The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

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Tag Archives: Johanna Kegler

Johanna Kegler, Widow of Bruno Kegler – in German

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Neuanfang und Existenzkampf der Johanna Kegler Familie

Bericht von Oma Hanna  (Chart II a – II)

Aus den Erinnerungssplittern von ihrer Enkelin Anke Schubert

Im Sommer 1945 wollten wir, da auch hier in Mellen die russische Armee war, vor der wir geflüchtet waren, in die Heimat zurück. Weder Radio noch Zeitungen, nur mündliche Mitteilungen gaben vage Auskunft! So spannte der Bürgermeister – froh, Flüchtlinge loszuwerden, – 3 große Wagen an und transportierte etwa 30 Personen nach Lenzen/Elbe zur Bahn. Tagelang waren wir bis Berlin in überfüllten Zügen, auf deren Dächern Menschen saßen, unterwegs, von Rotarmisten bewacht – manchmal fuhr der Zug nur weiter, wenn dem Rotarmisten, der mit auf der Lok war, „Schnaaps“ spendiert wurde. Wer eine Flasche besaß, mußte sie hergeben. – In Berlin erfuhren wir von Soldaten, die von Hirschberg kamen, dass dort jetzt die Polen waren. Es gab kein Zurück mehr!

Germany 1945 - Photo Credit: nyt.com

Germany 1945 – Photo Credit: nyt.com

Durch das Trümmerfeld Berlin zogen wir mit Handkarren, die irgendwo am Bahnhof rumstanden, aufs Geratewohl zu Verwandten von Keglers, und tatsächlich, wir konnten unterkommen, teils in Charlottenburg, teils im Pfarrhaus in Wedding. Ich bin an diesem Tag mit Hartmut 40 km und mehr hin- und hergelaufen – Bahnen, Busse etc. gingen nicht, Brücken waren kaputt.

Berlin 1945 - PhotoCredit: forum.warthunder.com

Berlin 1945 – PhotoCredit: forum.warthunder.com

Am nächsten Tag ging es wieder zurück nach Wittenberge – tagelang. Dort schrieb ich, noch auf den Treppenstufen des Bahnhofes auf einem alten Feldpostbrief meine Bewerbung um Wiedereinstellung als Lehrerin an das Schulamt, denn die Schulen sollten wieder eröffnet werden. Ich hatte Glück: am 1. Oktober 1945 wurde ich in Rambow – Mellen in den Schuldienst berufen. Es war eine schwere Zeit – keine Hefte, keine zugelassenen Bücher, keine Bleistifte … und es gelang! Arbeitswille und Disziplin halfen mir und 118 Schülern zu bescheidenen Freuden und Erfolgen.

Muehle Mellen

Alte Mühle in Mellen

Meine Familie zog in das Schulhaus in Rambow ein, altes, abgestelltes Gerümpel der Bauern wurde mir geborgt. 1946 wurde die Schule zur Zentralschule, ich zur Schulleiterin, mir wurden vier im Schnellverfahren (acht Monate) ausgebildete Lehrer zur Seite gestellt.

