The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Monthly Archives: March 2016

Anna Rosa Klopp (1881 – 1924) – Part II

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Futile Rescue Mission for Brother Friedrich

Klopp Family Tree – Chart I – II

Already in the middle of 1919 the Diesing family resettled in Gommern near Magdeburg. Mother Emma, having to abandon her place in West Prussia, which now belonged to Poland, found temporary shelter with the Diesing family. From here according to a postcard written from the inn “Gasthof zum Stern” Emma made contact with her son Ferdinand in Elbeu.

City Hall of Gommern - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

City Hall of Gommern – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

In 1921 Rosa made a last-ditch attempt to seek reconciliation between the family members most of them leaning towards the Emma Klopp faction and the few others of Emma’s eldest son Friedrich (see the Klopp Grandparents VIII for more details on the bitter family feud that lasted half a century). Friedrich had been written off and treated as an outcast by the rest of the family.

Magdeburg - Monastery of Our Lady - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Magdeburg – Monastery of Our Lady – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

So August Diesing, acting on Rosa’s urgent plea, got together with his brother-in-law Friedrich Klopp. He acquired by auction an abandoned school building with the intention to open up a construction business. The plan seemed to be a promising one, since August with the expertise in masonry and carpentry was well qualified for the envisioned new venture. Friedrich, however, in view of his impoverished financial situation, could at best offer merely his good will and hands for this new type of business.

In a time, when August faced the fate of many others in Germany and struggled with financial problems and increasing unemployment, he gave up his noble plan to help out his wife’s eldest brother with employment and a modest income. Instead, he turned to the other financially more robust members of the Klopp family to support his business. This treachery according to an oracle pronounced by Friedrich’s mother-in-law in Zielitz could not be left unpunished. “Whoever gets involved with the Klopps should know exactly, what he is letting himself into.” How this oracle is being fulfilled will be the subject of the next post on Anna Rosa Klopp.

As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

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A Story by Hartmut Kegler

Kegler Family Tree (Chart II a – III)
(Translated by Peter Klopp)

To the ethics of reverence for life all leniency and all forgiveness is a deed that has been forced upon oneself through truthfulness. I must practice unlimited forgiveness, because through my unforgiving I would be untruthful towards myself by acting as if I was not guilty in the very same way as the other person has become guilty towards myself. I do not forgive at all, I do not even let it come to judgment. –  Albert Schweitzer

Senior secondary teacher Kern entered the classroom of his senior secondary grade. He had been in charge of the class from the lowest Junior High grades onward. He was so familiar with each of the twenty-one faces as if they had been his very own children. However, he no longer had his own, because one already counted the third year of war, and his two sons lay buried under foreign soil. The war was also the reason why Mr. Kern had not yet been in retirement long time ago, although he was already over seventy years old. The young teachers were at the front or did not live any more. Since Kern was a man, who did not permit the propaganda to form his convictions. There would have been often enough cause to send him off into retirement. Mildly put! But the young teachers were at the front or did not live any more.

Ludwig Kern entered the classroom, made a slight bow and greeted his students with a friendly “Good morning”. This would have been also a reason to send him off into retirement, but young teachers were lacking, you see. His students had jumped up, stood in attention, and returned the greeting by raising their right arm and by shouting “Heil Hitler”. They did not know it any other way, and they did not want it any other way. Senior teacher Kern knew it and ignored it. He loved his class dearly, for the boys were industrious and gifted. Some of them especially so. Therefore, the instruction brought him joy, even though it was less than an instruction than a conversation, at times almost a scholarly discussion.

