The Last 5 Years of Friedrich’s Life (1941 -1946)
In the summer of 1941 Friedrich Klopp’s eldest son, Friedrich (1905 – 1988), the father of the author Eberhard Klopp, paid the only visit to his family in Gardelegen. During World War 2 family members exchanged a few postcards, which have been preserved and indicate that to a minimal extent some important information, such as deaths, was being passed around in spite of the prevailing family feud.
At one point Friedrich mentioned in his correspondence Emma Klopp, but did not know about her death in 1941, a clear indication that forty years after the deplorable events in Wolmirstedt his sister Anna von Waldenfels (1885 – 1967) had maintained her distance to her brother Friedrich.
The tragic death of his 9-year grandson Hermann badly shook him up. In the summer after the war Hermann and several of his friends had carelessly played with an anti-aircraft shell, which they had found lying around from old German army stocks. The shell went off with devastating effects. Hermann and several of his playmates were killed. (Chapter XIII of the P. and G. Klopp Story will also deal with the danger of playing with WWII ammunition, which still posed a threat to life and limb in the forests, where battles were fought near the end of war).
Grandfather Friedrich died in Gardelegen on November 3, 1946. In the cold and wintry postwar period his eldest son Friedrich succeeded in making the perilous trip from Naumburg to the funeral in Gardelegen. On his way he had to run the gauntlet of all kinds of armed guards of the Soviet Occupied Zone and also of the Russian military police. They were aggressively searching for former soldiers and ‘other fascists’, black market dealers and smugglers, people crossing the border and those fit to be deported into labor camps. All these men and perhaps women too were the preferred targets in the overcrowded, filthy and unheated trains of those days, Under such conditions in the former Soviet Zone Friedrich undertook the journey of almost two days in a life threatening experience. A special permit of the Leuna Works in Merseburg rescued Friedrich Klopp out of quite a few unpleasant situations. Two brothers and two sisters saw each other for the last time at their father’s grave site.
Here ends the story of Peter and Emma’s eldest child and my uncle Friedrich Klopp.