A Touching Love Story in German

2

Die Wunderbare Liebesgeschichte meiner Großeltern

von Anke Schubert  ( Chart II a – II & IV)
Published in English on Jan. 30, 2015
Altstadt von Stettin (heute Szczecin) Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Altstadt von Stettin (heute Szczecin) Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Meine Großmutter Johanna besuchte von 1929 bis 1931 ein Lehrerseminar in Stettin. Sie stammte aus Hirschberg im Riesengebirge. Ihr Vater, der Oberschullehrer Ludwig Engel, hatte diese Lehranstalt ausgesucht, weil hier im Gegensatz zu anderen Hochschulen nur Studentinnen ausgebildet wurden. Nun trug es sich zu, dass bei einer Cousine von Johanna ein junger Zollbeamter namens Bruno Kegler zu Gast war. An der Wand der Wohnung hing ein Bild von Johanna, und Bruno fragte neugierig, wer das sei. Ihm wurde Bescheid gegeben, und er bat darum, der Cousine einen Gruß ausrichten zu dürfen. Das wurde ihm gestattet. Als Johanna ihre ersten Semesterferien zu Hause in Hirschberg verlebte, erhielt sie eines Tages eine Brief mit fremder Schrift und mit der ihr bis dahin fremden Anrede „Sehr geehrtes gnädiges Fräulein!“. Lachend zeigte sie die Zeilen ihren Eltern und las ihnen vor, dass der Briefeschreiber um ein Treffen bat, um ihr die Grüße ihrer Cousine ausrichten zu dürfen. Vater Ludwig sagte sogleich: „Du schreibst, dass aus dem Treffen nichts wird, da du ja gerade in Hirschberg bist“. Johanna setzte sich sofort hin und schrieb auf einem winzigen Briefkärtchen die Absage. Der Brief wanderte in den Briefkasten – der Vater kontrollierte das vom Balkon aus – und Johanna verlebte zufrieden ihre Ferien.

Als sie wieder in Stettin war, schrieb Bruno wieder nach Hirschberg. Der Brief wurde geöffnet, aber Johanna immerhin nach Stettin nachgeschickt. Er enthielt die wiederholte Bitte, die Grüße ausrichten zu dürfen. Johanna zeigte das Schreiben ihren Klassenkameradinnen, die sie vor den energischen Schriftzügen warnten. Sie antwortete aber trotzdem und gab den Termin und den Ort – ein Café – an. Alle Klassenkameradinnen wollten mitkommen!

Bruno und Johanna - Eine Glückliche Zeit

Bruno und Johanna – Eine Glückliche Zeit

Als Kennzeichen hatte Bruno angegeben, dass er einen grauen Anzug mit einer weißen Nelke im Knopfloch tragen würde, Johanna wollte ein weißes Kleid und einen weißen Schal tragen.

Als sie sich an dem verabredeten Termin im Café einfand, sah sie … zwei Herren in grauen Anzügen, und keiner hatte eine weiße Nelke im Knopfloch! Aber einer stand auf, kam auf sie zu und stellte sich vor – und es war, als ob sie sich seit Jahren kennen würden.

Bruno und Johanna - Liebe auf den Ersten Blick

Bruno und Johanna – Liebe auf den Ersten Blick

Für Johanna begann nun eine wunderschöne Zeit. Sie sahen sich so oft sie konnten, unternahmen gemeinsame Wanderungen und Dampferfahrten.

Schon nach dem ersten Treffen sagte Bruno zu den beiden alten Damen, bei denen er als „möblierter Herr“ wohnte, er habe gerade seine zukünftige Ehefrau kennen gelernt. Ohne Johannas Wissen schrieb er an ihre Eltern, schilderte seine wirtschaftliche Lage und seine Familie und bat darum, einen Besuch machen zu dürfen. Das wurde ihm gestattet, man lernte sich kennen und am 29. April 1930 heirateten Johanna und Bruno. Sie waren sehr glücklich miteinander, und in den folgenden Jahren wurde dieses Glück durch die Geburt ihrer Kinder Hartmut, Elisabeth und Jürgen vervollkommnet.

Bild 26

The P. and G. Klopp Story

Chapter VI continued

Report by Lavana Kilborn  (Chart I – III)

My Journey from 1943 to 1947

In the summer of 1943, my mother and I left by train for Hirschberg, where relatives of mine resided. As we lived in the country, it was necessary for me to move in order to obtain proper schooling. My host-family consisted of my widowed aunt Johanna, her parents and three cousins of mine, one of them being a girl, named Elisabeth and two boys. After a few days my mother returned home.

