Elise Alma Klopp (1882-1975) – Part III

Active and Mentally Alert to the End

Rastenburg (Kętrzyn), East Prussia - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
Rastenburg (Kętrzyn), East Prussia – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

At the end of World War II Else was the only surviving child of the Scholz family. Else had married the engineer Artur Thieß. He is the one I called Uncle Artur, even though he was my cousin by marriage. He was born in Rastenburg, East Prussia,in 1905. For twenty years he had been active in the technical division of the German Post Office. After the war he was teaching at the institute of engineering within the East German postal system. There his talents found recognition and he quickly advanced to the position of lecturer at the department of engineering and electronics specializing in low-frequency applications in Berlin-Lichtenberg. In 1952 he published a book on low-frequency transmissions. He also frequently served as guest lecturer at the famous Humboldt University. [Knowing my interest in the field of electronics, he now and then sent me textbooks on transistor theory and practice.It was apparently permitted to mail books from the German Democratic Republic to the West, but not in the opposite direction.]

Artur

The surviving children of the Thieß marriage were all female: Ingrid, Gerlinde, Antje (see photo below) and Silvia. They were all known to me through my two visits in 1959 and 1962.

Anje Thieß 1962 (third girl) participating in competitive rowing
Anje Thieß 1962 (third girl) participating in competitive rowing for the German Democratic Republic

In the tender loving care of her daughter Else and son-in-law Artur Thieß,  Aunt Alma passed away on September 10, 1975 at the age of 93. Mentally alert until the very end she reached the oldest age of the entire Friedrich and Emma Klopp family.

Elise Alma Klopp (1882-1975) – Part II

Alma Scholz (née Klopp) and her Family

Alma. widow at 37, did not marry again. During WWII she lived in the Friedrichstraße in Berlin close to Strausberg Square. There, already 63 years of age, she lost her home during a bombing raid in 1943. From that time on she lived with her daughter Else and her son-in-law Artur Thieß.

Friedrichstraße_Unter_den_Linden_Berlin - Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
Friedrichstraße, Unter den Linden Berlin – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Her two sons Otto and Willi did not return from the war. Willi died in action on Christmas Eve 1943 in Finland, while Otto was reported missing in East Prussia at the beginning of January 1945. He probably perished with thousands of refugees and injured soldiers, when the hospital vessel “Wilhelm Gustloff” sank in the icy Baltic Sea, after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine on January 30, 1945.

Boarding the Wilhelm Gustloff January 1945 - Photo Credit: renagadetribune.com
Boarding the Wilhelm Gustloff January 1945 – Photo Credit: renagadetribune.com

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has the following to say and I quote, “The MV Wilhelm Gustloff was a German military transport ship which was sunk on 30 January 1945 by Soviet submarine S-13 in the Baltic Sea while evacuating German civilians, Nazi officials and military personnel from Gdvnia (Gotenhafen) as the Red Army advanced. By one estimate, 9,400 people died, which makes it the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in history.” Lucky were those who survived the war, because they had been refused to board the already overcrowded ship.

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