Günther Kegler, Chief of the Kegler-Clan (Part VI)

The Golden Years

After Elfriede Diesselhorst’s husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, widow Elfriede continued to work as pharmacist’s helper until 1963. She then moved back to Sangerhausen.

On June 1, 1970 Günther and Elfriede, having both lost their spouses, married in Watzenborn-Steinberg (now Pohlheim) and moved into  the aforementioned Seniors’ apartment complex in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. In spite of the many blows that fate had dealt her during her childhood and later years, she never lost her innate cheerfulness and thus brought much joy into my uncle’s life.

The Acropolis Hill - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

The Acropolis Hill – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Adventurous and still youthful in spirit they often traveled abroad, taking in the sights of cultural centers in Europe. They journeyed to Athens and visited the Acropolis. Along with Günther’s sisters and brother Gerhard they ventured in a  family excursion to the Mediterranean Sea in Southern France.

My brother Adolf and his wife Mary visiting the Keglers in Germany

Picture taken while my brother Adolf and his wife Mary were on visit to Germany

A highlight in their sunset years must have been their trip overseas to the distant ‘tribe’ of the Klopp-Kegler Clan in Canada. In the early 70’s they visited  their nephews Gerhard and me and our families in Calgary and Consort, Alberta. Like having been on a military inspection tour, he could accurately report back to the entire family on both sides of the Atlantic that ‘All is well on the Western front’. With such visits, which included family members of Uncle Bruno’s descendants  behind the Iron Curtain, he greatly contributed to a deep sense of family in spite of huge distances and political boundaries.


Günther  and Elfriede1976 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe

Günther and Elfriede1976 in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe

Günther Kegler, Chief of the Kegler-Clan (Part V)

Elfriede Kegler née Grempler

Chart II a – II

Once Günther and his second wife were comfortably settled in their Seniors’ apartment in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, they were truly riding into the sunset on a joyful note. But before I get into their adventures and travels of their golden years, we need to have a brief look of Elfriede’s family background.

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe 1976

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe 1976

Elfriede Kegler (née Grempler, widowed Diesselhorst) graduated from the all girls Sangerhausen High School in 1919 and received her training in her father’s pharmacy. Then in 1921 she worked for six months as a druggist’s helper in Halberstadt. After father’s sudden death she sought and found employment as payroll bookkeeper at the stoneware plant in Wallhausen. For a complete understanding of the difficulties she experienced my uncle described the following scenario that most Germans faced after Word War I: End of the Imperial Reich, merciless Treaty of Versailles, revolts, bloody unrest, political murders, hunger and misery, unemployment by millions of people, total devaluation of the money, which occurred from 1919 to 1923, first at a crawling pace, then crashing down like an avalanche, change of paper money from thousands to billions of Reichsmark bills, money earned today was worthless in only a few days, the black market flourished with all its evil social repercussions, a dance on the volcano!

A 200,000,000,000 Reichsmark bill worth next to Nothing

A 200,000,000,000 Reichsmark bill worth next to nothing

Now we get the picture of Elfriede’s task as bookkeeper in the stoneware plant of around 250 employees. If she had access to a modern-day computer, it would have certainly crashed under the load of zillions of zeros that needed to be crunched every single day. It was a severe strain on her brain, which caused her to have nightmares.

In 1927 she married the pharmacist Otto Diesselhorst of Hanover. Within in a few years the two managed to pay off the debt of the pharmacy. It was during this time that a life-long friendship developed between the Kegler and the Diesselhorst couples.

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe in 1984

Uncle Günther and Aunt Friedel in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe in 1984

To be concluded in a post next week …