Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesday’s Photos

Captured on the Way to the Waterfall

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.

Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 11

Visitors from Berlin

Summer 1941

Please note that my thoughts on my father’s life appear in green print. What is shown in regular print is translated from my cousin’s book on the Klopp family.

Uncle Artur’s report about their summer vacation at Silberberg far away from the capital city in a  carefree rural setting was a joyful moment in time for the entire family. The Klopp children, Karl, Adolf, Erika, and Gerhard (I wasn’t born yet) and the visiting cousins Ingrid and Gerlinde had lots of fun exploring the fields and visiting the farm animals, the cows, horses and even a mule. They took an immediate liking to the three dogs, which added excitement and often real drama to their vacation in the country.

First Page of Artur’s Report on their Summer Vacation

Piekusch, the dachshund, Gerlinde’s favourite dog, managed to pry open the closet door in the middle of the night, pulled out a pillow stuffed with goose down, ripped it open and sent the feathers a-flying. Jumping high and chasing those elusive goose feathers were too much fun to enjoy all by himself. Yapping and howling he drove himself into a frenzy, waking up the entire family in the upstairs bedrooms who came rushing down to behold the spectacle. The event caused so much laughter and merriment that Piekusch got by with just a stern reprimand.

Watching the horses running wild and free on the nearby pasture was not without danger. One day a string of horses came galloping straight towards the children. It became frighteningly obvious the ferocious beasts would not bother to race around the children. In a split-second they leaped into the thicket of a bush, which saved them from being trampled to death.

Some other time the visitors from Berlin took a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to a village, where a wandering troop of performers offered some small town circus entertainment. Nobody was particularly worried as the carriage was gaining speed. As it turned out the coachman had fallen asleep and the horses had gone out of control. Luckily, the coachman woke up just in time to rein in the horses. Otherwise the horses would have dragged the carriage into the lake a mere hundred metres ahead of them.

Freshly caught carp from the pond frequently provided meat relished by all the guests and family members. Uncle Ernst always ready to crack a joke described a ten-pound carp as the venerable elder among the carp tribe.

My Father at the Main Entrance of the Gutfelde Manor 1941

In those days fridges were unheard of in the remote rural community in the land of the Warthe. But the cellar below the main floor was filled with ice. The children had free access to the barrel which contained an huge amount of pickles. Crunchy and tasty the pickles were a refreshing delight during the hot summer days. I could not leave “Uncle Artur’s” vacation report unpublished as insignificant as it may appear. For it gives the distinct impression of peace and happiness at a time of war and destruction in many parts of Germany and the world.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesday’s Photos

Of Bumble Bees and Wildflowers on Mt. Scaia

After we came back from our mountain road trip to Mt. Scaia and a thorough review and culling of pictures on my photo card, I still had fifty photos left worthy of publication on my blog. I believe that you understand the pain from your own experiences how difficult it is to eliminate so many images in order not to overwhelm your followers. So I broke my five-picture rule and decided to publish seven. At 7000 ft altitude, we relished the clean mountain air, the alpine flowers and the busy bumblebees visiting them. Enjoy.

Among the wildflowers Biene (Bee) is all smiles.
The Ubiquitous Fireweed in the Alpine Country
Bumblebee Visiting the Fireweed Flower
Looking North at the Monashee Mountains
Heading Straight to the Honey Pot
Gorgeous Mountain view
Different species of Bumblebee Feasting on a different Wildflower

Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 10

The Golden Years (1941 – 1945)

A Few Words About The Title

Please note that my thoughts on my father’s life appear in green print. What is shown in regular print is translated from my cousin’s book on the Klopp family.

You may be puzzled about the title I have chosen for this episode of my father’s life. After all, in many parts of the world people were suffering under the horrific impact of World War II. After the Nazi aerial attacks on southern England came the Allied bombing raids of German towns and cities. Tens of thousands of people perished in the firestorms. Innocent people suffered, starved and got murdered in the Nazi concentration camps. Millions of soldiers gave their lives, on the Allied side in defence of freedom, on the Axis side for the illusion of the questionable honour of dying a hero’s death for the fatherland. So why would I chose such a seemingly inappropriate title for a period when the winds of war brought horror, death and destruction to many parts of the world?

Dresden after the Devastating Bombing Raids

Because at that particular time for the Ernst Klopp family, their workers, friends and relatives, Gutfelde and the entire county of Dietfurt (Znin) was an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Relatives from the big cities under the threat of constant bombardment came flocking to Gutfelde to spend weeks, often months far away and out of reach of the deadly bombing raids. Food was nutritious and plentiful. Even as late as December 1944 the family could celebrate a traditional Christmas with gifts for both adults and children, plates filled with Pfeffernüsse, nuts and all sorts of delicious baked goodies.

