Another Early Death in the Klopp Family
The twelfth child, born in Wolmirstedt on 4 August 1894, did not reach adulthood just as the seventh and tenth child. Although Selma had been mentioned in family circles, nobody could recall any details about her final resting place. The date and place of death could not be found in the official records of the town of Wolmirstedt, Jersleben or Elsenau. However, a photo of her exists (not in my possession), which was made in 1903 or 1904 by the photo store owned by Paul Lorenz. It shows her when she was about nine or ten years old. Her face, no longer childlike, already displays features of early adolescence. In all likelihood, she suffered from a lung disease just as her sister Else born a year later, who will be the topic of the next post. In 1903 or 1904 she moved with her mother Emma to Elsenau in West Prussia, and there she must have passed away a little later having suffered from tuberculosis.
Church in Elsenau (Olszanowo)
Flying Ace and Inheritance Farmer
Finding himself in this financial emergency, Hermann turned to his sister Jula Steuer who as a guarantor helped him to procure a mortgage. However, all rescue efforts proved to be in vain, since Breitenberg was auctioned off by the order of the bank. Jula Steuer’s claim to the money dragged on till the 1950s and was verified and enforced by court proceedings only on behalf of the heirs of Hermann Klopp. It goes without saying that over this issue the harmony between the Lake Scharmützel family branch and Stechau fell apart. When the son Joachim Klopp (born 1926) consulted his Aunt Alma (née Klopp, 1882 – 1975) on this matter, the relationship between Jala Steuer and the Scholz/Thieß family in Berlin also had reached rock bottom in the end.
On 16 October 1935 Hermann Klopp bought with remaining funds a so-called ‘knight’s estate’ (Rittergut), which covered an area of 30.2 ha land. It was located in Stechau on the farthest eastern border of Saxony-Anhalt and Mark Brandenburg. Since the conditions of the NS Inheritance Law had been met, Hermann from now called himself an inheritance farmer. In Stechau the last son Manfred was born in May 1936. For the improvement projects of the estate, Hermann successfully tapped into the NS “Help East Fund”. The Klopp inheritance farm promised to fare better than all the previous enterprises.
The wound from the aviation disaster in WW1 had bothered Hermann for the rest of his life. The lung shot migrated passing his hips down to his upper thigh causing bone tuberculosis and blood poisoning. Only two years after he became an inheritance farmer, he died on the operating table in the Berlin hospital “Charité” at the age of only 43 years. He was buried at the Stechau cemetery located only 70 m from his sheep farm. Then 81-yer old mother Emma, who had travelled from Panwitz near Meseritz, attended the funeral.
Peter’s note: My brother Karl mentioned in a footnote added to the book that he and our parents were also present at the funeral.
Fighter Pilot and Hereditary Estate Farmer
In 1929 Hermann left his administrative post and tried to become independent. To this end, he leased 25 km southeast in Großdammer (today Polish: Dambrowka Wielkopolska) the agricultural domain of castle owner Baron von Britzke.
If you stood in front of the completely preserved castle, you would see the affiliated estate manor with the slightly altered building on the right at the same level as the castle. The manor has been given a new roof and serves now as the administrative headquarters of the state-owned power company. During the years in Großdammer, son Dietrich Klopp was born in June 1930 at the hospital of Schwiebus (Swiebodzin).
In the early 1930s, the castle owner on account of his gambling addiction lost his entire property. The beneficiary and new owner was supposed to have been a Jewish merchant. Hermann was directly affected by this unfortunate change in ownership. In 1932 the house and the estate had to be leased again to the new owner by the name of Vempner.
Forced by this turn of events, Hermann acquired a new property in Breitenburg, Pomerania (today Polish: Gologora) in the county of Schlawe (Schlawno). The village is located on the right of the highway from Bublitz (Bobolice) to Sydow (Zydowo) between Lake Kamin and Lake Papenzin. It was built on a hill and can be reached today by turning right from the highway on a paved road. At the village entrance, one can view the antenna arrays of a radio station. For a certain segment of the lake, Hermann obtained fishing privileges. Here son Ulrich Klopp was born in July 1933. The estate Breitenberg lies immediately behind the village entrance on the left behind the first houses, which surround a large village pond. On the east bank stands today the building, which is still being used as a school.
In Breitenberg, Hermann continued to depend on Vempner’s lease payments in Großdammer. Since the latter failed to honour his financial obligations, Hermann was soon hampered by financial difficulties. He took out a loan, which he could not pay off on its due date because just then in the summer of 1935 his entire crop in his barns was consumed by fire.
To be continued …