Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) Part 15

Cousin Hartmut Kegler’s Vacation Report

This is the third part of the guest post written by my cousin Hartmut Kegler, who also wrote the children’s seminary on Albert Schweitzer I published a few months ago in the original German. I waited until now because it throws some additional light on my father Ernst Klopp and on the happy years in Gutfelde (Zlotniki).

The Games we played in Gutfelde

In the pond of the park, we enjoyed going for a swim but also played ‘war’ on it. We scrounged up wash-bins and tubs, we used as our battleships and loaded them up with chunks of sod that were our ammunition. On these ships, we rowed around the pond and fired at each other with the clumps of grass and dirt. The ‘ships’ that had been hit often tipped over so that we were forced to swim with them ashore. However, we did not succeed rescuing a particularly valuable zinc tub, which sank in the deep water. Together we tried to retrieve the tub by diving but could not find it. Aunt Erika to whom we had to report the loss naturally was very angry with us and we were much ashamed of our misdeed. The tub most likely still lies today at the bottom of the pond.

Happy Children at Gutfelde

We also played peaceful games. One of them was circus performances. In the park, there stood next to beautiful shrubbery a big old tree. There we presented our acrobatic showmanship. From the sturdy branch hung a swing, which we skillfully used for our performances. In addition, we did gymnastics exercises complete with headstands and rolls spiced up with oodles of clownery. Our mothers and other spectators generously provided applause and praise.

In Gutfelde, we had our own carousel. At the lower end of the estate building was a horse-operated gin. It consisted of a massive wood beam that was mounted on a large cogwheel, which in turn was connected to a shaft leading into the house. Its purpose was most likely to drive a generator inside the building. The beam was pulled by a horse, which trod around in a circle and was guided by the coachman. We children sat down on the beam and with great delight, we turned cozily round and round on this most unusual carousel.

To be continued …

16 thoughts on “Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) Part 15

  1. Oh, for the days when children used their imagination and their energy to create games like these. Today kids sit with screens and play stupid video games. They don’t know what they’re missing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hallo,Peter! Wie sehr kann ich verstehen, dass Onkel Hartmut so begeistert von der Zeit in Gutfelde schreibt. Da haben die Kinder sich noch so toll in und mit der Natur beschäftigt, ohne jeweils Langeweile zu haben.Wie Amy schon schreibt, die Kids heute wissen wirklich nicht, was ihnen entgeht..Wie auch?
    Es ist so seltsam und schön, meine Mutti mit Zöpfen als zweites Mädchen von links zu sehen.. Sie sieht da aus,wie meine Schwester als Kind ..
    Ein sehr schöner und interessanter Bericht.Ich kenne ja schon etliches und lese es immer wieder gerne!
    Herzliche Grüße an Biene und Dich!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, for the days when children used their imagination and their energy to create games like these. Today kids sit with screens and play stupid video games. They don’t know what they’re missing.
    I have crocheting on my lap project working.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. War and circus games must have been played with whatever was in reach, as is with most kids. And like most kids, things got lost or broken. Cousin Hartmut’s recollections remind me so much of those young years with my own cousins. Fun stories!

    Liked by 2 people

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