Artur Thiess at age 72. East Berlin Rowing Club

The first visitors came from Berlin in the summer of 1941. At that time my father Ernst Klopp had just started his first major assignment on the Silberberg estate in the Wartheland. Artur Thiess was the husband of Else, the daughter of aunt Alma. Later on because of the huge age difference (I was not yet born in 1941) I called him Uncle Artur, even though technically speaking he was my cousin. Artur spent his summer vacation with his wife Else and his two daughter Ingrid and Gerlinde at Silberberg. He wrote a one page type-written report, which my mother had passed on to me and which I will publish next week.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesday’s Photos

Of Hops and the Joy of Raised Garden Beds

You will remember the video I presented on this blog that gave you some impressions of the simplicity of raised garden beds. At age 78 I strive to make things simpler, more efficient and ultimately more relaxing with gardening as one of the many areas of this lofty goal.

Weeding when needed at all has turned into a pleasurable activity. For the last four weeks or so my wife and I have been eating our own lettuce, beans, strawberries, with cucumbers and red beets recently added to the delicious mix of fruits and vegetables. As a bonus I added another photo of the various hops plants, which are beginning to develop those cones that are responsible for the fine refreshing taste of a homemade craft beer. Enjoy.

Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 9

County Court Duties in Dietfurt (Znin)

Please note that my thoughts on my father’s life appear in green print. What is shown in regular print is translated from my cousin’s book on the Klopp family.

At the time of my birth, my father as manager and inspector was in charge of the estates Silberberg, Oberhof and Gutfelde totalling an area of approximately 3000 ha. Although he must have been thankful to the authorities for landing him such challenging and prestigious position and therefore may have harboured a favourable disposition towards the Nazi regime, he always strove to keep his humanity in dealing with his fellow human beings, Germans and Poles alike. In particular, through his actions he distanced himself from the policy that forbade German citizens to fraternize with the defeated enemy. It is a great testimony to his moral independence from the dark and sinister sides of Nazi Germany that he allowed Polish men and women to live and work closely and cordially with the Klopp family at the Gutfelde residence and the agricultural headquarter for the region. He maintained an excellent working relationship with the former Polish estate manager Haluda, who after WW2 took over as director of the communist run state farm. From the stories I picked up from my mother I speculate that Father owed his survival to his reputation of treating fairly and equitably all the people who worked for the large estates under his directorship. Other inspectors notorious for their arrogance, cruelty and injustice in dealing with the Polish population were rounded up, lynched, hanged or shot in the closing months of the war. On a  Polish website with special focus on mansions, manors, and castles of Poland, I found an entire page devoted to Gutfelde – now an agricultural training center with orchards, wheat and corn under cultivation, 800 cows and 8000 pigs. The same page to my great surprise mentioned my father’s name as an administrator during WW2! The mansion-like imposing building was built around 1880 in the late-classical style and consisted of a body with a higher wing and ground floor extensions. It has not changed much in the last seventy years.

Gutfelde/Zlotniki 2012

The estate secretary was Czeslawa Pruszewicz. Due to Nazi marriage restrictions regarding Poles, she could not call herself Gromowska until much later. My late brother Karl (1929 – 2019) added in a footnote the following comment, “She maintained through correspondence with Erika Klopp regular contact for more than 40 years and died in Rogowo in 1986. Her granddaughter still keeps up the connection with the Karl Klopp family in Detmold to this very day (1997). Ernst Klopp did not tell much about his experiences as an estate administrator. However, it is safe to assume that the descendants of his former Polish estate personnel have kept him in a favourable light.

The Dietfurt Hospital, where Peter Klopp was born

In the Dietfurt county hospital the last child, son Peter, was born on March 24, 1942. Contrary to family tradition and in comparison to his four older siblings, Peter for the time being remained unbaptized. It seems reasonable to assume that in view of Ernst’s positive attitude toward the system a certain alienation from the church institution may have played a major role in that decision.

Little Peter in Gutfelde

Even though Ernst Klopp was not a lawyer, he functioned never-the-less as a semi-independent within the county court system. In a sort of pseudo-independence acting in an honorary unsalaried function, he dealt with complaints among Nazi members against each other as well as with charges from outside the Nazi hierarchy against such individuals. In some individual instances, Ernst also dealt with cases of complaints coming from the Polish population. He was not a civil servant but was authorized to sign and authenticate documents such as marriage, birth and death certificates. He held his honorary position with the Dietfurt county system not on the basis of NS Party Membership, which he did not have, but rather on his reputation as a capable estate manager.