Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) and his Family – Part 40

Epilogue

At the time of Father’s sudden and unexpected passing, death had given me in quick succession several reminders of our transitory life here on earth. In the fall of 1963, I was serving in the signal corps of the German Nato Forces in Bavaria. On November 22 at the Maxhof army barracks, I listened to the American Forces Network (AFN Munich). The DJ suddenly interrupted the Country and Western music and, after a short pause, announced that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas. Later that night, AFN reported that he had died of his gunshot wounds. I was shocked by the news of this tragedy, as I had taken a liking to this great man for his courage to force the Soviet Union to remove their missiles out of Cuba. I liked the way he had publicly committed himself to the security of West Berlin. His famous statement, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner,’ will remain with me for as long as I live. Then, in January, our staff sergeant Wohl had a fatal accident when his VW beetle collided with a public transit bus on an icy hillside road in Feldafing. Three comrades and I accepted the sad task of becoming his pallbearers. I will never forget the widow’s heart-rending sobbing in the front pew when the officiating priest addressed her with a few consoling words. A couple of weeks later, almost if death intended to remind me again of its presence, I lent sixty marks to a friend so he could buy a train ticket to attend his grandmother’s funeral.

Then, on February 26, an order came for me to see the captain for an important message. A little puzzled and worried about this unusual event, I went to the captain’s office. After I sat down, he informed me with genuine regret that my father had died of a massive heart attack on the night of February 25. The officer granted me a five-day compassionate leave, effective immediately. Numbed by this horrific message, I could not respond with a single word. The captain, deliberately ignoring military protocol, shook hands with me and spoke kind words of condolences. 

Only a small number of family members, aunt Meta and Anna, Erna’s relatives and friends attended the funeral in Michelbach. I wrote and dedicated a poem in German to my dad, my best friend and helper. The poem ended with a line in Latin:

Viventium, non mortuorum misereor.

I feel sorry for the living, not the dead.

If Father were still living today, he would proudly look at his many descendants: five children, eleven grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Perhaps one day, some of them will be interested in the fascinating story of their wonderful grandfather and great-grandfather Ernst Klopp. I hope that they will read it and get to know the roots of the Klopp branch of their family.

This book is available free of charge. If interested, leave a message in your comment.

My next project will be writing about my father-in-law, Walter Panknin, and his family.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesday’s Photos

Time-Lapse Video

The month of February granted us an unusual amount of sunshine. This video was shot from our favourite Taite Creek campground south of Fauquier. I placed my Canon camcorder on the beach and pointed it east onto the nearby mountains where interesting cloud formations attracted my attention. While my wife and I were walking along the beach, the camera recorded the mountain scene for about 25 minutes. At home, I accelerated the video over 1000 times with my editor and produced this 40 sec video. Enjoy.

Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) Part 19

Flight from the Red Army

The German management of Gutfelde under my father’s administration abruptly ended on the 12th and 13th of January 1945 with the family’s flight from the advancing Red Army. A few hours before, the attack began, which turned out to be the most massive offensive ever-recorded in international military history. Under the command of Marshal Schukow and Konjew the Soviet army groups conquered Warthegau and advanced within days all the way to Sagan, Silesia. Panic and chaos spread among the defending forces and the civilian population. The flight with as little baggage as possible succeeded in the direction of Landsberg in spite of bitter cold temperatures and icy, snowed-over roads, which were hopelessly overcrowded with people, horses and wagons.

There was an agreement between the NS leader (Ortsgruppenleiter) in Seebrück (Rogowo) and the German farmers including all administrators of the region to join together in order to escape in one single trek. My father found out that the party leaders and NS officials had secretively taken off to safety on their own. He became quite enraged over this lack of leadership on the part of the very people who through courage and fearless guidance were supposed to set an example. While the lonely three trek wagons (Klopp, Kegler, and Dwinger) were slowly heading west, my father on a fast one-horse buggy was racing from farm to farm to warn stragglers of the impending danger and say good-bye to his Polish friends.

Photo Credit: Planet Wissen

The trek managed to get as far as Arnswalde (Choszczno), Pomerania, where the family found temporary shelter in the forestry Kühnemühle. As the place appeared safe at least for the time being, Father decided to stay there longer than warranted by the critical circumstances created by the Soviet armies advancing westwards at lightning speed. Precious time was being wasted with useless discussions and playing Doppelkopf. Perhaps a trace of unfounded hope that the enemy on the eastern front could still be thrown back through a heroic effort by the German troops lingered at the back of everybody’s mind and caused them to dawdle. Suddenly in early February Red Army soldiers arrived at the forestry and took Father as prisoner of war although he was no combatant and assigned him to hard labor in the Soviet Union. In a forced march he returned to Posen (Poznan), to the very region whence he had escaped. Then the Russians shipped him by train to the Donbas area, where somewhere between Charkow and Rostow on the River Don he had to work in the coal mines.

New Look for the Klopp Family Blog

Switch to the Eighties Theme

It was time to make some improvements to my blog. I worked on the pages to make them more accessible. The pages created from the posts on my grandparents, uncles and aunts are now almost complete. Biene’s family still needs to be done. The German part of the menu has been revamped to allow readers to  locate articles more quickly.

I hope that you like the new look and I would appreciate to receive your feedback on the changes I have made. Have a great week!

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Ireland 2019: Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse

Beer lovers and Irish Rovers fans, you will like today’s post by ‘crowcanyonjournal’.

Crow Canyon Journal

We had two hop-offs on our sightseeing bus tour of Dublin. The girls got off just past Dublin Castle to visit Dublin’s two great cathedrals, Christ Church and St Patrick’s. And the boys hopped off a few minutes later to tour the Guinness Storehouse, rated as the number one tourist attraction in Dublin. We would soon learn the story of Sir Arthur Guinness, who took over the St James Gate Brewery in 1759 and introduced his magic dark brew to the world.

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Biene’s Eagles

Wednesday’s Photos

Last week I presented a few of Biene’s owls which she had painted on rocks. Another common bird, which had made a spectacular come-back in our area in the last fifty years, is the bald eagle. No wonder that my wife has chosen this majestic bird of prey for her artwork. She paints mostly in the summer in a quiet corner at our local campsite surrounded by all the natural wonders. Lately, to overcome the depressing often grey winter months, she has taken up new projects of rock paintings in her studio located in our backyard. Responding to your encouraging comments on last week’s post, she is returning to her artistic activities she loves so dearly. Enjoy.

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