Yes, ‘Papa’ Kern, as his students secretly called him, had to make use of all his control registers, not of the volume control, but of his intellect to answer tricky questions or settle differences of opinion. His secondary high school students knew how to use their heads; they had not lost their ability to think. ‘Strange’, Kern sometimes thought, ‘they are able to think, to logically and sharply think things over. In the morning, in the school, in Math and Latin … and in the afternoon they march in step in uniform and sing, ‘Führer, give orders, we follow you’ or also ‘Bombs on England’. As if they had left behind their minds at school. Sometimes Kern was annoyed about it. But only sometimes; for he had already become accustomed to this inner conflict, which had overcome so many people all around. ‘Their eyes will be opened one day’, he thought full of bitterness and distanced himself with his inner being from what was called the ‘German people’. Indeed there were only a few who were opposed. At any rate before the collapse.

The students had taken their seats and opened their biology books. The commotion that had arisen subsided when senior teacher Kern had stepped from his lectern and walked between the rows of benches. He felt discomfort about this hour every year, for it touched on awkward subject matters. Until now things had gone rather smoothly, because in previous classes fewer questions had been raised. But these boys? The others have rarely shown themselves as bright and open-minded like these. He was really a little bit afraid.

“This week in connection with the theory of evolution,” Kern started, “we will be discussing natural selective breeding. We had already clarified that this natural process caused by the struggle for survival represents a selection, by which those species survive that have adapted best to the environment, while others were unable to compete. Also additional changes in the environment are followed by subsequent adaptations, which through mutation are bringing about new traits or make them disappear as well, when the organisms no longer need them. This continuous adaptation is also the key toward the understanding of the evolution from lower to higher life forms, from the primitive to the more complex ones.”

One more time Kern presented examples for the development or decline of organs and organisms and explained the concepts of homology and analogy by making use of these examples. Then he turned to the topic of today’s lesson that covered artificial selective breeding and racial development. “Man applies the laws of natural selective breeding to domestic animals and cultivated plants by crossing those with special traits and reproduces their offspring, if they possess the desired characteristics. We call this process selection by artificial breeding. In the final analysis we owe to it the existence of productive species in the animal kingdom and in the realm of cultivated plants. Without them mankind would be starving to death.”

“How then does one picture the racial development of man?” asked Jochen Borsdorf.

Ludwig Kern sensed that this question would set the ball rolling. After all there were the ‘racial laws’ that stated the opposite of what he wanted to pass on to his class.

“Of course, by natural selective breeding”, he responded to his student. “Today’s human races are the populations that have best adapted to their particular environmental conditions. In addition, special features have also developed that have no direct connection to the environment. Along with the progress in civilization, natural selective breeding began to decline. Humans accustomed to warmth and loving it can also live today in cooler regions, because their dwellings can be heated.”

“Yes, but that relates only to the biology of man”, Jochen objected, “otherwise all human beings would be equal.”

Kern knew what Jochen was driving at and answered him. “Nature and environment decide over the biological value of a human race, in which it is living. In each region the particular indigenous race is the best in the biological sense, because it has adapted best. There is no intellectual or moral evaluation. In that sense all races are equivalent. At the equator black people have the advantage, while white people are greatly endangered by the intense solar radiation. No black person needs a sun helmet, while white people must wear one. In the north a black person cannot live there for any extended period of time, because he lacks the UV radiation, etc. Other standards of value regarding human races are impermissible. Actually, when it comes to living organisms, one must not use any value judgments at all. Whether earth worm or German shepherd, whether oak tree or field pansies, all have their value and importance, where it is living. And all have a will to live and a right to live. Man just has not correctly recognized that yet.”

The humanistic educated senior teacher, an ‘old Latin scholar’ as he was called, had occupied himself with the ‘jungle doctor’, who some time ago had been invited with the ‘German salute’ by the propaganda minister of the Reich to come to Germany, and he in turn had rejected the invitation with the ‘Central African salute’. His wife had to flee from Germany, because she was Jewish.

Kern avoided the word ‘inhuman’, for he had learned to say things without calling them by name. Besides, this word had lost its meaning long time ago. ‘Humanity’ sounded almost decadent if not even worse. Heroism was in demand; death was more honorable than life.

