The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Chapter XIV of the P. and G. Klopp Story – Part 5

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School Visit of the Berlin Wall (1961)

Our High School in Wesel built in 1912 - Now Court House Building

Our Former High School in Wesel built in 1912 – Now Court House Building

It is not surprising that the Wesel High School amongst many other schools in North Rhine-Westphalia organized, one year before our graduation, a field trip to the capital of Germany to provide the students with first-hand experience of the wall that was going to separate Germans from Germans for almost 30 years. The day after our class had participated in a guided tour of a small section of the wall, the teacher in charge of our group granted me permission to go see my relatives in East Berlin. Mr. Zorn with the Latin nickname Ira was personally responsible for our safety. I often wondered how he could have allowed me to cross the border on my own with all the horror stories circulating in the daily newspapers about harassments, arrests, even disappearances of people from West Germany. At the checkpoint I had to list all my personal belongings. I had nothing to declare except my cheap DM 20.00 camera.

Boat Ride in Berlin

Boat Ride in Berlin – Peter on the Second Last Bench on the Far Left

Again I enjoyed a most pleasant visit with Aunt Alma and her family. I cannot recall having announced my coming, but I must have sent them a card, because the whole family had assembled in the living room, when I arrived at their door. Uncle Artur with his biting sarcasm softened only by a disarming sense of humor was again, as on my previous visit, at his best poking fun at the political system in general, but especially at the wall very much to the chagrin of his party-loyal sons-in-law. He asked whether I knew why there were so many round holes in the wall. When I shook my head, he answered the question for me, “To let off the cabbage steam.” Now this riddle makes only sense in English if one knows that cabbage steam (Kohldampf) was a euphemism for ravenous hunger.

Peter Klopp at Age 19

Peter Klopp at Age 19

Now the sons-in-law had their turn to inform me from their perspective the raison d’être for the wall. It was built, so they insisted, to protect the citizens of the GDR from the attacks of the Western imperialists. Surely I must have seen the tank traps and the barbed wire in front of the wall facing west. They would serve as the first line of defense. If they were intended to keep people from leaving their socialist country, they would have been set up behind the wall. I remained unimpressed. Their fervor for the system showed me that they had pulled blindfolds over their eyes. They believed what they wanted to believe on the principle that you do not slap the hand that feeds you. With Uncle Artur`s help the family finally steered away from the political hogwash and focused on their guest.

Berlin Wall - Photo Credit: hstrclgrl.blogspot.ca

Berlin Wall – Photo Credit: hstrclgrl.blogspot.ca

When I told them about my trips to Spain and Yugoslavia I indirectly conveyed to them the kind of freedom I enjoyed on the other side of the Wall. Also I enthusiastically talked about my career plans, namely to study high frequency technology. Uncle Artur, a leading scientist in a related field, a son-in-law already involved with electronics in the NVA (National People’s Army), Anje, the second youngest daughter also planning to become an electronics engineer, we all warmed up to this refreshingly apolitical topic with Aunt Alma cheerfully chiming in, “Wouldn’t it be nice, if Peter and Anje could study together in the exciting world of electronics!” With this comment Aunt Alma more concerned about good family relations than about politics made a profound statement about the tragedy of a divided Germany.

Evironmental Concern/Jal Mahal & Mansagar Lake

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In one form or another we have seen the same problem on every continent. Let’s spread the word. Be responsible!

Jaipur Thru My Lens !!

Following pictures were clicked atManagar lake where world famous  Jal Mahal is located.

(Apologies for slightly low quality pictures)

jal mahal jaipur

jal-mahal-jaipur-birding

jal mahal conservation Feeding fishes, Mansagar Lake, Jaipur

Everyday hundreds of people visit Mansagar lake around Jal Mahal to feed resident fishes. Its a common sight to find people throwing biscuits, flour and bread into the lake water, right from the early morning till late evening. People doing so, hardly understand the effect of their action.

jal-mahal-cleanup Family throwing bread pieces into the Mansagar Lake

mansagar-conservation working for earning some good karmas!!!

lake conservation at jal mahal Mansagar Lake. facilitating polluters?

jal-mahal-conservation initiative Mansagar Lake. polluters threatening ecology!!

