Let your eyes roam over a beautiful landscape and you will discover nature’s artwork in a stunning mountain scenery, in a cascading waterfall, in the undulating waves of the ocean, or in the small world of flowers and insects visiting them. Today, my focus is on the driftwood sculptures shaped by the natural forces like wind, sun and frost. These photos were all taken on a recent excursion to ‘our’ island. Enjoy.
Please note that my thoughts on my father’s life appear in blue print. What is shown in regular print is translated from my cousin’s book on the Klopp family.
Another important aspect contributing to the sense of well-being and safety at Gutfelde was the lack of fear within this close-knit community. The Gestapo had almost unlimited control over Germany’s citizens in the more populated areas areas of the Reich. As reported in the posts on my aunt Tante Meta, a person could get into serious trouble simply by being denounced to the secret police for having made some derogatory remarks about any of the Nazi leaders, especially if the criticism was directed towards the Führer Adolf Hitler. Anyone having an axe to grind with a neighbour could pass on information. Even if, as it was the case regarding Aunt Meta’s husband, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence, the harrowing experience would stay with the accused for the rest of their life.
Out here in the far eastern corner of Germany, the Ernst Klopp family and Polish staff lived and worked together in harmony, a situation actually frowned upon by the authorities. Sarcastic remarks and political jokes about the leaders of the Nazi regime, which elsewhere would have resulted in serious consequences, were quite common at Gutfelde. I recall three comments, which my mother had overheard at the large estate household and had passed onto me many years ago. I need to warn my readers the statements are somewhat crude.
About Adolf Hitler at a time when it was clear to all that the war would be lost: “Our great Führer got us into this sh-t. No doubt, he will find ways to get us out of this mess.” About the Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, who suffered from a clubfoot handicap. He delivered many speeches aimed at keeping up the morale of the German people: “Now comes Little Clubfoot’s fairy tale hour.” About the commander of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering. It is presented here in German, because the joke’s effect depends very much on the implied rhyming word, which is missing: “Hermann Goering sprach vor kurzem, man kann auch ohne Zwiebeln auskommen.”
What I recently heard about the use of jokes in the Nazi era seems to fit the picture I painted of the Klopp family at Gutfelde. As long as the jokes excluded the political system and its leaders, they were tolerated, even encouraged. Obviously, the people at Gutfelde had crossed the line of acceptability. But the liberating influence of all that bantering must have been tremendous.
This is canoeing time. At our age especially when it is very hot we prefer our electric motor over the paddles. It also allows us to shoot images with greater precision concentrating on the beauties of nature all around us. At the Fauquier boat dock, we have the gulls relaxing on the log booms, one of our favourite themes. Past the island we visited last time, we navigated into the mouth of the Whatshan river. We needed to be careful, as the river banks are quite steep and there was no place to safely pull the canoe ashore. Lush vegetation greeted us, where ample moisture promoted plenty of growth. Surrounded by a carpet of daisies, a solitary mullein flower (Königskerze in German) attracted our attention. Finally, we arrived at the waterfall cascading into the bay of the Arrow Lake. The picture of the butterfly is a bonus taken in our garden. Enjoy.