The Tragic Loss of a Son
In 1910 the sons Werner (died in 1990) and Paul (died in 1932) were born in Weinheim. In 1910 came the transfer of their father to the renown senior high school in Mannheim, which was named after the French major and geographer “Tulla Oberschule”. The unremarkable years of a tranquil teacher’s existence were interrupted in the middle of World War I. In June 1916 Vincenz Mülbert was drafted into military service by the 14th Army Corps of the State of Baden. He served as a truck driver at the Recovery Unit I (Genesungsabteilung) of the Reserve Infantry Regiment 109. In October his daughter Hildegard was born in Mannheim.
During the static warfares in 1918, Vincenz took on active duty at the Aisne (east of Reims) and in the Upper Alsace. At the beginning of September 1918, he was declared “no useable for service at the front” on account of his highly strained nerves. As “being capable of garrison service”, he experienced the war’s end at the balloon battalion 139. On 22 November 1918, he received his demobilization papers and was released from his military service.
He returned to the former teaching post at the school in Mannheim. In May 1923, his wife Amalie gave birth to the twins Gertrud Ida and Hedwig Margarethe in Mannheim. In December followed the birth of the sixth and last child Rudolf Pius. It was according to a teacher’s news bulletin a premature birth. At that time the family possessed a home in Quadrant L of Mannheim.
From an application for financial assistance in September 1932 to the school administration one may be able to reconstruct the circumstances of a serious fateful event. The 19-year old son Paul, a commercial employee, suffered from depression and had already been receiving medical treatment for a long time. On 30 August 1932, he withdrew from his parental home and for ten days was reported missing. On the fourth of September, the Hessian police found his clothes on the banks of the riverbank of the River Main near Frankfurt. “Whether it was an accident or suicide could not be determined”. The body was retrieved from the river on the 7th of September, transferred to Mannheim and buried there. Mülbert already owed a large amount of money to the bank and was forced to borrow some more to cover the cost of transportation and burial expenses, He had asked for assistance in the amount of 258 marks.
To be continued …