The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

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Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part IX

12

Georg von Waldenfels and his Great Ambition

The Nazi and his Shattered Dreams

Considering the massive amount of available information, I had right from the outset limited the scope of our family history to my wife’s and my grandparents and their children, our uncles and aunts, to our own stories and those of our children. As reported earlier my grandparents on the paternal side had 16 children, of whom my father Ernst Klopp was the youngest. My aunt Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) was the eighth child, who is the focus of the present series. So in view of this massive undertaking there is no time to deal with all the other children.

However, with Anna’s son Georg von Waldenfels I would like to make an exception, the reason being to avoid being accused of leaving out embarrassing details about one black sheep in the family, whose greed and ambition for fame and gain made him a follower of the Nazi regime. On the basis of documented files, which my cousin Eberhard Klopp had gathered from various government and archival sources, I tried to put together and to highlight Georg’s ‘achievements and failures’, which will clearly identify him as the black sheep of the family.

  • Early member of the Nazi party.
  • Known to disrupt meetings of other parties, especially speakers of the socialist and communist parties in pubs and other public places through rude and bullying tactics.
  • It was during this period that his marriage with Emilia (née von Zychlinsky fell apart and ended in divorce.
  • Emilie could not stand that the Lagowitz castle had become the centre and breeding ground for National Socialism (Nazi), all the more when she realized that her husband wholeheartedly embraced the new movement and supported it with vim and vigour.
  • Even Georg’s mother Anna von Waldenfels regretted the end of their relationship, although she was fully aware of her son’s conduct, which destroyed the earlier solid foundations of her son’s marriage.
  • One day after Hitler’s rise to power on February 1, 1933 Georg became member of the infamous SS with the number 147,781.
  • It is still difficult to see through the maze-like complexity of the SS organizational structure. Heinrich Himmler, the Reich’s leader of the SS, created one sub-organization after an another with various fanciful names to camouflage his intent to turn the SS into his own personal empire by enlisting as many members as possible with no regard to any military background and experience.
  • This may explain why Georg found easy access to the SS in view of his non-military background as estate manager.
  • But a career as a military high ranking officer seemed impossible under the given personal circumstances.
  • A fateful chance encounter in Berlin with the like-minded commander of Hitler’s body guard unit “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” and friendship with this notoriously rambunctious leader removed the obstacles to Georg’s military career in a jiffy.

To be continued next Friday …

Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part VII

15

The Second Marriage of

Georg von Waldenfels

At Lagowitz two children were born, Hans-Jürgen in 1929 and Carola von Waldenfels in 1932. When the children turned seven and four respectively, the marriage between Georg and Millie had already been in a crisis for quite some time. Officially the two separated on February 22, 1936.

In 1937 Fritz Georg von Waldenfels, quite bored with the monotony and bourgeois atmosphere of Panwitz-lagowitz living, got acquainted with his future wife in the ‘House Vaterland’ (House Fatherland), the greatest cabaret and dance palace of the Reich’s capital of Berlin, Ilse Jannink (born on May 9, 1914 in Epe near Granau, Westphalia). She was the daughter of the Dutch textile manufacturer Jan Frederik Jannink (1874 – 1943). Her father had founded the company in Enschede, Holland around the turn of the century. The son transferred the firm shortly before the beginning of WW1 to Epe and carried on the business under the company name ‘Germania’. In Epe he could avail himself of a personell match larger than in Holland. The cotton industry under his management employed in the 1920’s and 30’s almost 600 workers. South of Epe stood the stately family manor, the birthplace of Ilse Jannink.

Even at the age of 82 years (in 1996), Ilse looked very much like the singing superstar Lale Anderson, a celebrity of the early Nazi entertainment scene. Georg von Waldenfels married in July 1938 the tall 24 year old manufacturer’s daughter, who fitted well into the image of the blond girl ideal of its era. In stature she must have towered over her husband by an entire head length. A catholic wedding took place in Berlin, the wedding ceremonies in the St. Hedwig Cathedral and the banquet in the luxury ‘Hotel Adlon’.

Georg and his wife Ilse carried on with the management of the castle estate Lagowitz, supported by an administrator, an assistant and a secretary. They kept about 100 cows, a sheep farm, cultivated mostly sugar beets and maintained an orchard. In 1939 387 inhabitants lived in that village.

