Otto Klopp – Friedrich and Emma’s Fifteenth Child

Otto Klopp (1898? – 1915)

Killed in Action in World War I

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.

A death notification similar to the one above was sent to Emma Klopp, Otto’s mother..

Lucia Selma Elsbeth Klopp – Friedrich and Emma’s Twelfth Child

Another Early Death in the Klopp Family

The twelfth child, born in Wolmirstedt on 4 August 1894, did not reach adulthood just as the seventh and tenth child. Although Selma had been mentioned in family circles, nobody could recall any details about her final resting place. The date and place of death could not be found in the official records of the town of Wolmirstedt, Jersleben or Elsenau. However, a photo of her exists (not in my possession), which was made in 1903 or 1904 by the photo store owned by Paul Lorenz. It shows her when she was about nine or ten years old. Her face, no longer childlike, already displays features of early adolescence. In all likelihood, she suffered from a lung disease just as her sister Else born a year later, who will be the topic of the next post. In 1903 or 1904 she moved with her mother Emma to Elsenau in West Prussia, and there she must have passed away a little later having suffered from tuberculosis.

Church in Elsenau (Olszanowo)

Friedrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Klopp (1879-1952) – Part IV

Raising his Family in West Prussia

Klopp Family Tree

Chart I – II

In 1905 Ferdinand married in the St. Mary’s Church of Thorn (today Polish Torun) his mother’s Polish maid. Her name was Rosalie Gronga (1877-1953). She was from Sampohl near Groß Konarcyzn, West Prussia. Her father owned a small farm and was at the same time at the service of the forestry department of Prussia. Ferdinand and Rosalie worked together a parcel of land similar in size and kind as mother Emma’s land in the vicinity.

Church in Elsenau (Olszanowo)
Church in Elsenau (Olszanowo) – Photo Credit:

Their daughters Margarethe and Charlotte were born there in 1906 and 1907 respectively. Then the family moved to Gostyn in the area south of Posen (today Polish Posnan), where they took over a dairy. Since Ferdinand had some expertise in the dairy business, he seized on an opportunity to get rid of the less profitable settler’s parcel at Elsenau.

Church of Gostyn near Posnan
Church of Gostyn near Posnan – Photo Credit:

The establishment of hundreds of estate dairies is directly connected to the years, when the byproducts of the sugar refineries and distilleries were intensively reprocessed for feed in the burgeoning cattle industry. In addition to this innovation the use of artificial fertilizers and the production of bone meal for fertilizing the meadows resulted in increased milk production among the successful cattle ranchers. Daughter Gertrud was born here in 1908. At the same time brother-in-law August and sister Rosa lived in Gostyn. This is a definite indication that at least in part, family connections were the cause for the resettlement.

Typical Estate Manor around the Turn of the Century
Typical Estate Manor around the Turn of the Century – Photo Credit: wikipedia

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