With assistance from his Freikorps organization, Ernst Klopp continued his training in agriculture. In 1923 we find him working in the Magdeburg area. From 1927 onward, he worked as administrator at Neuhof (former Pomerania) in the Schlochau County, at the estate of his sister Anna and brother-in-law Ludwig von Waldenfels.
In the fall of 1927 after the sale of the Neuhof property, Ernst found temporary employment at an estate in Quastenberg near Burg Stargard. [photo wiki]. In 1928, he moved into the family hotel of his sister Jula and and her husband Friedrich Steuer in Diensdorf at Lake Scharmützel.
In the same year on June 5, he married Erika Klara Else Kegler, who lived in Stolpmünde, Pomerania, 20 Willan Street. Erika Kegler (my mother) was born on March 24, 1899 in Grünewald, Neustettin County (Pomerania). She was the daughter of the Protestant pastor Carl Kegler (September 22, 1860 – June 15, 1919) and his wife Elisabeth Kegler ( August 13, 1868 ß September 14, 1948). Her forefathers had lived in villages around Obornik north of Posen (now Polish Poznan).
On March 6, 1929, Ernst and Erika,s eldest son wad born in Stolpmünde (now Polish Ustka) at the Baltic Sea. In the same year through his wife’s family connections, Ernst was able to link up with the Protestant Inner Mission and its institutions in Belgard, Pomerania (now Polish Bialogard). The complex together with a large-sized farming area stretched in northwestern direction on either side of the Köslin Stree on the road to Kolberg.
On a recent walk down to the Arrow Lake and our local Heart Creek we encountered so many wild roses that I decided to devote an entire post to the Alberta rose, which is also native to much of the BC landscape. As an emblem, it represents our neighbouring province to the east. It is extremely hardy as far as roses go. It can easily take -40 degrees weather and raging blizzards, which are quite frequent in that corner of the world. It must feel like being in heaven here in our relatively mild Pacific climate. So here are five pictures of our recent evening walk. Enjoy.
It is not certain in which year Ernst Klopp arrived in Berlin. He probably participated in the counter-revolutionary activities of the Freikorps deployments in the capital city. In January of 1919 street battles took place, as well as general strikes of all sorts, and at the beginning of March, a major attack of the Freikorps against the Berlin proletariate shook the nation. The Reich defence minister Notke issued the martial-law order, “Each person caught with weapons is to be shot immediately!” Ernst’s sister was indeed exercising a good portion of wisdom to tell her younger brother to throw away his gun.
BBC BiteSize provides the following historical background information: During 5 – 12 January 1919, 50,000 members of the post-World War One Communist Party, known as the Spartacists, rebelled in Berlin, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. The government was saved when it armed bands of ex-soldiers, known as the Freikorps, who defeated the Spartacist rebels. In the aftermath, communist workers’ councils seized power all over Germany, and a Communist People’s Government took power in Bavaria. By May 1919 the Freikorps had crushed all of these uprisings.
At the mass demonstration against the treaty of Versailles in 1920, army and FreiKorps soldiers caused a bloodbath. In March of the same year, the FreiKorps supported the Kapp-Coup. One year later, the last armed Freikorps attacks took place during the communist general strikes in Central Germany. The extent of Ernst Klopp’s involvement in all of these events remains shrouded in darkness.
It is likely that a few years later Ernst Klopp received assistance from his old Freikorps connections, which through work communities (Arbeitsgemeinschaften) and work camps (Arbeitslager) provided shelter and employment to the old comrades up to the years 1924/1925 and in some cases even later on Pomeranian and Mecklenburg estates.
Last Tuesday I drove to Nakusp to do our weekly grocery shopping. It was a wonderful late spring day wildflowers blooming everywhere. I had to stop at a creek which was cascading down the mountain into the Arrow Lake. At a boat launch near Burton I captured a beautiful lakeside scene. You may remember a similar shot I took last year. At the Burton bridge, I spotted a lone duck happily cruising through the reeds. There I also captured the lake view with its dramatic cloud formation and the daisies creating a pleasant foreground. And then there were the lupines that adorn the highway on each side this time of the year from Fauquier all the way to Nakusp. Enjoy.
Widow Emma moved to West Prussia to take up farming in 1903/04. Thus, Ernst spent his childhood and adolescent years with his remaining five siblings in Elsenau (Briesen County). There and in the neighbouring town of Schönsee, he attended the elementary school from 1906 to 1914. An agricultural apprenticeship followed during World War I. At the beginning of 1918, Ernst was called up for military service to receive basic military service at Kassel. Fortunately, he was not sent to the front. The war to end all war was over.
Ernst, now 19 years old, joined the Free Korps (Freikorps), which was fighting in the Baltic region against Bolshevik intruders. Probably the news reports in January 1919 about violence perpetrated by Polish insurgents prompted him to make himself available to this paramilitary organization. His main objective, however, was to acquire a settler’s parcel of land in Latvia and to make a living by farming it. This plan never materialized since Germany had lost political control over the entire development in the eastern section of the Reich.
To understand Ernst’s involvement within the historical context of the Germany’s military operations in the Baltic states, I provide a quote from Wikipedia: “The Freikorps had saved Latvia from capture by the Red Army in the spring of 1919. However, the Freikorps’ goal of creating a German dominated state in Courland and Livonia failed. Many of the German Freikorps members who served in the Baltic left Latvia with the belief that they had been “stabbed in the back” by the Weimar Republic, under President Friedrich Ebert. Hundreds of Baltic Freikorps soldiers had planned to settle in Latvia, and for those who had fought there, the land made a lasting impression, and many of them longed for the day that they could return there. The Baltic Freikorps characterized their struggle against the Reds as the “Drang nach Osten”, (the drive towards the East), and some Freikorps units returned to Germany and planned for the day of their return.”
In the early 1920s Ernst Klopp returned to the Berlin area. The only certain information we have from this time is that his sister Jula Steuer strongly advised him to throw away his gun. Carrying a weapon in those turbulent times would have put him into immediate danger.
On Father’s Day my wife and I initiated the beginning of summer with a canoe ride across the Arrow Lake. The weather was perfect and the wind was calm, ideal to cross the lake for the first time in 2020. To make sure we would use the least amount of time, we followed the path of the cable ferry, which was busy with Father’s Day traffic on its half-hour journey back and forth from Fauquier to Needles. To our surprise, the water was warm enough to get in a quick swim. Alas, we had left our swim wear at home. Enjoy the scenery.