Someone might argue that feeding another living organism is a good act? Its a good karma, after all???

From religious or humane point of view, it might be acceptable or desirable act. But from environmental aspect its a disaster in the making!

Apart from feeding fishes, empty bread and biscuit wrappers can be found…

View original post 38 more words

Juliane Klopp (1877 – 1960) Part 1

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The Viennese ‘Artist’ and Hotel Owner at Scharmützel Lake (Chart I – II)

Scharmützel Lake Southeast of Berlin - Photo Credit:mittelalterkleidung.science

Scharmützel See Southeast of Berlin – Credit:mittelalterkleidung.science

Condensed and translated from the Klopp Family History (Ein Brief an die Nachfahren der Familie Klopp) with kind permission by the author Eberhard Klopp

To see the Klopp Family Tree click here.

On June 15 I concluded the story of Friedrich Klopp, the eldest child of my grandparents Peter and Emma Klopp. Now it is time to turn our attention to my aunt Jula (Juliane). She was born on February 2, 1877 in Elbeu. Her father P.F.W. Klopp at the time was still a miller’s apprentice in the neighboring town of Jersfelde. As a young girl she went for her education to Vienna and spent her teenage years in the home of her aunt Luise Necker née Bauer. Due to her long stay the good-looking Klopp daughter was known as Miss Necker.She maintained close ties with the arts and theater circles centered around the “Carl Theater” in Vienna.

The Carl Theatre where Artists and Performers met around 1900 - Photo Credit: aeiou.at

The Carl Theatre around 1900 – Photo Credit: aeiou.at

Around the turn of the century Jula Klopp became acquainted with Friedrich Steuer, son of a the mining magnate. The Steuers like Jula’s foster parent Max Necker had made a fortune by owning and profitably operating a coal mine in the Harz Mountains near Blankenburg.

The Town of Blankenburg near the Harz Mountains - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Town of Blankenburg (Harz Mountains) – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

A chance encounter during vacation time at that tourist center developed into a serious relationship. At the wedding of the 23 year old Jula with Fritz Steuer, called the Moose, there was talk about a dowry in the amount of 80,000 gold marks. The wedding took place at the upper class hotel “White Elk” in Dresden. Friedrich and Jula Steuer lived during the first years of their marriage in Berlin-Karlshorst.

Berlin-Karlshorst (Old Postcard) - Photo Credit: akpool.de

Berlin-Karlshorst (Old Postcard) – Photo Credit: akpool.de

Continues next week …

To read about my visit to Aunt Jula in 1959 on a previous post, click here.

What to do with a Bumper Crop of Apples …

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… with Limited Storage Room?

This year we had a very large apple crop. The Gravenstein trees were especially fruitful and produced so many baskets full of apples, we now find it hard to store them all. Besides they are not keepers. Three months after the harvest they become all mushy and pulpy. So we decided to dry them and turn them into delicious apple rings, which have a flavor ten times more intense and keep for a very long time without refrigeration.

Boxes and baskets full of Gravenstein apples are waiting to be dried.

Boxes and baskets full of gravenstein apples are waiting to be dried.

To process the apples you need only two things: an old-fashioned apple peeler and a good quality dehydrator. The former is truly a technical marvel going back at least a hundred years and in conjunction with its built-in slicer needs no further improvement.In less than 10 seconds you can peel and slice an apple. The dehydrator (we are using is The American Harvest model) comes with four trays. To fill them all up you need about a dozen mid-sized apples. After 7 to 8 hours of drying in the dehydrator the apple rings have shrunk, so all fit into a small freezer bag. During this time a tantalizing aroma is permeates our entire home. In the end the apples rings turn out to be a gourmet’s delight, full of vitamins and nutritional value. And they are also greatly reduced in weight and size. The photo story below shows how easy it is to do it .

Collect twelve to fifteen mid-sized apples.

Collect twelve to fifteen mid-sized apples.

This machine can peel and slice the apples in less than 10 seconds.

This ingenious machine can peal and slice the apples in less than 10 seconds.

The apple sits firmly attached to the prongs. Now turn the crank.

The apple sits firmly attached to the prongs.

With just a few turns we are half way through the apple.