“Well, that may be true about domestic animals!” Herman Koch supported his friend Jochen. “My father also believes that cattle from higher elevations are not worth anything down here and in the mountains cattle from the valleys are useless.”

“Correct”, interrupted him the teacher, who wanted to lead the dispute back again to the safer realm of biology.

But Herman did not allow him to get away from the subject, “Yes, but man is not a domestic animal, he has after all intelligence and character!” ‘If it was only so’, thought Kern silently. Yet, his student continued, “For one is stupid and another is smart, one is a bastard and another a hero.”

“That has nothing to do with race”, Kern retorted a little annoyed, “the stupid and the smart, the bastards and the heroes can be found in every human race, just as there are more or less productive individuals in every animal species.” Again he wanted to get off that slippery topic and switch to the neutral subject of biology.

But Herman did not give up. He did not continue out of malice, for he had nothing against his teacher. He even respected him very much. He overlooked this bourgeois ‘Good morning’ instead of the German ‘Heil Hitler’ and excused it on account of his advanced age. Seventy years! My God, no teacher gets that old. Well, you know what I mean! Herman just wanted to get an explanation from his teacher that indeed there are valuable and less valuable and even inferior races. Until now nobody has given him any satisfactory explanation. There had been constant talk though that the Russians are subhuman, the black people are no human beings at all and the Jews are pests. That is what the propaganda minister had said himself, he who had a doctor’s title. There must be something to it!

Thus Herman continued asking, “But is not so that a particular race has more heroes and another more bastards and cowards! Aren’t the Germans considered industrious and the black people lazy, the Slavs treacherous and the Jews you know what?”

“Could you name for me one statistician who has just once gone through the trouble of enumerating all the bastards and all the heroes in the various races, all the lazy-bones and all the hard workers and of proving by statistical means that one is a race of bastards, the other a race of heroes, one a race of hard workers, the other a race of lazy-bones. And vice versa!”

“But when one compares the Jews with the Aryans”, retorted Jochen, “one does not have to count to know which race is worthier!”

In front of Kern’s inner eyes appeared countless names, names of Jewish doctors, scientists, writers, artists, business people, whom in part he had personally known or whose works he had read and who had suddenly disappeared. Where to? Emigrated? Killed? He suspected horrible things. ‘What was Germany without the Jews’, he wanted to reply to the stubborn student. But he held back. The slippery ice was already too thin. He was already seventy years old, but still wanted to survive.

Because he could not to say everything that he wanted to say, indignation grew within, and turned almost to anger. It was like having a lump in his throat, when he almost pleadingly admonished Jochen and Herman, “No man has the right to raise himself above any other human being for whatever reason. We were all given the same rights! For everyone wants to live, and we must simply respect this will for life. And where there is a bastard, we have to help him and lead him onto the right path and not to push him away from us or even kill him.”

Kern was breathing deeply. His heart was pounding all the way to his neck. Depressing silence reigned in the classroom. The students were staring at their teacher in amazement. Only a few suspected why he only said ‘Good morning’, when he entered the classroom.

This suspicion let them forget the respect that they normally displayed towards their old home room teacher. Were not all the Jews responsible for Germany’s downfall? Did they still have a right to …? Here some did not dare to think any further, but many did it anyway. Even with a ‘good ‘ conscience! For it had lost its standard, perhaps it had never known the real standard. Reverence for life was foreign to them. They did not even have it for their own life; otherwise they would have thought about ‘death in action on the fields of honor’ still waiting for them after graduation.

The lesson carried on with the discussion of Mendel’s laws about the heredity of traits. Now one was dealing with peas again and that was less incriminating indeed.

The recess bell was ringing. Senior teacher Kern left the classroom with a moist forehead and a feeling that was more uncomfortable than when he entered the classroom. But it was not fear. It was more like an aching uncertainty, for he sensed that the lesson was not yet finished.

