy cows had been kept by georg hollfelder in litzendorf and the young cattle by other farmers nearby. Mohrleins are still moved by the help they received. Jorg schmitt was at the farm almost every day "he’s part of it now", andrea mohrlein says. And even archbishop ludwig schick visited the family shortly after the accident. "I’m sure he also prayed a lot, because without the lord it wouldn’t have happened like that", nikolaus mohrlein emphasizes. Wife andrea has been like a rock in the fire and the calming influence in everything, he adds. "It’s no use feeling sorry for yourself", says the pragmatist. And the most important thing is that no one was hurt in the collapse and that no one was hurt afterwards, she says. The dairy cows had all been taken out of the barn, but some had such serious injuries that they had to be sent to the slaughterhouse or could not be used again. So mohrlein had to replace half of his dairy cows, a good 30 of them, and buy a new one. After all, the farming family lives off the milk their cows "produce". The cattle breeders association has been very supportive in the replacement purchases, mohrlein emphasizes. The construction company had done its best and the banks had also been very cooperative. The only thing the mohrleins are more than disappointed about is their insurance. Although they have it in writing that there was a consultation error. They have received just 5600 euros. On good terms. Now they are suing.

From his negative experiences, nikolaus mohrlein strongly advises his professional colleagues to look through their policies to know what they have insured. Mohrleins have now done this for their part and have also insured all buildings against elementary damage. For example, damage caused by earthquakes, snow loads, floods and volcanic eruptions are included in the elementary damage cover…

"We are happy to have each other", underlines nikolaus mohrlein with a view to his family. He is now proud of his stock again. It took time for the animals that had survived everything to recover. He has an even closer relationship with them, he says.

Luckily, animal reproduction went well: "60 calvings and 63 calves" concretely david. He and his brothers like to be in the stable, each has his favorite cow, simeon luise, david tessa. And samuel’s favorite is ace. That is why he has made sure that the christmas tree is at her place. This was important to him after the accident, explains andrea mohrlein. Ace eats with relish.

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