I got along very well with my new family, in particular with Elisabeth, who was of the same age as myself. We sat side by side in school and became good friends. The beautiful city had a large swimming pool, surrounded by grass to sunbathe, play ball etc. On weekends the family would go hiking in the nearby mountains, where the source of the mighty Elbe River is located. The song “Oh du schönes Riesengebirge, wo die Elbe heimlich rinnt …” still makes me melancholic, when I sing it. We also skied on wooden skis. There were no lifts then, but how much fun it was. All these activities were new and exciting experiences for me.

Refugees Waiting for the Last Train at Breslau

Refugees Waiting for the Last Train at Breslau

In January of 1945 everything came to an abrupt halt. Refugees started pouring in from neighboring provinces, fleeing from the encroaching Russian front. They were mostly old people, women and children. There was lots of speculation about how this all would develop, some people moved westward on their own, others stayed in the city, hoping that they may return some day. The evacuation order came in early February and trains were ready to take us to safety and by now we could hear the guns in the distance. My family hesitated, there were discussions, but finally common sense prevailed. And our little group left on the last train out; later on we learned that all Russian soldiers entered the city the following day. Our train compartment was very crowded, one toilet, a small hand basin with only cold water for all of us meant long line-ups throughout the day. Food and drink were provided for our journey. The winters in East Germany are very cold, the land covered in snow, not much for us kids to see. Twice the whistle blew, the train stopped and we were ordered to step outside and move away from the train and stand still. When the whistle blew again, we were to get back on the train immediately. These were brief episodes when Allied planes came and went quickly not interested in us at all as they had bigger fish in mind. However our last stop along the way was different, as we were now ordered not to leave the train. We were all wondering what this was all about. Soon it became apparent that Dresden, the beautiful city, had been bombed, the sky was aflame to tell the story. Later we learned that thousands of people had perished, many of them at the main train station. This was the reason for us to be rerouted a day later. Our Tante Margot survived, as they were in another part of Dresden.

Dresden - Photo Credit: Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-Z0309-310

Dresden – Photo Credit: Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-Z0309-310

Our little group eventually made it to Mark Brandenburg, a place so far untouched by the war. Our major problem was that we were always hungry. Us older kids left daily on food-begging trips. Thus we managed to survive. Often I went on my own. Once while crossing a forested area, I came across the body of a German officer, eyes and mouth open providing a feast to tiny creatures. Another episode was more frightening. Three German teens in uniform, not knowing that the war had ended, shot dead a Russian soldier on patrol. These kids were caught and executed in the courtyard of the farmhouse where we stayed. It was horrifying to hear those shots. Another experience stands out for me. As I was approaching a large farmhouse, the hausfrau saw me coming, yelling at me to leave or she would sic the dog on me. Scared I turned to run off, when a Russian soldier took me by the arm and motioned to follow him into the root cellar. Here the farmers kept their food. From the shelves the soldier took bread, cheese, a piece of bacon and handed me the goodies, which I put into my bag. I was out of there in no time never to come back to that place again.

Railway Station Erfurt

Railway Station Erfurt – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.og

Eventually my host family was able to contact an uncle of mine in Erfurt. He and his wife took me in and my life began to normalize again. I loved the family, the school and the beautiful city. However, I often wondered where my parents and siblings might be. My mother and the two youngest brothers were finally located. In the meantime the two older brothers also arrived in Erfurt. And it was decided that Adolf and I were to join Mother in southwest Germany. The necessary papers arrived and we were on our way. The train took us close to the border and we walked the rest of the way. Two Russian border guards saw us coming and questioned us. After studying our valid papers allowing us to pass, they just tore them up. We were stunned at such injustice, after all we were 15 (Adolf) and 13 years old myself. The soldiers shooed us off, one of them pointing at his gun, in case we had any ideas of returning. We left seeking shelter behind a haystack and began to weigh our options on what to do next. Adolf wanted to return to Erfurt, but I would have none of it. I picked up my stuff carefully avoiding the guardhouse. Now a steady rain had begun. Soon I heard my brother’s footsteps behind me and I was much relieved. I don’t remember how long we walked. It seemed like a long time. By the time we got to a small railway station, we were exhausted, yet very much relieved that we were in the West. Two French border guards approached us demanding to see our papers, – no wonder, we looked like runaways. Adolf handled the situation quite well and we were allowed to board the train,