It remained an unwritten law in the new family von Waldenfels, never again to talk about the cast-away first wife. Millie von Waldenfels left Lagowitz with her two children in 1934/35, and, although pushed out, had no doubt received a royal compensation. She lost her family possession and the glorious showpiece Castle Lagowitz. One for the Klopp family exceptional and usurpation-style seizures catapulted the Klopp-von-Waldenfels branch into a ready made nest.

Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part VI

15

My Aunt’s Triumphant Coup

With the marriage of her son Fritz Georg with Emilie von Sobieski (after her adoption she had become a von Zychlinski ), the heiress of Panwitz and Castle Lagowitz, Anna had climbed the highest possible rung on the social ladder of the Klopp family. Through an almost incredible stroke of luck and clever manipulation, grandmother Emma, daughter Anna and her offspring had married into an actual castle. From now on they were considered even among distant envious family circles as people ‘in the big chips’. The news about Anna’s grandiose coup made all the jealous gossiping about her Jewish ancestry and her good-for-nothing son freeze. All they could say in a both dubious and admiring tone was, “The grandmother, Anna and her son are now castle owners somewhere in West Prussia”.

With the acquisition of Lagowitz the von Waldenfels estate expanded to an impressive 1000 ha piece of property. Lagowitz (Lagowice) is by way of a dirt road a mere 3 km distance away from Panwitz. At the eastern village entrance stood the stately manor inside a park. The country castle was built sometime between 1850 and 1860 in the typical Windsor-Gothic style with its stylistically typical little towers and turrets. In 1995 the author of the Klopp family history, Eberhard Klopp, a distant cousin of mine, found nothing but a few remnants of the ruins of a once magnificent building.

Supposedly the Red Army had set it on fire in 1945. The Polish villagers reported the blowing up of the remaining ruins in 1947, when most of them had just arrived from East Poland to settle in this now Polish territory. Even though there was much information available about the still existing wooden church (built around 1550) in Lagowitz, the author could not find anything on the inherited castle of Emil von Zychlinski (1852-1922). At the castle entrance was supposed to have been a nepomuk-column . Today there is on a base a statue of Virgin Mary. Behind it there are the former state farm buildings, stables and granaries, which were after 50 years in run-down and dilapidated conditions. Opposite to the former castle entrance and the statue, two ‘socialist’ buildings are located, in which live the approximate 30 families of the personell of the communication centre of the Polish army (1995).

Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part III

10

The Long Arduous Road to the Panwitz Estate

While World War I was still raging and devastating Europe, Anna’s husband Ludwig von Waldenfels was reactivated into the military service on July 27th 1918 and served as supervising officer at a penal camp at Oberhaus near Dachau until demilitarization in May 1919. Now already 43 years old with a modest pension Ludwig had to worry about his family’s future. After his high school graduation in Munich he had taken a three-semester training course at the forestry college at Aschaffenburg between 1894 and 1896. Therefore, he had some basic agricultural knowledge. On the northern edge of Passau the couple acquired the estate Kastenreuth. On the hilly terrain the work in the fields was not very cost effective and the harvests appeared to have been quite meagre.  Already by 1922 Anna and Ludwig sold the property to the physician and researcher Professor Dr. Wilhelm Kattwinkel.

In the same year they acquired the estate Neuhof (today Polish Garbek) in the county of Schlochau. It was located right at the border of the newly formed ‘Corridor’ between the remaining part of German West Prussia and the new state of Poland. According to my cousin Eberhard Klopp’s research my Uncle Hermann (1892-1937) had passed on the 200ha property to his brother-in-law Ludwig. As a result of the Versailles Treaty the Polish border was moved within a few metres of the estate boundary. It ran about 300 metres east of the village street alongside a pond still existing today. In a 100 m direct line of sight was the Polish hamlet Zychce (German Sichts). In 1921 the West Prussian rural bank founded ten settlers’ places in Neuhof. Baron von Waldenfels and his wife Anna acquired the remaining parcel with the even today well-preserved estate building on the left side of the village street.

