Friedrich Ernst Klopp – The Sixteenth and Last Child of Friedrich and Emma Klopp

My Father – Friedrich Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964)

Introduction Part II

It was painful for me to discover that the son of Anna von Waldenfels was an SS officer. However, what made this particular case even more shocking was that Georg von Waldenfels’ heart and soul was filled with an insatiable lust for power, glory and possessions, which even went beyond the allowable within the regime he was serving. In other words, he was an opportunist of the worst kind and would have been ‘successful’ in any other political system. He skillfully exploited every opportunity for his personal gain. For example, he attempted to acquire an estate worth millions of dollars in today’s real estate market, a large piece of property complete with a mansion, even a factory and many outbuildings that been confiscated by the state from a Jewish couple.

In spite of this blemish in our family history, I decided to publish it. What made my decision a bit easier was the fact that I had no personal connection with the son of my aunt Anna von Waldenfels. In all biographical endeavours one needs a certain emotional distance in order to preserve objectivity. Furthermore, so far my task had been to translate merely the relevant passages from my cousin’s book published in German with the somewhat long-winded title: “A Letter to the Descendants of the Klopp Family from Altenburg/Brome and Wolmirstedt.”

When I now turn my attention to the biography of Friedrich Ernst Klopp, it is important to be aware of the fact that emotional distance in describing objectively my father’s life is no longer possible. On the one hand, I continue to rely on Eberhard Klopp’s family chronicle for invaluable information. On the other hand, there are my very own experiences with and personal impressions of my father that needed to be told in order to add some deeply felt love, understanding and respect for my father to an overly sober and matter-of-fact kind report by my cousin. To distinguish my insertions from the translation, I am going to use the italic font style whenever I feel the need to throw additional light on my father’s fascinating life story or fill some of the gaps left in the Klopp family chronicle.

Klopp Residence and Rope Manufacturing, Wolmirstedt, Germany

17 comments

  1. Edda · June 12

    Hallo,Peter!
    Ich bin sehr gespannt ,was Du uns über Deinen Vater zu berichten hast. Es wird sicher sehr interessant und ich freu mich schon darauf!
    Und ich finde, da kann auch gar nichts ausgelassen werden, wenn alles wahrheitsgemäß wiedergegeben werden soll! Dazu gehört eben auch die Nazizeit , die so viele miterlebt haben..
    Liebe Grüße!
    Edda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peter Klopp · June 12

      Mit der Geschichte meines Vaters kommt ja auch ein wichtiges Kapitel meiner Onkel und Tanten zum Abschluss. Wie gut, wieder Kommentare von dir zu lesen, liebe Edda. Das freut mich sehr. Biene hat den Zahnarztbesuch gut verkraftet. Bald per email wieder mehr von uns.

      Like

  2. Amy · June 12

    I very much look forward to learning about your father, Peter. And you are right to be sensitive about the issues of emotional distance. I know how difficult that is. It’s much easier to write about long-dead distant relatives with whom I had no personal connection.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. kopfundgestalt · June 12

    Ich hatte schon mal erwähnt, daß mein Onkel bei der SS war. Viel mehr weiß ich nicht. Nur das.
    Mein Vater erzählte oft von seinen Kriegserlebnissen, dreimal mindestens war er nahe am Tod.
    Von der Nazizeit weiß ich nur von Erzählungen/Berichten/ Büchern und das mittlerweile ausgiebig.
    Was dies KONKRET aber im Leben des Einzelnen bedeutet hat, kann man nur erahnen.Mehr nicht.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · June 12

      Ja, als ich noch zur Oberschule in Wesel ging, wurde das Geschehen in der Nazizeit totgeschwiegen. Man kann versuchen, sich in diese Zeit hineinzuversetzen. Aber das ist auch alles.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was born after the war, I remember each time we would ask our parents about the political situation , especially my mother, the answer was always the same…” We didn’t know what was going on”…. which never satisfied me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peter Klopp · June 14

      The persecution of the Jews and other groups was well known, but the so-called final solution in the concentration camps was hidden. Also it was war time, people had other worries, sons who died in a senseless murderous war. Thank you for this very personal comment, Cornelia!

      Like

  5. Stella, oh, Stella · June 13

    Yes, emotional distancing from parents is hardly possible … I am looking forward to reading his story.

    My parents were teenagers during that time and come from different backgrounds. They were not aware of what was going on, but my grandparents?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. travelsandtomes · June 13

    Peter, I always love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing this part of your story, despite the struggle with it. My own children have been asking about our family history in the US and whether there were slave owners in our background. I’m scared to delve too deeply- I don’t want to see that woven into my family history. But the cautionary tale is important, I think– reminds us that the choices we make are so important; small transgressions in ethics become large transgressions. Cruelty isn’t something that “other people” do – we have to watch ourselves and be mindful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · June 14

      Thank you for your encouraging comment, which gives me the support I need to carry on with this family project!

      Like

  7. rabirius · June 14

    I like how you tell your family history, even during these brutal times.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Coleman · June 14

    I think that’s a good way to handle it, Peter, because it is impossible to write objectively about someone you knew so well. I look forward to reading about your father!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jane Lurie · 29 Days Ago

    I admire your ability to chronicle your family history with distance and objectivity. It’s difficult for families when a darker side of history is revealed. I enjoy your writing, Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.