Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) Part 18

Peter’s Second Year – Mother’s Day 1943

From My Mother’s Diary

Spring came early in 1943. I spent a lot of time outside exploring the world around me. I learned to stand up on my own and ventured to make my first stumbling steps. Jupp, the friendly family dog, was my steady companion and my best friend for a while. Unlike my older siblings I refused to take the bottle and from my first birthday on I proudly drank my milk from the cup. When people were watching, I did my best to entertain them and show off my newly acquired skills. With the good weather also came a stream of visitors to enjoy the peaceful environment and the hospitality they found at Gutfelde. These visits spread over a couple of months were quite enjoyable for hosts and guests alike, even though some stayed for as long as three weeks or even longer. On top of it all, Karl and Adolf came home for the Easter holidays. Karl had acquired a certain degree of stardom with his excellent performance at the Belgard High School and his rapid development of his piano playing skills. As always, when he was home, he was asked to demonstrate his progress at the family piano. This went over very well, especially as his music teacher was also present and accompanied him on Father’s violin.

Peter and his Friend Jupp

Mother was honoured for the second time on Mother’s Day in Seebrück (Rogowo), a near-by town southwest of Gutfelde. With her five children, four of whom were male, she ranked very high among all the mothers in the region. Mother’s Day was a state supported festival, upon which a lot of emphasis was given to the meaning of motherhood mostly for ideological and mythical reasons based on ancient Teutonic folklore. Women in general were considered not weak, but very precious who had to be protected at all cost from any involvement in war activities. Germany was the only nation that did not employ women in the war effort in any shape or form. Young girls in colourful dresses presented flowers to the mothers. This year it was Father’s turn to make a speech to the assembly. What he was saying about motherhood and family came straight from the heart and with his genuine admiration for all mothers and especially for his beloved wife left a lasting impression on all those who were present.

Peter’s Mother in a Rye Field 1943

Mother’s diary of the first 15 months of my life came to a sudden end, because she had simply reached the last page and did not want to start another booklet. If one considers that this diary with the many tiny photographs pasted into it and written in beautiful Sütterlin handwriting was from among all the other precious goods the only object that she managed to bring safely to West Germany, one must concede that we are dealing with a little miracle. The far greater miracle, the survival of the entire Klopp family in the closing days of  World War II and afterwards, will be the subject of the next chapter.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesday’s Photos

Our Hike to the Real Waterfalls

In the past few weeks, my wife and I crossed the Arrow Lake and the Needles Ferry Path a number of times. I proudly announced that we travelled up the Whatshan River to the waterfalls. When I recognized that I had made a mistake and heard that the waterfalls were far more inland, I invited my wife to go exploring. Attempting to climb the steep embankment almost turned into a disaster. Biene struggled very hard on all fours to inch her way up to the top from which I could only shout words of encouragement. When she finally stood on safe and stable ground, she was very happy that she did not give up. We were both rewarded with a splendid view and hike to the elusive waterfalls, which is the content of the video below. Enjoy!

Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 10

The Golden Years (1941 – 1945)

A Few Words About The Title

Please note that my thoughts on my father’s life appear in green print. What is shown in regular print is translated from my cousin’s book on the Klopp family.

You may be puzzled about the title I have chosen for this episode of my father’s life. After all, in many parts of the world people were suffering under the horrific impact of World War II. After the Nazi aerial attacks on southern England came the Allied bombing raids of German towns and cities. Tens of thousands of people perished in the firestorms. Innocent people suffered, starved and got murdered in the Nazi concentration camps. Millions of soldiers gave their lives, on the Allied side in defence of freedom, on the Axis side for the illusion of the questionable honour of dying a hero’s death for the fatherland. So why would I chose such a seemingly inappropriate title for a period when the winds of war brought horror, death and destruction to many parts of the world?

Dresden after the Devastating Bombing Raids

Because at that particular time for the Ernst Klopp family, their workers, friends and relatives, Gutfelde and the entire county of Dietfurt (Znin) was an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Relatives from the big cities under the threat of constant bombardment came flocking to Gutfelde to spend weeks, often months far away and out of reach of the deadly bombing raids. Food was nutritious and plentiful. Even as late as December 1944 the family could celebrate a traditional Christmas with gifts for both adults and children, plates filled with Pfeffernüsse, nuts and all sorts of delicious baked goodies.

Artur Thiess at age 72. East Berlin Rowing Club

The first visitors came from Berlin in the summer of 1941. At that time my father Ernst Klopp had just started his first major assignment on the Silberberg estate in the Wartheland. Artur Thiess was the husband of Else, the daughter of aunt Alma. Later on because of the huge age difference (I was not yet born in 1941) I called him Uncle Artur, even though technically speaking he was my cousin. Artur spent his summer vacation with his wife Else and his two daughter Ingrid and Gerlinde at Silberberg. He wrote a one page type-written report, which my mother had passed on to me and which I will publish next week.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

Wednesdays Photos in a Video

Father’s Day Delight

On Father’s Day my wife and I initiated the beginning of summer with a canoe ride across the Arrow Lake. The weather was perfect and the wind was calm, ideal to cross the lake for the first time in 2020. To make sure we would use the least amount of time, we followed the path of the cable ferry, which was busy with Father’s Day traffic on its half-hour journey back and forth from Fauquier to Needles. To our surprise, the water was warm enough to get in a quick swim. Alas, we had left our swim wear at home. Enjoy the scenery.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lake

Wednesday’s Photos

Huckleberry Picking Time

Last Sunday my wife and I drove to our huckleberry spot, which is known for its lavishly abundant crops. This year we had a particularly good growing season. A warm and sunny spring brought out their flowers to be promptly pollinated. Then cool and rainy weather set in to make the berries grow to almost the size of the commercial blueberries. Sunday had been our third and last day of picking. Together we gathered more than 10 pounds of top quality huckleberries, which when frozen will last us throughout the winter. The pretty wildflower greeted us when we entered our favourite picking area. Enjoy.

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Translation of Mother’s Poem for our Wedding

So many followers of my blog had asked me for a translation of my mother’s wedding poem that I decided to get to work. The poem is quite poetic and uses my wife’s nickname Biene (Bee) as a metaphor for her flight from Germany to Canada in 1966. There was no way to preserve the rhyme and rhythm of this wonderful poem. The translation therefore can only give a crude impression, but at least you will know what this poem is all about.

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My Mother’s Wedding Poem loosely translated into English

It whispers here, it mutters there.

It happened to my youngest son.

He wanted to study in Canada

to get himself a really good job.

 

The exams taken in quick succession

did not bother and confuse him at all.

Also what comes now is not a lie.

Something buzzing came flying to him.

 

A little bee (Biene) tender and excited,

of a very special kind was she,

flew from the Rhine on and on,

totally joyful and spontaneous,

sometimes high and sometimes low,

almost singed her wings, oh no.

 

From Montreal to Calgary,

tireless like never before,

the little creature totally exhausted

landed at Peter’s basement door.

 

Peter showing respect for any kind of life

did not leave the insect unattended.

He took care of the Little Bee,

stroking her wings so tenderly.

 

Indeed with so much tender-loving care

she turned into a princess without delay.

A young maiden well known to me,

he took her quickly to the marriage office.

 

On the 21st of May you will be a couple.

That is clear to the people in ‘Born, Germany.

Not too long ago Peter as scout lived in tent.

And now Biene flew to him in a great hurry.

 

Here are the greetings to all the siblings

from all the uncles and all the aunts.

That all may go well wishes your mother

from the bottom of her heart.

selective focus photo of yellow sunflower

Photo by Karol Wiśniewski on Pexels.com