Ferdinand’s Wheeling and Dealing
Klopp Family Tree
Chart I – II
On the basis of daughter Victoria Luise’s birth in 1910 at Kriewen (today Polish Krzwin about 15 km southeast of Koscian) one can safely assume that after two years Ferdinand managed to lease another dairy or mill. Never resting he finally succeeded in squeezing his eldest brother and family out of the house in Wolmirstedt. However, he did not use the property for himself, but rented it out, until he eventually sold it to the neighboring print shop Adolf Grenzau between 1912 and 1914. In 1914 the Ferdinand Klopp family dwelled in Elsterwerda, Brandenburg, where his fifth daughter Else Meta was born. It was rumored that Ferdinand bought agricultural property in that region.
At the beginning of WWI in 1914 Ferdinand was drafted into the army. With the rank of a sergeant he earned the Iron Cross. On a photograph of October 10, 1915 he is described as a pilot of the Third Company, Aviation Department 6 in Großenhain. Whether he was actually promoted to the rank of an officer could not be determined by the author of the Klopp family chronicles, Eberhard Klopp.
At the end of WWI Ferdinand was in possession of considerable amounts of money due to any of the following circumstances. Mother Emma was known for her financial generosity, the army may have provided funds as part of the decommissioning process, Ferdinand may have received compensation for his lost properties in West Prussia, which now had become part of Poland, last but not least the sale of his Wolmirstedt house may have added a significant amount to his bank account. A decisive factor in his systematic and hard-nosed isolation of his eldest brother Friedrich can be traced back to his insane penchant for revenge by the impulsive and irascible Ferdinand.
In Elbeu, where he – so it is said – acquired ‘estates’ in 1919, the sixth and last daughter, Rosel, was born on November 16, 1919. As a matter of fact, Ferdinand and his younger brother Wilhelm (1886-1937) got together on a joint business venture. Wilhelm, who likewise returned for his lost properties in the eastern provinces to Wolmirstedt and had bought a new house in Elbeu, arranged for the purchase of the inn ‘Brauner Hirsch’ (Brown Elk). The author of the Klopp Chronicles, which I am translating at least to a large part in this blog, stated that on his visit of the region in 1990 he viewed a derelict guesthouse run by the GDR trade organization (HO) on the road to Magdeburg. In 1932 the pub had become the scene of a ‘brotherly’ altercation, which resulted in a murder charge and will be the topic of next Thursday’s post.