Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 11

Visitors from Berlin

Summer 1941

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.

Uncle Artur’s report about their summer vacation at Silberberg far away from the capital city in a  carefree rural setting was a joyful moment in time for the entire family. The Klopp children, Karl, Adolf, Erika, and Gerhard (I wasn’t born yet) and the visiting cousins Ingrid and Gerlinde had lots of fun exploring the fields and visiting the farm animals, the cows, horses and even a mule. They took an immediate liking to the three dogs, which added excitement and often real drama to their vacation in the country.

First Page of Artur’s Report on their Summer Vacation

Piekusch, the dachshund, Gerlinde’s favourite dog, managed to pry open the closet door in the middle of the night, pulled out a pillow stuffed with goose down, ripped it open and sent the feathers a-flying. Jumping high and chasing those elusive goose feathers were too much fun to enjoy all by himself. Yapping and howling he drove himself into a frenzy, waking up the entire family in the upstairs bedrooms who came rushing down to behold the spectacle. The event caused so much laughter and merriment that Piekusch got by with just a stern reprimand.

Watching the horses running wild and free on the nearby pasture was not without danger. One day a string of horses came galloping straight towards the children. It became frighteningly obvious the ferocious beasts would not bother to race around the children. In a split-second they leaped into the thicket of a bush, which saved them from being trampled to death.

Some other time the visitors from Berlin took a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to a village, where a wandering troop of performers offered some small town circus entertainment. Nobody was particularly worried as the carriage was gaining speed. As it turned out the coachman had fallen asleep and the horses had gone out of control. Luckily, the coachman woke up just in time to rein in the horses. Otherwise the horses would have dragged the carriage into the lake a mere hundred metres ahead of them.

Freshly caught carp from the pond frequently provided meat relished by all the guests and family members. Uncle Ernst always ready to crack a joke described a ten-pound carp as the venerable elder among the carp tribe.

My Father at the Main Entrance of the Gutfelde Manor 1941

In those days fridges were unheard of in the remote rural community in the land of the Warthe. But the cellar below the main floor was filled with ice. The children had free access to the barrel which contained an huge amount of pickles. Crunchy and tasty the pickles were a refreshing delight during the hot summer days. I could not leave “Uncle Artur’s” vacation report unpublished as insignificant as it may appear. For it gives the distinct impression of peace and happiness at a time of war and destruction in many parts of Germany and the world.


  1. Amy · August 28, 2020

    I do love the dog story! If only someone had taken a photograph of the place covered with feathers.

    It sounds like wonderful experiences for your siblings and cousins. I hope you got to have similar experiences in your childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · August 28, 2020

      The photo would have been a fine addition to the post. Thank you for your continued interest, Amy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert Parker · August 28, 2020

    Yes, the little dog in a snowstorm of feathers must’ve been quite a sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · August 28, 2020

      You too seem to have delighted in the snowstorm of feathers Robert. The dog was lucky that he did not punished for his misdeed creating so much fun for the entire family.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stella, oh, Stella · August 28, 2020

    They must have had a wonderful time during that summer! (Inspite of the horses and the feather storm …)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · August 28, 2020

      Haha! The feather storm, even though I was a little baby at that time, I can perfectly visualize this hilarious scene.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So pleasant to read that the family had joy in their outings during this troubled time, especially the dog.


  5. Pure Glory · August 28, 2020

    Peter, it was good your uncle and his family got to visit and have a respite from war and all the Nazi cruelty. The dog and the featers were the highlight.


  6. Anonymous · August 29, 2020

    Die unvergesslichen Erlebnisse der Klopp-Kinder (leider noch ohne Dich😉) und deren Cousinen zeigen doch, dass es auch damals trotz Not,Elend und Krieg immer noch Hoffnung auf ein besseres Leben gab. Und vor allem Kinder können noch so unvoreingenommen das geniessen, was ihnen Schönes geboten wird , finde ich!
    Liebe Grüße und ein schönes Wochenende!🙋


  7. Edda · August 29, 2020

    Die unvergesslichen Erlebnisse der Klopp-Kinder
    (leider noch ohne Dich,Peter😉) und deren Cousinen zeigen doch, dass trotz Not,Elend und Krieg es immer noch Orte gab, in denen das Gute im Leben noch nicht zerstört worden war.. Und nur Kinder können so unvoreingenommen das geniessen, was ihnen auch in schweren Zeiten an schönen Augenblicken geboten wird!
    Liebe Grüße und ein schönes Wochenende!🙋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · August 30, 2020

      Die Nachkriegsjahre waren für unsere Eltern besonders schlimm. Doch als Kind habe ich davon nicht viel gemerkt. Ebenfalls ein schönes Wochenende, liebe Edda!


      • Steve Schwartzman · September 2, 2020

        We note once again the irony in the fact that the years after the war were worse than the years during the war (or at least the early ones).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Peter Klopp · September 2, 2020

        The horrible war and post-war years were the price that the common people had to pay for the insanity of the Nazi regime which they initially supported in the hope of a better world.


  8. rabirius · August 30, 2020

    Excellent, Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ann Coleman · August 30, 2020

    I’m so glad they had the chance for peace and laughter during that time! And I loved the way it was described …it almost felt as if I were there!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ankur Mithal · August 31, 2020

    What a nostalgic write up. Brings back memories of lots of cousins in the house in our summer holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

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