Rumblings and Grumblings in the Klopp Clan
In Novenber 1939 Ilse von Waldenfels gave birth to her first son Jan-Frederik in Münster, Westphalia. Grand-mother Emma died in May 1941. The war against Poland and Great Britain soon changed all their plans and lives’ directions. In dark premonition my aunt Anna von Waldenfels wrote the following lines to her sister ‘Frau Professor Meta Mülbert’ in Freiburg, Breisgau, for New Year’s Day 1941, “We wish you a happy and blessed New Year! May it keep you healthy and may it bring peace.” However, things would turn out much worse.
Five years earlier, the addressee Meta (1898 – 1984) had been married off in spite of her 37-years of age with Anna’s energetic support. Her marriage with the high school teacher Vincenz Mülbert (1875 – 1958) landed the trained nurse Meta the title ‘Frau Professor’. This prompted Anna to organize for her and her presentable brother-in-law a sumptuous wedding celebration in October 1935 in the prestigious “Hotel Adlon” in Berlin.
Anna’s role model eased Meta’s conversion to catholicism. The author’s grand-father Friedrich Klopp (my uncle) once remarked sarcastically, “There are swindlers and tricksters in the family, who sell their souls, and, if it must be, their own grand-mother.” That was clearly directed at Anna and Meta. Even though one could not speak of deep religious conviction on the part of the Klopp clan, they generally viewed conversion to Catholicism as the last straw. In spite of their own lax commitment to their faith, it was totally incompatible with their traditional protestant day-to-day living. Such a change was simply not allowed and its integrity was put into question. When the news of Anna’s and later on Meta’s conversion, “all because of the despicable mammon”, reached the ears of the family of the Altmark, the digging for scandalous titbits of Emma’s ancestry started all over again. “One does not need any innuendos. The explanation of their behaviour is so obvious. Never to have heard anything about their Jewish ancestry, but now to play the pious catholics, that really hits the nail on the head!” expressed Eberhard’s grand-father Friedrich in his anger and dismay.
In the next post I will summarize Georg’s ambitious plans to take advantage of his connections and dealings within the Nazi hierarchy as reported in the family chronicles written by my cousin Eberhard Klopp.