Meanwhile the impressions of this lesson were seething among the students. This did not happen, because they did not want to understand their teacher. They just wanted to be right in their ‘good conscience’. Good was their conscience when it was in agreement with their Führer. It was not the result of their independent moral thinking. After all, they were singing every Wednesday during service, “… we follow you!”

“Just another Abraham Silberfuss”, one of them growled. His name was Adolf and was called Bully, because he was so huge and pompous.

“Shut up!” protested others, not because they were pro-Jewish, but they sided with their teacher in spite of everything.

“Then the Führer has perhaps thrown them out without cause, those hook-nosed?” yelled Bully. Now nobody was saying anything any more, perhaps because they now noticed that secondary teacher Bernhard was standing in the classroom and had listened to the dispute.

When the latter saw all the eyes focused on him, he only shouted, “Out!” The students had to leave the classroom during recess. Bernhard, whom they contemptuously called Egg Man because of his wobbling gait during history instruction, was on supervision duty.

“What was that ‘Silberfuss’ talk all about”, Bernard asked the Bully, who had made that angry remark about Abraham. The rascal was still too excited to recognize what would come out of his answer that he had to give his teacher now. Further, one was trained to be honest. A German boy does not lie, so they said. Surely, he was also way too young and above all too fanatical to recognize how much depended on his answer. Fanatics are like blind animals. So he reported the incident to his teacher, whom he did not actually like very much.

“Kern asserted that the Jews had the same rights as we and that we should even help them!” It escaped him and his teacher that he had simply said ‘Kern’. That’s how absent-minded both were, and yet they both showed presence of mind.

“That is Bolshevism!” Secondary teacher Bernhard let it slip out and left the student to himself.

Bolshevism? Had the Bolsheviks themselves not persecuted the Jews?

The student sensed something evil, when he, sobered up, saw secondary teacher Bernhard dash off. This somber mood, however, did not last very long, because his conscience was all right after all. His good conscience with the standard set by his Führer, which consisted of a substance of semi-solid consistency, like rubber or chewing gum.

After he had entered the teachers’ lounge, Bernhard did not say anything for the time being, because there were not yet enough listeners present. When the staff had completely gathered and above all the ‘direx’, as the principal of the secondary school was called, Bernhard addressed Kern in a tone, as if he wanted to have a casual chat with him, but so loud that everyone could and should hear, “Comrade Kern, you don’t seem to fully comprehend the deeds of our Führer!”

Kern was composed and calmly replied, “At any rate I still feel open-minded enough to let you lecture me.”

With that Bernhard resumed his turn to talk. Because some gentlemen sensing something sinister had turned away seemingly uninvolved. He spoke even more loudly than before, “Whoever grants the Jews the same right as to an upright German, is not only in opposition to the measures of the Reich’s government and of our Führer, but also corrupts the German national character. You seem to keep this horde closer to your heart than your own national comrades, don’t you.”

“They are both equally close to my heart. I said nothing else, Mr. Bernhard!” senior secondary teacher Kern replied very calmly.

This calmness got Bernhard even more wound-up, “Your soft attitude is totally inappropriate in a time, in which the Greater German Reich is in a life and death struggle. Yes, it is even treason!”

Phantom-like silence gripped the staff room. Kern only thought, ‘We are already closer to our non-existence than existence.’ But he did not say another word.

Meanwhile Bernhard went to his seat at the large table and only murmured, “But that is not my business.” He would hand this matter over to the authorities, took his books and left the room, for the bell for the next class had rung.

This had been the last period of instruction for Ludwig Kern, for the time being anyway.

***

Sweltering heat lay over the little town that had become even smaller, before the last siren had finished wailing and the last artillery shell had struck. The horrible war had come to an end two years ago and had left behind nothing but rubble and ruins. Some rubble made of stone and some ruins of the mind.