In the village of Neuhof of some 200 inhabitants Ludwig von Waldenfels worked the 810ha farming property and served at the same time as mayor until 1927. “The inhabitants originated mostly from the stolen parts of West Prussia and partly from Münsterland (Münsterland is a mostly flat, agricultural region in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany).  Only 14 people were speaking Polish.” When the family von Waldenfels left Neuhof in 1927, their property was also parcelled into seven more settlements.

It is definitely unimaginable that the couple von Waldenfels accustomed to the big city life style of Metz and Berlin would feel at home in the solitude of a remote little border village. In the year of their departure in 1927 brother Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964 my father) found employment and stay during the summer harvest. Mostly likely he participated in the preparations for the move out of the second agricultural venture. In the remote bush, heather, and meadow landscape with a few deciduous woods the family von Waldenfels managed to last barely five years.

Now brother-in-law Herman Klopp jumped into action as helper in a new government initiative. Having been the administrator of the copper mill near Meseritz, East Brandenburg (today Polish Miedzyrzcezc) he was familiar with all locally pertinent facts. He made a concrete proposal to the couple von Waldenfels, which turned out to be a stroke of luck.

Baroness Anna von Waldenfels, neé Klopp – Part II

8

Conversion to Catholicism

Anna’s mother-in-law living at Etzenhausen near Dachau insisted that she and her baby converted to the Catholic faith. This intent according to the Wolmirstedt-Zielitz family clan represented the ultimate of impertinence towards the family, which from earliest times has presumably adhered to the Lutheran confession.

As long as Ludwig Max von Waldenfels has been for 16 long years serving in the same Metzger regiment (1905 battalion assisting officer, 1909 promoted to senior lieutenant, 1913 captain and company commander), religious questions played a minor role in Ludwig’s life. However, the choice of his wife was an entirely different matter. Anna did not befit his social status.

Anna and Ludwig must have been trying for years to navigate around the cliff of Ludwig’s mother’s adamant position. Now because of mother-in-law’s pressure and of related inheritance and financial questions, the situation demanded a sacrifice, from which there seemed to be no escape. The future husband had earlier introduced Anna to his mother as a ‘society woman’. The wedding took place on October 19, 1916. At the same time little Fritz Georg most likely was baptized into the Catholic faith. Obviously money and inheritance matters accelerated the decisive step.

Twelve years had passed until the Klopp offspring Fritz Georg received the prestigiously sounding name von Waldenfels now even with the blessing of his grandmother and the Catholic church. Now the Klopp family of Wolmirstedt and Zielitz could no longer despise Anna for her loose life style they had accused her before, but her conversion to catholicism definitely made her a renegade in their envious eyes. It made no difference whether her change of religion was based on Jewish or Catholic causes. Despicable was everything that deviated from the Wolmirsted-Zielitz norm, even at the risk of having confused in their stupidity apples with pears.

Creating and Managing Menu Items for your Family History Blog

1

A Very Basic Tutorial – Part III

Top User Menu

With this post I will conclude the tutorial sessions on creating and managing menu items. Click Part I and/or Part II, if you did not yet read them. I will use the ‘Klopp Story’ tab above as an example of the hierarchical nature of a more complex menu structure.

Hierarchical Structure of a Menu Design

As you can see from the tree diagram above, the ‘Klopp Story’ page (Parent) has two children (sub items) ‘Book One’ and ‘Book Two’. The latter is still empty waiting for the Grandchildren to be written. Book One has five sub items, which are the grandchildren of the ‘Klopp Story’. As the diagram indicates, I had to create seven pages all together. To avoid confusion, it is important to note that each page you create must have its own unique name.

Partial Menu Structure

In the ‘Menus’ section that you control as the administrator you find that your sub items may scattered all over the place in a fairly unorganized fashion. Click and drag the sub item ‘Book One’ under the ‘Klopp Story’ and move it a bit to the right to make it a Child (sub item). Then click and drag the Chapter sub items and move them a little more than before to the right as shown on the diagram above. Treat the ‘Book Two’ sub item the same way as the ‘Book One’ item. Make sure to save the changed main menu, when you are done. Please note you can experiment without fear of messing up your blog site, since you can always the Menus section later and delete all the undesirable pages. Happy Blogging!

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