With just a few turns we are half way through the apple.

Now take the sliced and pealed apple off the prongs and …

Now take the sliced and pealed apple off the prongs and ...

… gently place the apple rings on the tray. All four trays are now filled.

... gently place the apple rings on the tray. All the four trays are now filled.

..

Then put the lid on the trays and set the correct temperature and duration.

Then the heating lid goes on top and with the correct temperature and duration set let the dehydration begin.

Twelve apples or more fit into a small freezer bag. It is easy. Even children can do it.

A dozen apples or more fit into a small freezer bag.

Chapter XIV of the P. and G. Klopp Story – Part 4

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On a Two-Seater Scooter to Yugoslavia (1961)

 

Peter Saying Good Bye to Mother

Peter Saying Good Bye to Mother

One of my favorite tunes that I often played and still play on my harmonica was the popular scout song about the Adriatic Sea. So that was where Klaus and I were heading in the summer of 1961. Klaus had just passed his driver’s license test and had acquired a used scooter that was going to carry us via Austria and Northern Italy into Yugoslavia, which later on after the death of communist leader General Tito broke apart into half a dozen small countries due to strife and ethnic tension. Yugoslavia was just opening up its borders to attract tourists to their beautiful rugged coastline.

Klaus and Peter on the Way to former Yugoslavia

Klaus and Peter on the Way to former Yugoslavia

I remember very little about our journey to the southeastern part of Europe, partly because we kept no journal, but also because sitting on the back seat of a scooter does not offer as much opportunity for human contact as you would have traveling by car or train.

Klaus Taking a Break from Hours of Driving

Klaus Taking a Break from Hours of Driving

After a smooth ride on the newly built super-strada from Trieste to the border of this immense Balkan country, we were quite a bit disappointed by the shabby look of towns and villages we were passing through. Dilapidated houses in various stages of neglect and decay, communist slogans crudely written on house walls, the red star painted on any bare surface, dusty streets gave us the impressions as if we had traveled back in time. I cannot remember how far we traveled south along the Adriatic coast.

Adriatic Sea in Croatia

Adriatic Sea in Croatia

Our aim was to find a secluded beach at the rugged coastline away from this eerie state-dominated world. When we had finally found such a place, which would be overcrowded by sun seekers from Northern Europe today, we pitched our tent not more than 10 m from the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. We stayed there, until our food ran out, perhaps 2 or 3 days.

Peter Leaning against a tree on a Dusty Road

Peter Leaning against a tree on a Dusty Road

One event will stand out forever in my mind. On our way home we were held up for several days in a small Austrian town, where the old scooter had broken down with engine problems and needed a major repair job. It was the morning of August 13th. On our walk from the campground to the repair shop, we noticed that the usually tranquil, almost sleepy ambience had drastically changed overnight. An ominous gloom hung over this little Alpine resort. In front of shops, restaurants and cafés, on the market square, everywhere groups of people huddled together, some talking in subdued tones, others shouting angrily. Nobody paid any attention to us. It was eerie. Seeing so many people out on the street and not knowing what they were discussing instilled in us the uncanny feeling of imminent doom. Here and there we snatched up phrases from some of the more vociferous voices: There will be war. World War III. We are not going to fight another war. Austria is neutral. She will not be sucked into another conflict. What on earth had happened, we wondered, that made the people in this remote mountain town so excited?

The Building of the Berlin Wall August 13, 1961

The Building of the Berlin Wall August 13, 1961

As we found out later, troops in East Germany, in flagrant violation of East-West agreements, had sealed the border between East and West Berlin, shutting off the last remaining escape route. The soldiers had put up barbed wire fences during the night, and Berliners woke to find they were living in a divided city. The fences were just the first step in a sequence of desperate measures to stem the flow of thousands of refugees. Train services between the two sectors had been cut off, and road traffic across the border came to a sudden halt. In the weeks that followed, work crews replaced the temporary fence by building the infamous Berlin Wall. If Klaus and I had heard the news over the radio or read the headlines in the papers, the impact of this momentous event in modern history would not have been as powerful on us as our witnessing of the passionate reaction of common people to such blatant attack on human liberty.

Poison in Your Pots and Pans

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