Almost half of his former senior secondary students did not live any more. Four of them had joined the SS division ‘Hitler Youth’ and got caught in an enemy artillery attack during the Ardennes offensive. There had been no trace of them since. Jochen and Hermann had participated in the battle. Two other boys wanted to stop as dashing infantrymen the tanks of the Red Army and were crushed in their trenches. Three perished by a direct hit from a bomb that destroyed their antiaircraft position. And the one with comment on the ‘crooked noses’, Bully, got shot in the back. He belonged to a scouting patrol that consisted of soldiers of the front. They were already sick and tired of the war and wanted to surrender rather dying senselessly five minutes before midnight. Only Bully rushed forward. Thus he found his end. All of them were not quite twenty years old.

Kern desired nothing more ardently than peace. Never again should there be such orgies of slaughter and destruction. Never again should a man touch a gun; never again should tanks be built. Perhaps most people had the same desire at the time. He was hoping from the bottom of his heart that future generations would be spared from standing physically and mentally at attention.

The old senior secondary teacher Kern slowly walked along the street and saw nothing but ruins everywhere. Dark gaps in the basements were staring at him, so were the empty, starving eyes of innocent children. He walked slowly, very slowly, because he had not only become older. Perhaps the previous years were counting double. Worry, sorrow and fear were just as bad as the lack of daily bread.

Yet Kern was strong enough to one more time put a piece of chalk into his hand. Who else should do it? The young teachers were gone, dead or incriminated. Who wanted, who was indeed permitted to take on this responsible teaching position? Most everything was in shambles anyway. Who should convincingly teach humanism and own ethical thought, develop through independent thinking a true personality, indeed for him the destiny of man? Who should teach about human beings who no longer just follow orders, but the dictates of their own conscience, which takes its orientation from and is based on reverence for life?

Ludwig Kern directed now the school that once had rejected him. He guided it in the spirit, because of which he had once been dismissed. This spirit was his hope, because it proved to be stronger than all force. And hope lends strength.

“There is as much energy in the world as there is hope in it”, that ‘jungle doctor’, Albert Schweitzer, had once said, who also stood often in life before ruins, and always full of hope started all over again. Although through knowledge he was a pessimist; in hope, however, he remained an optimist.

The past should remain the past. Nevertheless it turned again into the present. For Kern received a letter. It came from a teacher, who once was a teacher and wanted to become a teacher again, yes had to, because he had three hungry children and a sick wife. The family had been ‘bombed out’, as it was called. An aerial mine had hit their house and had destroyed everything. They were left only with what they were wearing. Their surname was Bernhard.

When Ludwig Kern was reading this name, something within him cried out NO! And once again NO! After all he was now directing in the spirit that Bernhard had rejected. Should this now happen all over again? Should again like in thirty-three the pernicious ideology triumph over the spirit? Not right away of course, but some time down the road? Should all the sacrifices have been in vain, which had to be made to make this evil ideology disappear?

Kern read once more the letter written on gray, woody paper, on which the ink had spread. Once more he heard the voice that called out, “You seem to keep this horde closer to your heart.” And again he said NO!

But the spirit, for which he had also suffered, urgently reminded him of that word, ‘… for they do not know what they are doing.’

‘They should have known!’ he protested in his mind. But this protest did not come from the spirit he was fighting for.

And ‘eye for eye’, his old self kept nagging him.

‘But ‘eye for eye’ leaves you only with blind people’, retorted persistently the spirit. ‘Therefore, don’t judge.’

‘Am I guilty?’ asked the good conscience. ‘Whom have I ever wronged?’

‘Who knows?’ answered the spirit. ‘Perhaps you never wanted or noticed it.’

‘Are there any innocent people at all?’ it continued to ask, ‘especially in these times?’

‘Indeed, nobody is innocent!’ the good conscience was triumphant again.

‘Exactly’, answered the spirit. ‘Do you remember the one who called out to the crowd, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be first to throw a stone.’ And they began to go away one at a time.’

Bernhard was standing again in front of a class and was teaching. But he taught a totally different history than before.

