You will recall the budding development studies a couple of weeks ago. After six weeks of waiting, the magnolia bush put its beautiful flowers on glorious display. Then as a big surprise, the azalea plant, which had been so slow during the entire period, suddenly as if in response to my taunting was bursting out with a colourful and victorious cry: I am not going to be last as predicted by that ignorant blog writer Peter. And in third place comes the blooming lilac bush. So the rank order is official now. For the rose (in fourth place) to blossom, we will need to wait at least another week.
It was very difficult to obtain any concrete information on Otto Klopp, as no birth and place records were found. It is not even certain if mother Emma had taken him with her to her new residence in Elsenau, West Prussia in 1903 or 1904. In any case, he was mentioned among family circles as a 15-year or 16-year old in Wolmirstedt.
Hermann Weihe (1888 – 1947), the brother of his sister-in-law Marie-Luise Klopp (née Weihe) of Zielitz, arranged a job for Otto at a farm in Farsleben near Zielitz before 1914. There Otto in all likelihood started an apprenticeship program in agriculture. He was, therefore, the only one of the Klopp-Bauer children with whom mother Emma maintained a connection with the otherwise avoided Klopp-Weihe family. The author, Eberhard Klopp, offers the following explanation. Emma tried very hard to keep financial and family responsibilities within a manageable scope. For that reason Otto had to be taken care off in Farsleben.
At Wolmirstedt, Otto was presumably drafted into the German army to fight on the Russian front where he was killed in the 1915 offensive. As cause for his ‘hero’s death, several events during that year in World War I could be considered: his involvement in the Winter battle of February March 1915 in Masuria, East Prussia. Furthermore, he could have lost his life during the establishment of a new front and munition line of the Tenth army northeast of Suwalki. Finally, in connection with an attack at Kowno, he could have been killed during an enemy counterattack in the summer operation against Russia in July or August 1915. Otto Klopp received a shot through the lungs and bled to death in a wire entanglement.
This is our red delicious appletree. Today I noticed a lot of humming and buzzing around the blossoms. We have no honey bees in our community. So I thought I would only be seeing bumblebees. To my great surprise, there were other insects, some looked like wild bees and others I have not encountered before. Perhaps some of you insect experts like my blogging friend Gerhard in Germany could figure out and report back their names. Enjoy.
All of a sudden, it’s apple blossom time in the Arrow Lakes region. In our mini-orchard, we have three varieties of apple trees: the Grafenstein, the Red Delicious and the Crab Apple. The Grafenstein apple tree blossoming first is also earliest to produce very delicious and juicy fruit. Unfortunately, they need to be consumed rather quickly, because they quickly become mealy and lose their crispiness. On the other hand, the Red Delicious produces somewhat harder apples but has the definite advantage of being excellent keepers. Just today my wife made the last apple cake with the very last batch of the crop. The crab apple produces very small fruit not suitable for eating, but its red flowers are truly magnificent.
By the way, on last week’s post, I must have insulted the poor little azalea bush by claiming that it is going to be last to bloom. Guess what, right behind the magnolia tree, it has taken second place in the rank order of my budding studies.
After the war, Vincenz and Meta Mülbert moved into an apartment on Maria-Theresia-Street 4. At the end of 1946 Meta offered to her sister-in-law Erika Klopp (1899 – 1994), mother of this blog writer, a first dwelling. Erika was a refugee, who had fled from Gutfelde near Znin via Belgard/Pomerania to Freiburg.
The close contacts with her sister Anna von Waldenfels were also kept alive. It was perhaps Meta, who provided for her nephew Georg von Waldenfels first insights and orientation about the residential construction opportunities in the nearby town of Stauffen, before he settled down there with his wife and family.
When Anna became a widow in 1954, Meta invited her sister, who was quite wealthy, but now very lonely without any close relatives left in Bavaria, to stay with her in Freiburg. Both devoted their time and love to the care of their ailing husband and brother-in-law Vincenz. He died on October 2, 1958, after a long and painful battle with cancer in the Freiburg apartment. He had reached the ripe age of 79. He was buried at the main cemetery on the left of the entrance hall on site 16.
From Freiburg Meta and Anna undertook the occasional trip, such as visiting their brother Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964), this blog writer’s father, who had been living in Michelbach/Vogelsberg since 1957. They also travelled to Lake Titi in the Black Forest shortly before Anna’s granddaughter Carola’s departure for America.
When Anna von Waldenfels died in November 1967, Meta was on her own. Nobody of the Klopp family lived in close proximity. The stepchildren of Mülbert’s first marriage put the woman, who had converted to the Catholic faith into a Protestant home. There the lady died at the age of 86 on January 16, 1984. Next to her husband, whom she had survived by 26 years, Meta found her final resting place.
A post describing my visit as a child to Tante Meta in Freiburg can be found here.
The Gestapo Mülbert case contains for the perhaps forgetful descendants all the ingredients, which empower a dictatorship to oppress with the aid of dug-up trivialities its subjects and if found to be correct, to set into motion their elimination. The bitter cup filled by his own wife went by Vincenz only because of his political insignificance, which she had convincingly put on the table.
Nothing stood in the way to Meta Klopp to get married. Vincenz, having been found blameless, experienced in Meta understanding and compassion. In the eyes of Anna von Waldenfels, he represented after initial speechlessness certainly an acceptable person. She could not have imagined in her wildest dreams her little sister Meta as Frau Professor. The fact that the nerves of this – for Klopp standards and social status – highly educated humanist were presently stretched to their breaking point, added wings to Meta’s tender loving care. Her love enabled her to easily overlook his somewhat scurrilous outer appearance. Also the other religious (Catholic) denomination and the sudden onslaught of a large number of stepchildren were manageable burdens to bear. On the other hand, the much pampered and youngest Klopp girl was looking forward to a social climb of unimaginable proportions. They did not equal, to be sure, to Anna’s spectacular journey into the Bavarian nobility, but nevertheless brought her the respectable title of a ‘professor’s wife’.
On October 24, 1935 the Catholic wedding for the new couple Mülbert took place at the Saint Hedwig Cathedral in Berlin. Meta had converted to the Catholic faith out of love for her husband. The news reached the Wolmirstedt-Zieglitz branches of the Klopp family. They were in no way involved, but found fresh food for gossip and wallowed in their pseudo indignation.
Meta treated like a true mother all her stepchildren with tender loving care. She could not have children of her own. Until 1940 she lived with her husband in Mannheim. During his last year of service he seemed to have suffered from constant health problems. On April 1, 1942, the couple rented an apartment in Freiburg, Breisgau. On December 11, 1940 Vincenz Mülbert was granted early retirement. They lost their new residence in the heavily bombed city in World War II.