Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 10

The Golden Years (1941 – 1945)

A Few Words About The Title

Please note that my thoughts on my father’s life appear in green print. What is shown in regular print is translated from my cousin’s book on the Klopp family.

You may be puzzled about the title I have chosen for this episode of my father’s life. After all, in many parts of the world people were suffering under the horrific impact of World War II. After the Nazi aerial attacks on southern England came the Allied bombing raids of German towns and cities. Tens of thousands of people perished in the firestorms. Innocent people suffered, starved and got murdered in the Nazi concentration camps. Millions of soldiers gave their lives, on the Allied side in defence of freedom, on the Axis side for the illusion of the questionable honour of dying a hero’s death for the fatherland. So why would I chose such a seemingly inappropriate title for a period when the winds of war brought horror, death and destruction to many parts of the world?

Dresden after the Devastating Bombing Raids

Because at that particular time for the Ernst Klopp family, their workers, friends and relatives, Gutfelde and the entire county of Dietfurt (Znin) was an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Relatives from the big cities under the threat of constant bombardment came flocking to Gutfelde to spend weeks, often months far away and out of reach of the deadly bombing raids. Food was nutritious and plentiful. Even as late as December 1944 the family could celebrate a traditional Christmas with gifts for both adults and children, plates filled with Pfeffernüsse, nuts and all sorts of delicious baked goodies.

Artur Thiess at age 72. East Berlin Rowing Club

The first visitors came from Berlin in the summer of 1941. At that time my father Ernst Klopp had just started his first major assignment on the Silberberg estate in the Wartheland. Artur Thiess was the husband of Else, the daughter of aunt Alma. Later on because of the huge age difference (I was not yet born in 1941) I called him Uncle Artur, even though technically speaking he was my cousin. Artur spent his summer vacation with his wife Else and his two daughter Ingrid and Gerlinde at Silberberg. He wrote a one page type-written report, which my mother had passed on to me and which I will publish next week.

13 thoughts on “Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 10

  1. You did well to anticipate people’s wondering about your characterization of 1941–1945 as the Golden Years. For some people, like your father, they were, even if not for many others. And of course the early part of that period was quite different from the latter part.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, conservative estimates report that Stalin and his henchmen killed at least 10 million of his own people. The history of mankind is filled with misery, murder and evil. The problem lies much deeper imbedded in the human nature. We all have dark side covered by the thin veneer of civilization. We pray that God’s love will eventually break through and reign in our hearts. Only then will all the evil in the world finally come to an end. My humble opinion …

      Liked by 3 people

      • What often gets forgotten is the fact that millions of Ukrainians died of hunger, because the Russian army stole all their produce and burnt the rest down.
        God’s love is the only means by which we can change anything … and ourselves first …

        Liked by 1 person

      • So true. I think we will be better served if we acknowledge human frailties. Instead, leaders, in their quest for power and relevance, keep mouthing unrealistic platitudes like nation, motherland, dignity, freedom, teamwork, together, etc. And we, the common people, keep believing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your family certainly was fortunate. I wonder how they felt about being in such a safe location. I am sure they were very happy about it, but perhaps also felt a little guilty, knowing what others were going through?

    Liked by 1 person

    • These were the happy years, perhaps the only ones in their life span. As far as feeling guilty about something you can’t do anything about, I’d guess that they did not. It is different in a democracy where people have a true choice to get rid of a bad prime minister or a president but still vote for him or her. Then they may have reason to feel guilty.
      Amy, I cannot really tell whether or not my parents felt guilty. I was only an infant at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t mean felt guilty about Hitler. I meant that they felt bad that other Germans were suffering in their country—fighting in the war, enduring the suffering that came with it—while they were safe and secure. But no, there’s no way you could know that. Just a question we cannot answer.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it was nice that your family was able to provide a break for those who needed to get away from the bombings in the cities. It just goes to show that even in the darkest of times, some good can be found.

    Liked by 1 person

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