The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Category Archives: Writing

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

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Wednesday’s Photos

Following Highway 6 to New Denver

When we have company, it seems we try harder to impress our visitors with the beautiful surrounding we live in. So I travelled with our guests north to Nakusp and turned south to Summit Lake and finally New Denver, where we stopped for lunch and spent some time at the Slocan Lake with the majestic Valhalla Mountains in the background. I selected five photos and posted them in chronological order. Enjoy.

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Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XX (Final Episode)

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Aunt Anna’s Neglected Gravesite

At the end of the 1950s, after giving up the house in Söcking, Bavaria, Anna von Waldenfels moved to Freiburg/Breisgau close to her sister Meta Mülbert, who lived at Maria-Theresiastraße 4. Her husband Vincenz had passed away in 1958. Anna at first rented an apartment at number 7 across the street.

In the summer of 1959, while on a bike tour through Germany with my friend Rainer Schüler, I visited both aunts, who add moved together at No. 4. I remember Aunt Anna quite well, a feisty old lady filled with an unbroken spirit and a fervour, which revealed strong nationalistic overtones. She spoke to us young men of sacrifices to be rendered in blood and honour to put Germany back on her feet again. Obviously, her heart and mind were still dreaming of an era that no longer existed. These bizarre ideas of a past imperialistic Nazi-Germany, having brought nothing but extreme suffering and total destruction to many nations under its control, were completely foreign to us growing up in democratic West Germany.

At about the same year she met for the last time her granddaughter, the then 23-year old Carola von Waldenfels (born in 1932 at Lagowitz). She had most likely made a farewell visit and proceeded from there to travel as a photographer to California, USA. The two widows maintained contact with Ernst Klopp (my father), who had remarried and lived with his new wife Erna Klopp (née Krämer) in Michelbach near Schotten.

Once a resolute, energetic lady, always leaving the impression of a governess, now suffered from bladder incontinence, which considerably restricted her mobility and physical activities. At 82, she died of cancer on 3 November 1969 in Freiburg/Breisgau. The two families Georg von Waldenfels from Haren/Ems and Meta Mülbert provided on 7 November 1967 a final resting place for Anna on her beloved husband’s side in the Starnberg forest cemetery. Her son had arranged the transfer of his mother’s remains to Söcking, but he did not deem it necessary to take care of the completion by adding a cross for his mother. Fate’s irony is that her gravesite remained nameless just as the one of her eldest brother Friedrich Klopp (1875 – 1946)  in Gardelegen in the former German Democratic Republic. “Sic transit gloria mundi.”

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lake

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Of Nature’s Artistry and Man’s ‘Inukshuk’ at the Lakeshore

Driftwood sculptures abound along the shorelines of the Arrow Lake. While canoeing on the lake south of Fauquier, I discovered some more, which I would like to share with you. There are also man-made structures that campsite visitors have set up following their artistic urges. Viewing them, I felt inspired to build an ‘inukshuk’ myself. Strictly speaking, these stone structures are not inukshuks. The latter have their origin in the monuments of the Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic. Among the stones, I found one that appeared to have a smiling face and in a precarious balancing act, I managed to put it on top of two other bigger stones. Enjoy.

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Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XIX

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New Beginning for Anna and Ludwig von Waldenfels

From Gauting as their starting point, Anna and Ludwig von Waldenfels, both already at retirement age, began once again to build up a foundation for their livelihood. At the end of 1947, they leased one half of the former Wehrmacht training camp Pentenried, which had become the possession of the State of Bavaria. They purchased the living and material inventory for the property. The couple kept about 15 to 20 cows, 2 or 3 teams of horses, 2 German shepherds; they had access and use of a tractor and employed three coachmen, also Walter Schirrmeister, their former estate manager of Panwitz, as well as a certain Ulrich Kennemann, and between February 1948 and February 1949 their nephew Karl Klopp (1929 – 2019) [Peter’s brother]. At the beginning of 1950, the couple von Waldenfels gave up the lease again and went into retirement. Ludwig was 75, and Anna was 65 years old. Today there remains very little of the Pentenried estate, a few outbuildings, and a hall with pigs’ troughs dating back to the army years.

Anna and Ludwig acquired subsequently the house at Hauptstraße 1 in Söcking near Starnberg and there they spent their golden years. On 17 March 1954, Ludwig von Waldenfels died at the age of 79. His wife had him buried in his Bavarian officer’s uniform. In September 1990, the author of the Klopp Chronicles, which I am translating into English, Eberhard Klopp, visited the neglected gravesite and found Ludwig’s wooden cross, which while still showing name and vital dates of the deceased von Waldenfels had due to weathering greatly deteriorated over the past four decades. Ludwig’s unserviced gravesite No. 84/85 is located at the forest cemetery of Söcking. One searches in vain for the mention of Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp), who has also been buried here in 1967.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lake

15

Wednesday’s Photos

The Blue Heron – The Graceful Visitor of the Arrow Lakes

The blue heron like the majestic eagle and the swift osprey has made a come-back after driven almost to extinction in the Arrow Lakes region. Until the use of DDT and pesticides had been outlawed, their population had been dwindling to the point of no return. Today’s post is dedicated to this graceful fish hunter along our shores typically found stalking through reeds and flooded grasses. Its voice is not pretty, but its gait and posture impress with their elegance and gracefulness. The blue heron is generally a wary and skittish bird that flies away at the slightest hint of danger. This time it allowed me to take pictures from a mere 10 m (about 30 ft). The short video clip shows the blue heron in flight. Enjoy.

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Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XVIII

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Escape from the Horrors of War

On the morning of 29 January 1945 Ludwig von Waldenfels was totally against leaving Panwitz. Being a former WW1 officer of the Bavarian army, he planned to hide in the forests of Panwitz and armed with a pistol intended to sacrifice his life if necessary. His wife Anna knew how to curtail such dramatic, but senseless undertaking and with gentle force manoeuvred him into the waiting car.

The population of East Brandenburg (to which Panwitz belonged) experienced all the brutalities of the Russian hordes. The people percentage-wise paid the highest blood tribute rendered in 1945 at their expulsion from the German eastern provinces. In Rogsen alone, a village of 761 inhabitants 10 km south of Panwitz, a dozen men were shot and on the night of 29 January 1945 forty brutally raped women and girls committed suicide. Already in the afternoon of the same day, Soviet artillery shot from Heidemühl and Kupfermühle at a distance of 5km into Meseritz.

For Ludwig and Anna, in view of the military situation, there was only one escape route. It led over icy and snowed-in country lanes via Lagowitz and Brätz to the main connecting road to Schwiebus. With little luggage and the few things on their body, the couple reached after one week of travel Gauting near Munich. There they found first reception at their brother/brother-in-law Ernst von Waldenfels (1877 – 1955). He was a bank chief inspector and lived at 10 Hindenburg Street. He was in charge of money matters before the chaotic times set in. Here they experienced the arrival of the Americans and thus survived the war’s end.

Within just a few hours a life’s work and dream had sunk into oblivion. Only the nostalgic feelings of 18 years of Panwitz and Lagowitz remained, which nobody of the former residence would ever see again. Alive remains the memory of the shadowy gravesite of grandmother Emma Klopp (née Bauer) in the park of the Panwitz estate. Her final resting place was supposed to have become the family gravesite of the Klopp and von Waldenfels clans. The fury of war and the greatest mass expulsion in history had swept all this away.

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