The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Günther Kegler, Chief of the Kegler-Clan (Part V)

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Elfriede Kegler née Grempler

Chart II a – II

Once Günther and his second wife were comfortably settled in their Seniors’ apartment in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, they were truly riding into the sunset on a joyful note. But before I get into their adventures and travels of their golden years, we need to have a brief look of Elfriede’s family background.

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe 1976

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe 1976

Elfriede Kegler (née Grempler, widowed Diesselhorst) graduated from the all girls Sangerhausen High School in 1919 and received her training in her father’s pharmacy. Then in 1921 she worked for six months as a druggist’s helper in Halberstadt. After father’s sudden death she sought and found employment as payroll bookkeeper at the stoneware plant in Wallhausen. For a complete understanding of the difficulties she experienced my uncle described the following scenario that most Germans faced after Word War I: End of the Imperial Reich, merciless Treaty of Versailles, revolts, bloody unrest, political murders, hunger and misery, unemployment by millions of people, total devaluation of the money, which occurred from 1919 to 1923, first at a crawling pace, then crashing down like an avalanche, change of paper money from thousands to billions of Reichsmark bills, money earned today was worthless in only a few days, the black market flourished with all its evil social repercussions, a dance on the volcano!

A 200,000,000,000 Reichsmark bill worth next to Nothing

A 200,000,000,000 Reichsmark bill worth next to nothing

Now we get the picture of Elfriede’s task as bookkeeper in the stoneware plant of around 250 employees. If she had access to a modern-day computer, it would have certainly crashed under the load of zillions of zeros that needed to be crunched every single day. It was a severe strain on her brain, which caused her to have nightmares.

In 1927 she married the pharmacist Otto Diesselhorst of Hanover. Within in a few years the two managed to pay off the debt of the pharmacy. It was during this time that a life-long friendship developed between the Kegler and the Diesselhorst couples.

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe in 1984

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe in 1984

To be concluded in a post next week …

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