Kein Unterschied, Homunkulus!
By Peter Klopp
After Biene and I had met for the second time at Lake Baldeney (near Essen, Germany) in July 1964, I composed for her the following short story. I deliberately left out the final two paragraphs to give all my readers a chance to ponder about how the story will end. If you want to place your guess into the comment section, that would be cool. I will publish the end of the story on Wednesday’s post. My apologies to all, who don’t know German. But it would have been too time-consuming to translate such a lengthy piece of writing.
Paps war ausgegangen, Nahrung zu holen. Eigentlich war er noch kein Vater, aber sie nannte ihn so, und das war entscheidend. Tief unter dem Erdreich saß sie in der gemütlichen Stube und betrachtete liebevoll ihren Leib. Sie dachte an die Kinder, die da kommen würden, und horchte still in sich hinein, ob sie nicht vielleicht schon ein zartes Pochen der Herzchen vernehmen könnte. Ihre schwarzen Äuglein leuchteten zufrieden, sie ging ihrer Erfüllung entgegen.
Und wo aber auch?! Mit keinem Palast dieser Erde hätte sie die so nützlich und sicher angelegte Wohnung getauscht, die ihr Mann in unermüdlicher Arbeit aus dem Erdreich gestampft hatte. Er hatte für alles gesorgt: Die Kinderzimmer grenzten mit ihren niedlich ausgerundeten Eingängen an die gute Stube und das Schlafzimmer der Eltern. Mit ihnen verbunden war ein lang sich erstreckenden Gang wohl drei Körperlängen hoch und mehr als dreißig solcher Längen lang, in dem die Kinder ungestört herumtollen könnten, wenn sie erst einmal ein wenig größer geworden sind. Und was den kommenden Winter anbetraf, so hatte ihr Mann mehr getan als alle Männer dieser Welt. Die Kornkammer war zum Bersten voll, genug, um eine zwölfköpfige Familie den Winter durchzubringen. Das wäre alles jedoch kein Weizenkörnchen wert gewesen, wenn nicht der umsichtige Vater auch für die Sicherheit gegen Wetter und Feind gesorgt hätte. Continue Reading →
Emma Christiane Klopp (née Bauer) – Chart I -I
1856 – 1941
Adapted from Eberhard Klopp’s Family Chronicle
The miller’s apprentice Peter Friedrich Klopp became acquainted with Emma Bauer, the daughter of the factory inspector Friedrich Wilhelm Bauer, born in Groß Ottersleben on March 3, 1818. Her father had moved to Jersleben, where he died on April 4, 1886. Emma at the time of his death was only 12 years old and was the fifth child out of her father’s marriage with Rebecca Sophie, who died in Wolmirstedt in 1898.
What brought Emma’s family originally from the Würzburg area to Jersleben, author Eberhard Klopp explains in his ‘Letter to the Descendants’ as follows:
Already blessed with four children Emma’s parents lived from at least 1855, most likely even sooner, in Rottendorf near Würzburg. In this village the wealthy Jewish Würzburg banker Joel Jakob von Hirsch managed an increasingly flourishing sugar factory. The socially conscious entrepreneur and owner of a large estate ‘wanted to provide a livelihood for lower class people, for he was kindhearted toward the poor people.’ Von Hirsch’s declared intention was to make the South German market independent of ‘the dominant North German sugar factories.’ To this end he hired specialists from Magdeburg, Cologne, Baden and Holland. An additional incentive was the voluntary health insurance fund established by the factory owner for the workers and their family members of his Rottendorf plant. This, at that time, was a rare, but socially groundbreaking undertaking.
Attracted by such favorable and promising working conditions, the Bauer family settled in Franconia probably until the shutting down of the Rottendorf plant. There in House No. 3 (Dürrhof}, property of the aforementioned banker Emma Bauer was born,
Unfortunately, due to a shortage of water it was no longer possible to process sugar beets. The production was shut down, which was a major cause for the Bauer family to relocate in the sugar beet region in the north near Magdeburg.
To be continued …
Chapter 5 – Part II
At the end of June I had grown into a feisty, likable character bringing joy into everybody’s heart with my entertaining giggles. Indeed I had a lot to be happy about. By now, I received already a real dinner, first spinach, then mashed strawberries and Mother’s own milk for dessert. Occasionally she would give me a portion of semolina porridge with juice, and I had carrot juice every day. What a wonderful life!
Now Karl came home from his boarding school in Belgard for the summer holidays. He happened to greet me, when I was at my very best behavior. I had woken up from a very good sleep, just had my favorite meal and presented to my oldest brother the sweetest smile I could muster. He was so delighted that he stood in front of my crib for a long time, while I was laughing at him, babbling endless stories while gazing at him with wondering eyes. At last Karl was allowed to pick me up and to hold me in his arms. He even granted me a little brotherly kiss. Continue Reading →
Yesterday morning I listened to a CBC radio interview with our local fire chief John Banta. The topic was our golf course, one of the main recreational and scenic attractions of Fauquier. The ground facing the lake has been undergoing major shifts making some people believe that the entire golf course with that wonderful little clubhouse included will eventually slip into the lake. The gist of the conversation revealed that there are two opposite viewpoints on the nature of the upheaval of the grounds facing the lake to the north. While the CBC interviewer spoke of impending disaster, John pointed out that only two of the nine holes have been affected and that the club house in his opinion is quite safe in its present location.
Having also heard so many different opinions from friends and neighbors, I decided to investigate the problem area myself and attempted to provide evidence for or against CBC’s claim that before long the golf course, club house and all will eventually slip into the lake.
Here is what I discovered at the site and I use the pictures to support the evidence:
- Near the warning ribbon directly facing the lake there is an almost vertical drop-off of several meters.
- Facing northwest I noticed another drop-off not quite as frightening, but still dangerous enough to cause serious injury, should someone step over the edge. Again the angle with ground above and the ground below was nearly 90°.
- Making a big loop around the area I worked my way up to take a closer look from below. It was very clear that the ground has been in motion everywhere I looked.
- The entire surface area, however, no matter how big or small, revealed the same picture, not what one would expect a movement toward the lake, but rather sinking ground with a distinct vertical downward trend.
Thinking about a probable cause for this unusual phenomenon, I thought that there is only one plausible explanation. Not more than three weeks before this disturbing event we experienced a heavy snowfall followed by a two-week period of steady rain and unseasonably warm temperatures. The ground became saturated. The drainage ditches in town filled up to maximum capacity. But what was worse was the underground seepage that took place on a grand scale. The fine sand that is sandwiched between layers of clay was washed away leaving large underground cavities behind, over which the surface areas of the golf course near the lake collapsed. Of course, it did not help any that the lake is presently at its lowest level in years creating a huge imbalance of the entire shoreline.
I can only express my sincere hope that BC Hydro being in control of the lake level will generously chip in with sufficient funds to make the necessary repair possible. I felt a little bit more cheerful when at the end of my exploration of the damage I noticed two golfers testing their skills on the remaining 7 intact holes. Wow! What a sight in February!