Nuernberg_Burg_Panorama_PtGUI

Nuremberg Castle – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.og

In Nuremberg we found the Red Cross Refugee Camp, where we received food and shelter. As we were out of money, discussing our next move, a woman interrupted us handing Adolf a bill that would cover our train fare to Meßkirch. Several kilometers more on foot and we arrived in Rohrdorf. What a relief for all of us to join our mother and the two youngest brothers again after such a long separation!

Marie Kegler, Stalwart of Christian Faith – Part II

Aunt Marie (Tante Mieze)

In a previous post I described how Marie Kegler got to look after me for an entire year in 1954. That was the year when she resumed work as teacher at the Elementary School in Brünen. She had found modest accommodation at a miller’s farmhouse. You can read more about it in greater detail in an upcoming chapter of the P. and G. Klopp Story.

Marie Kegler on the Balcony of our Wesel Apartment

Marie Kegler on the Balcony of our Wesel Apartment

In 1955 she managed to land a teaching position in the nearby city of Wesel on the River Rhine. At a time, when there was a great housing shortage in the bombed-out city, she located a two-bedroom apartment. At last, Mother, who had become Tante Mieze’s housekeeper in exchange for room and board, was able to reconnect with me. Marie Kegler retired in 1957 and in 1962 the two sisters accepted my uncle’s invitation to share a rental house in Watzenborn-Steinberg. The new place turned out to be a veritable beehive of relatives and friends dropping in for a taste of the pleasant hospitality, which Uncle Günther, Chief of the Kegler Clan and avid Doppelkopf player, his wife Aunt Lucie, Aunt Marie, and my mother were tirelessly offering to their guests. I have the fondest memories of my frequent weekend visits during my army years. Aunt Mieze as during the time in Wesel continued to provide spiritual leadership by daily reading from a devotional booklet and saying grace and thanks to God at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.

Pretending to Play the Guitar

Trying out my  Guitar

Alas, Aunt Lucie passed away after a lengthy illness. When Uncle Günther remarried and moved with his new wife Aunt Friedel to Kassel, a very happy period of family togetherness came to a sudden end. Tante Mieze could not afford to pay the rent. Even if she had had the means, the house in Watzenborn was too large for just two people. So they moved to Bad Ems in the beautiful Lahn Valley, where they lived in Haus Abendfrieden (House Evening Peace) for another six years. In 1980, Tante Mieze became very ill. The Senior Citizen Home, where they stayed, had no intensive care facilities. Thus, they had to move to Gladenbach close to the picturesque medieval city of Marburg. Shortly after Tante Mieze had been taken by ambulance to the Old Folks Home, she died at the age of 89.

Südfrankreich 1965 Gerhard Margit Günther Lucie Erika Johanna Mieze

Günther, Gerhard, Mother, Johanna. Margot, Lucie, Marie Kegler in Southern France

Deeply steeped in the Christian faith, she led a life that in my view was exemplary. When she saw other people in need, she was always ready to help.Thankfully I will always remember her kindness to invite Mother to join her in Wesel. With her financial help I was able to finish my German High School diploma. without which my teaching career in Canada would have been unthinkable. After we emigrated to Canada, she kept mailing devotional booklets to her niece and nephews in the hope to provide some spiritual guidance. I must admit I did not take the time to read them. My brother Gerry too was not too interested either and irreverently called them flyswatters (Fliegenklappen).

In the world we live in we appraise a person’s success in life by standards, such as wealth, status, popularity, etc. God on the other hand looks at the motives and favors the purity of the heart. Aunt Marie’s actions always spoke louder than words. Love and compassion for her fellow human beings were the guiding principles throughout her entire life.

