The ‘Baby of the Family’ and ‘Frau Professor’ Later
Meta, the fourteenth child, was born in Jersleben on 5 January 1898. Her birth took place at a time of disputes about the ownership of the house in Wolmirstedt. Her eldest brother Friedrich (1875 – 1946) was beginning to assert his independence at the expense of the family. The steady new arrivals of siblings and consequently increasing competition for the modest inheritance was getting on the nerves of the ‘faithful’ and now 23-year old rope manufacturing apprentice.
Meta was baptized, as prescribed by tradition, eight days after her birth in the newly consecrated church in Jersleben. The officiating pastor was Dr. Friedrich Daniel, the historian of the Altmark. Very little is known about Meta’s childhood. In all likelihood, her sister Jula Steuer arranged for her the enrolment in a nurses’ training programme. According to vague family memories, it started in a branch of the evangelical church in Waldbröl, Westerwald. At the start of the 1920s, because of the proximity to Neu Rosow, she resided in Stettin. it probably was the first place of her employment in the hospital ‘Bethany’ in Kreckow Street. At the same time, her sister Else and brother-in-law Stier were living in Stettin. When the couple moved to Alt Valm, Pomerania, Meta felt more and more drawn to her sister Anna in Panwitz. At the end of the 1920s, one could find her noticeably more often, almost like a permanent resident, at the von Waldenfels estate at Meseritz. From there she must have found employment at the hospital Limburg, Lahn.
Meta was the youngest daughter of the Klopp children and maintained close contact with her elder sisters. Anna von Waldenfels, Jula Steuer and Else Stier took turns in taking the yet unmarried ‘late bloomer’ under their wings. Photos of the Panwitz time show her as a good-looking young woman, who appears not unhappy but a little bit shy. She suffered mildly from a ‘lazy eye’ problem.
In Limburg happened a fateful encounter, which will be the topic of the next post.