Long after Ludwig Kern had succumbed to a stroke attack, Bernhard fully comprehended the spirit that he had once cast away and betrayed, but that now had finally forgiven him.

And each time he was thinking about it, he shuddered, for he felt ashamed.

P.S. This text originated in the 1950’s under the influence of my personal experiences during the Hitler period, after I had occupied myself for the first time with Albert Schweitzer’s life and philosophy and had become so acutely aware of my own misconceptions and errors.

H.K.

Evening Ballad

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Abendballade

Guest Contribution by Dieter and Edda Barge
Edda and her sister Anke having a Practice session

Edda and her sister Anke having a Practice session

This week our friends from Germany put a little surprise video into my Dropbox. It was originally intended as a special birthday greeting from Germany. My wife and I were so deeply touched by its beauty both musical and visual that I decided to post it on my blog with the contributor’s permission, of course. Abend Ballade means Evening Ballad. Its music was composed by Edda’s second youngest brother Andreas Trampenau, grandson of my uncle Bruno Kegler. Edda played the composition on her Kawai E-Piano and her husband presented the wonderful images of clouds in the form of a slide show further enhancing the festive mood.

Abendballade Blatt 1

First Page of the Composition ‘Abendballade’

 

Dieter and Edda Barge - raising their mugs to say 'Happy Birthday!'

Dieter and Edda Barge raising their mugs to say ‘Happy Birthday!

With this musical and visual treat I would like to wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter. Please note ‘The P. and G. Klopp Story’ will continue with Chapter Twenty next weekend.

Anna Rosa Klopp (1881 – 1924) – Part I

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Introducing the Fifth Child of Friedrich and Emma Klopp

Klopp Family Tree Chart I – II

Rosa’s Marriage with August Diesing

On June 6, 1881 Rosa was born in Jersleben. Her father P.F.W. Klopp had just given up the mill at Osterweddingen due to an interim phase at his trade. In his home town Jersleben he recovered sufficiently to prepare the short-lived enterprise of the ‘Düppler’ mill at Olvenstedt. Since the family returned in 1885 via Magdeburg-Neustadt to Jersleben, Rosa was introduced to the school in 1887 either there or in Wolmirstedt.

Stassfurt - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Stassfurt-Atzendorf – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

She did not resettle with her mother Emma in Elsenau, West Prussia, but married in 1903 the carpenter and later construction master August Diesing (1875-1939) of Atzendorf near Staßfurt. At the time of the wedding he was employed at a local construction company.

Rosa and August had seven children: Werner, Elsbeth, Rosa, Alice, Erika, Willy, and Fritz. The eldest son, most likely born in 1903, wears a marine uniform on a photo from 1920.

Monastery of Gostyn - Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

Monastery of Gostyn – Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

Since 1905 at the latest, the family was residing in Gostyn, Posnan and participated in 1908 in the acquisition of a dairy business lease with brother-in-law Ferdinand Klopp (1879 – 1952, see previous posts).  Daughter Rosa, known as Rosel, was born there in 1905. Also all subsequent children were born there, before the region became part of the re-established country of Poland.

In 1919 the Diesing family established themselves on a temporary basis at Lebus west of the River Oder. Carpenter Diesing also appeared to have acquired land and worked on it for a while in the agricultural domain.

Kokanee’s Name Spread Far and Wide

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The Origin Of Kokanee’s Name

Article Credit: Arrow Lakes News (December 3, 2015)

by Greg Nesteroff
One hundred and fourth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

In addition to being a fish and a popular beer, kokanee is the name of 14 geographic features in BC: a settlement, bay, creek, two provincial parks, glacier, recreation area, lake, landing, narrows, pass, peak, point, and range. As a result, it’s probably this areas most widely used indigenous word. Kokanee is derived from kekenit the Sinixt term for the landlocked salmon once plentiful in this region. (There’s no need to capitalize kokanee when referring to the fish, al­though many people do anyway.)

