The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part VII

15

The Second Marriage of

Georg von Waldenfels

At Lagowitz two children were born, Hans-Jürgen in 1929 and Carola von Waldenfels in 1932. When the children turned seven and four respectively, the marriage between Georg and Millie had already been in a crisis for quite some time. Officially the two separated on February 22, 1936.

In 1937 Fritz Georg von Waldenfels, quite bored with the monotony and bourgeois atmosphere of Panwitz-lagowitz living, got acquainted with his future wife in the ‘House Vaterland’ (House Fatherland), the greatest cabaret and dance palace of the Reich’s capital of Berlin, Ilse Jannink (born on May 9, 1914 in Epe near Granau, Westphalia). She was the daughter of the Dutch textile manufacturer Jan Frederik Jannink (1874 – 1943). Her father had founded the company in Enschede, Holland around the turn of the century. The son transferred the firm shortly before the beginning of WW1 to Epe and carried on the business under the company name ‘Germania’. In Epe he could avail himself of a personell match larger than in Holland. The cotton industry under his management employed in the 1920’s and 30’s almost 600 workers. South of Epe stood the stately family manor, the birthplace of Ilse Jannink.

Even at the age of 82 years (in 1996), Ilse looked very much like the singing superstar Lale Anderson, a celebrity of the early Nazi entertainment scene. Georg von Waldenfels married in July 1938 the tall 24 year old manufacturer’s daughter, who fitted well into the image of the blond girl ideal of its era. In stature she must have towered over her husband by an entire head length. A catholic wedding took place in Berlin, the wedding ceremonies in the St. Hedwig Cathedral and the banquet in the luxury ‘Hotel Adlon’.

Georg and his wife Ilse carried on with the management of the castle estate Lagowitz, supported by an administrator, an assistant and a secretary. They kept about 100 cows, a sheep farm, cultivated mostly sugar beets and maintained an orchard. In 1939 387 inhabitants lived in that village.

It remained an unwritten law in the new family von Waldenfels, never again to talk about the cast-away first wife. Millie von Waldenfels left Lagowitz with her two children in 1934/35, and, although pushed out, had no doubt received a royal compensation. She lost her family possession and the glorious showpiece Castle Lagowitz. One for the Klopp family exceptional and usurpation-style seizures catapulted the Klopp-von-Waldenfels branch into a ready made nest.

15 thoughts on “Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part VII

  1. Amy

    I am not so sure how I feel about this Georg cousin of yours…Poor Millie. How unfair that she lost her family’s property in the divorce. Did Georg even maintain contact with his children?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      This is indeed a very sad story. No reason to have any good feelings about Georg! The book I have in German and which I am translating into English does not tell whether Georg maintained any contact with his children or not. I suspect he did not.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Coleman

    That’s a fascinating story, Peter! It does seem odd, by today’s standards, that the first marriage would have ended so badly for Millie. But things were different back then, especially for the upper levels of society.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stella, oh, Stella

    I was wondering what happened with Emilie, but then you explained it in the last paragraph. Tough luck she lost her family’s castle. But were the laws not that way in those times that with marriage possessions went into the hands of the husband? Unless there was a special clause in the parents’ testament.

    A lot of parents don’t keep contact with their children after a divorce, mostly the fathers. I guess that was and is a cultural thing. It has gotten better though, and more fathers are really interested in fatherhood.

    I am surprised that they got divorced. That was still not the “done” thing at that time and in those circles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Georg was a Nazi follower and sympathizer, as you will find out in the next couple of posts. I believe that the divorce was ultimately a blessing for Emelie and her children. Thank you, for your insightful comment, Birgit!

      Liked by 1 person

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