More on Bruno Kegler and His Family in German

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 Bruno Kegler und Seine Familie

Chart II a – I, II, III, IV

Contributed by Dieter and Edda Barge

Wir möchten heute über Eddas Großeltern mütterlicherseits berichten. Eine Hilfe dabei sind die bereits genannten Ahnen-Unterlagen von Erich Engel und ein Fotoalbum, dass Oma Johanna für ihre Tochter Elisabeth (Eddas Mutti) gefertigt hat. Erich ist Johannas Cousin, man sieht beide auf folgendem Foto:

Bild 1

Bild 1

 Eddas Opa Bruno Kegler entstammte einer Pastorenfamilie. Er wurde am 14.8.1901 in Grünewald, Kreis Neustettin in Hinterpommern, als 6. Kind in der Ehe von Pastor Karl Kegler und seiner Ehefrau Elisabeth, geb. Maas, geboren. Erich Engel ermittelte als ältesten Vorfahren der Keglers einen Gottfried, der sich noch Kägeler schrieb. Gottfried wurde in Luchow bei Stettin geboren und starb am 12.Mai 1715. Hier die Eltern von Bruno:

Bild 2

Bild 2

 

Bruno 1906 und 1924:

Bild 3 und Bild 4

 Das nächste Bild zeigt die Eltern von Johanna, Oberschullehrer Ludwig Engel mit seiner Frau Margarete, geb. Janke, und der kleinen Johanna, die am 15.März 1907 in Bad Ziegenhals, Kreis Neiße geboren wurde und das einzige Kind blieb.

Bild 3

Bild 5

 Johanna verlebte eine glückliche, unbeschwerte Kindheit und wuchs in einem harmonischen, fröhlichen Elternhaus auf. Sie besuchte das Lyzeum und die Studienanstalt in Hirschberg, später die Frauenfachschule in Görlitz und von 1929 – 1931 das Lehrerseminar in Stettin. Bruno erhielt seinen ersten Unterricht in der Volksschule Grünewald bei seinem Vater, 1911 trat er in die Kadettenanstalt in Plön ein, ab 1915 in Berlin-Lichterfelde, 1919 bestand er das Abitur, der Tod seines Vaters am 15.Juni 1919 traf ihn hart. Er trat in den Grenzschutz ein und begann ein Medizinstudium in Tübingen, das er aber wegen Geldmangel aufgeben musste. Er trat in den Zolldienst ein. In Neustadt/Oberschlesien befreundete er sich mit Hans Becker. Später wurde er nach Stettin versetzt Bei einem Besuch bei den Beckers sah er ein Bild von Johanna Engel an der Wand hängen und die Frau von Hans Becker, Ruth sagte “das ist meine Cousine Johanna”. Bruno wollte unbedingt Grüße von Beckers an Johanna ausrichten und lernte sie am 10.8.1928 in Stettin kennen. Nun begann für Johanna die wunderschöne Zeit der ersten Liebe. Sie sahen sich oft und unternahmen gemeinsame Wanderungen und Dampferfahrten. Bruno hatte nach dem ersten Zusammentreffen mit Johanna den beiden Damen, bei denen er als “möblierter Herr” wohnte, spontan erklärt, dass er seine zukünftige Frau kennengelernt habe !!! Am 29.April 1930 schlossen beide in Hirschberg den Bund der Ehe. In ihren Ringen war der 10.8.1928 eingraviert.

 Bilder 6 – 9

Bild 9 zeigt beide mit den Beckers. Der Weg der Familie führte sie über Bad Landeck (ab Jan. 1935), Bitburg (ab Okt. 1937), Königsberg/Neumark (ab Okt. 1938) nach Oppeln (ab April 1940). In Stettin wurden Hartmut am 14.4.1931(Bild 10) und Elisabeth am 31.12.1933 (Bild 11) geboren.

 

Bild 10                                                                                                                    Bild 11

Von Bad Landeck die Bilder 12-16.