Kokanee spawning at Taite Creek

Kokanee spawning at Taite Creek

However, when Europeans first adopted the word, they didn’t know its definition. The earliest reference in the Nelson Miner of June 15, 1895 said: “The jagged ridge visible from Nelson away up the lake to the North-East is Ko-ko-nee, of the meaning of which we are sorry to say, we are ignorant”. The present spelling was adopted the follow­ing year when the Columbia and Kootenay Steam Navigation Co. launched the SS Kokanee on Kootenay Lake. The Trail Creek News of March 21, 1896 explained the name was “after the range of mountains near Nelson.”

Kokanee Creek, also known as YuiU Creek, was so named by October 1896 and a town site called Kokanee was laid out at its head, adjoining the Molly Gibson mine. The Sandon Pay streak of Aug. 14, 1897 kidded that “its inhabitants, when they become numerous enough to need a name, will be called the Kokakanucks.” Kokanee Glacier was first called by that name in The Ledge of lune 17, 1897. After climbing the glacier in the fall of 1898, mining promoter Ernest Mansfield renamed it after Lord Kitchener, but following his departure from the area in 1901, it reverted to Kokanee. Near the spot that the creek emptied into the lake was Kokanee Landing, first mentioned in the Nelson Tribune of April 9, 1899. The earliest known reference to kokanee mean­ing the fish was in a promotional booklet produced in late 1899 or early 1900 called Health and Wealth: Kaslo, BC: “During summer months in many streams emptying into Kootenay Lake, spearing a peculiar red fish of the trout species, called by the Indians ‘Kokanee is quite an amusement. Long strings of these are frequently seen.”

Biene Klopp hiking with me in Kokanee Glacier Park

My wife hiking with me in Kokanee Glacier Park 2001

Somewhere along the West Arm of Kootenay Lake — probably at Lasca Creek, directly oppo­site Kokanee Creek — was what the Sinixt called Yaksakukeni: place of many kokanee. However, it was many more years before kokanee was com­monly used by European settlers to refer to the fish. Two Kokanee post offices existed, the first ap­parently at the townsite, from 1902-11, and an­other at the landing, from 1911-15.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Biene’s Nephews Norbert and Christian at Kaslo 2005

But what made kokanee a household word be­yond West Kootenay was a conversation between Nelson mayor Tom Shorthouse and H.F. Puder of Interior Breweries in 1959 about the company’s recent move from Nelson to Creston. Shorthouse pointed to the potential of Kokanee Glacier Park — created in 1922 — as a tourist attraction and sug­gested the company name a beer brand Kokanee. “This thought really stuck,” Puder told Shorthouse a year later, “and the more the name ‘Kokanee’ was considered, the better we liked it … To you goes full credit for originating the idea and you may be assured that you will be among the first to sample the product.”

Popular Kokanee Beer

Popular Kokanee Beer

Kokanee pilsner beer first appeared in the spring of 1960 with a label featuring a painting of the gla­cier by Vancouver designer George Me Lachlan. While the artwork has changed over the years, it continues to use a glacier motif and remains one of BC’s best-selling brands.

The name has since spread far and wide. Lots of businesses adopted the name — including Kokanee Springs golf resort. There’s a Kokanee Bay in the Cariboo; a Kokanee elementary school near Seattle; and streets named Kokanee in Nelson, Cranbrook, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Ontario, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, California, and New Mexico. Most of these were presumably taken out of atlases and don’t have anything to do with our area, but there’s a Kokanee Bend fishing area in Montana.

Chapter 19 of the P. and G. Klopp Story – Part III

6

From Graduation into Carnival

Wesel 'Berlin Gate' - Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

Wesel ‘Berlin Gate’ – Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

When school continued in the first week in January, I avoided all distractions and focused all my energies on last minute studies. By now the school administration had let us know the subjects and topics, in which we were to receive our oral examinations. For me it was Charles V in History and Calculus in Mathematics. In the remaining four weeks I emptied an entire bottle of vodka, which one could take as evidence for my industriousness. I rarely missed to fulfill my daily work quota. Indeed I would go sometimes overboard and even skip my time for relaxation with guitar or harmonica. One morning I woke up late. I was shocked to discover that I had forgotten to set the alarm clock. School had already started, so I quickly jumped into my clothes, grabbed my books, and without having had breakfast I raced to school in record time and barged into the classroom, where my homeroom and German teacher Herr Aufderhaar had just begun a lesson on German romanticism. Because he was bald and also taught religion, we had given him the nickname ‘Kahler Jesus’, which means Bald Jesus in English. He took one look at me and instead of being angry about my tardiness showed remarkable understanding for my circumstances. He teased me good-naturedly and remarked to the entire class, “Klopp is not just late for class. He did not even shave!”

My Notes on Charles V

My Notes on Charles V

 For the oral exam in History I was well prepared. The main topic that I was given was the era of Reformation with special consideration to the way Emperor Charles V dealt with the schism that threaten to tear apart the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations. I had about thirty minutes to write down a few notes for my presentation. Then when my turn had come and I was led into the somber exam room, I described in poignant details the political struggles of the emperor against France and the Turks and the frustrations he, as a good catholic, experienced with the rapid spread of the protestant revolt against the corrupt Church of Rome. I was no longer the timid student who once stood trembling with fear in front of our history teacher. I boldly and convincingly expounded all the pertinent factors that determined Germany’s future historical and religious landscape. I took the entire time allotted for the oral exam. So the committee of principal and teachers had no time to ask any unsettling questions at the end. I walked away with the confident feeling that I had consolidated my satisfactory standing in History. Also in Math I was able to prove that I deserved a better final grade. My task was to find a solution for the total amount of work required to dig a cylindrical hole of a certain depth. Herr Müller, my beloved math teacher in the senior division, guided me through this difficult problem of integration. He so cleverly posed the right questions that they contained valuable hints allowing me to bring the session to a successful conclusion. It would have been nice to express my gratitude to an excellent teacher some fifty years later. Unfortunately, while I was searching the school Website I found out that he had passed away the year, before I started to write our family history.

Front Page of my Graduation Diploma

Front Page of my Graduation Diploma

With the prestigious graduation certificate (Abitur) in our possession we had access to many postsecondary programs offered by the German universities. As for me, two years of military service at the Bundeswehr (West German army) had to come first. In those days it was still possible to enlist as a volunteer for a period of 24 months instead of the mandatory 18 months with the advantage of receiving a handsome salary, becoming an officer of the reserve, and being able to choose an army unit in keeping with one’s technical abilities. I opted for service in the signal corps, a choice that definitely reflected my interest in electronics and communication technologies.

Newspaper Clipping with Names of the Graduates

Newspaper Clipping with Names of the Graduates

It so happened that the graduation exercises had ended exactly at the start of the carnival season. Being together one last time with my friends and classmates, before we would scatter into all directions, I made full use of the golden opportunity to celebrate the great milestone and to lose myself in the relaxed atmosphere of the dance hall, forgetting the trials and tribulations before graduation and not worrying for the time being about the future. When the time of drinking, dancing and attending late night parties was over, I was physically exhausted, but for the moment I felt free as if a heavy burden had been taken off my shoulders.

Biene with her first pair of skis - Winter 1963

Biene with her first pair of skis – Winter 1963

I had not forgotten Biene. Now with more time at my disposal I wrote her a letter bringing her up to speed on my success at school and the tumultuous days at the carnival festivities. But what mattered the most I found the courage to express my feelings about what was so special about her in my mind. At the campground in the spring the year before I had discovered in her appearance the natural beauty that needed no cosmetic enhancement with rouge, lipstick or artificial hair color. Biene for me embodied the ideal image of a girl. In the letter I gave her my father’s address hoping that she would reply.

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