 

Bilder 12 – 16

 In Bitburg wurde am 20.3.1938 Jürgen geboren.

 

Bilder 17 – 19

 Bild 19 entstand bei einem Besuch der Großeltern Ludwig und Margarete. In Königsberg führt der stolze Großvater Ludwig die großen Enkel zum Schwimmunterricht, die nächsten Fotos zeigen Ferienbilder von Stolpmünde.

Bild 20

Bild 20

 

Bilder 21 – 24

 Auf den Bildern 21-24 sieht man Oma Elisabeth. Dann begann am 1.September 1939 der unsägliche Krieg. Bruno musste den Polenfeldzug vom 1.September bis zum 6.Oktober mitmachen. Bild 25 zeigt Bruno in Uniform, Bild 26 die Familie bei einem Urlaub im Januar 1940.

Bild 25                                                                                                                   Bild 26

 Am 18.6.1940 fiel Bruno in Kientzheim/Elsaß. Hanna schrieb im Album: Manchmal wollt’ ich fast verzagen, und ich dacht-ich trüg es nie. Und ich hab es doch getragen, aber fragt mich nur nicht -wie.-” Über diese schlimme Zeit berichtet Dieter in einem gesonderten Beitrag! Oma Hanna ging bald mit den Kindern nach Hirschberg zurück. Es schließt sich zeitlich der schon eröffentlichte Bericht von Hartmut über die Flucht nach Mellen an.

Bruno and Johanna Kegler

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A Touching Love Story

Contributed by Anke Schubert

Chart II a – II & IV

My grandmother Johanna attended a teacher’s college in Stettin. Her hometown was Hirschberg in the Giant Mountains. Her father, the headteacher Ludwig Engel, had chosen this institute of higher learning, because in contrast to all the others only female students were educated here. Now it so happened that a young customs officer by the name of Bruno Kegler was a guest at her cousin’s place. On the wall of the apartment hung Johanna’s picture, and Bruno curiously asked who she was. He was being informed, and he in turn asked if he could pass on a greeting to the cousin. He was permitted to do so. When Johanna during her semester break was at home in Hirschberg, she received one day a letter with a strange handwriting with the even stranger address, “Dear honorable Miss!” She laughed and showed the lines to her parents. She read out that the writer had requested a meeting with her so he could pass on her cousin’s greeting. Father Ludwig immediately said, “You will write that there will be no such meeting, because you happened to be in Hirschberg just now.” Johanna sat down at once and wrote her refusal on a tiny little letter card. The envelope landed into the mailbox, while her father was overseeing it from the balcony, and Johanna contentedly spent the rest of her vacation.

When she was back again in Stettin, Bruno wrote another letter to Hirschberg, The letter was opened, but at least was forwarded to Johanna in Stettin. It contained the repeated request to pass on the greetings. Johanna showed the message to her classmates, who warned her about the forceful handwriting. Nevertheless she responded to the letter and gave a time and place, a café, for the date. All her classmates wanted to come along!

As a sign for recognition Bruno had indicated that he would wear a gray suit with a white carnation in the buttonhole. Johanna wanted to wear a white dress and a white scarf.

When she showed up at the appointed time in the café, she saw … two gentlemen in gray suits, and nobody had a white carnation in the buttonhole! But one of them rose, walked up to her and introduced himself – and it was like if they had known each other for years.

For Johanna a wonderful time now began. They saw each other as often as they could; they went on hikes together and enjoyed steamboat excursions.

To the two old ladies, from whom he was renting furnished accommodation, Bruno said already after their first date that he had just got acquainted with his future wife. Without saying anything to Johanna he wrote to her parents, described his economic status and his family and asked to pay them a visit. That being granted, they met and got to know each other, and on April 29th, 1930, Johanna and Bruno got married. They were a very happy couple and consolidated their happiness with the births of their children Hartmut, Elisabeth and Jürgen.

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