This Memorial Day, I'm remembering two relatives who each served in one of the 20th century's two world wars.
The best defense is an offense, and that was as true in the past as it is today. A century ago, a deceitful notary took advantage of my grandfather’s absence to wrongfully sell his property. My grandmother's father, Samuel Ebner, (left) wrote her and her new husband, Josef Gartz, a letter dated May 11, 1913. Samuel was clearly in great distress over the illegal sale.
I'd always known my grandfather was often impatient, and apparently was so as a young man. He didn't want to wait for the long visa process, so he just took off for America before his exit papers were in order, hoping to start the new year of 1911 in a new country. His diary "Meine Reise Nach Amerika" (My Trip to America), and letters to his sweetheart show that he almost didn't make it.
Missler Wallet with Josef’s Gärtz’s diary inside. Note: “Missler” was a ticket agent in Bremen, Germany, but for years people thought it was the name of this “ghostship.” Scroll down to the “Missler” link to learn more. This [...]
May 15, 1911: L-R Katarina Gärtz, Lisi Ebner, a cousin This photo of my grandmother, Lisi Ebner, and her future sister-in-law, Katarina Gärtz, dated May 15, 1911, was in our family photo collection for decades. Only when I was able [...]
This is a repost, originally published Nov. 29, 2010 About the time Josef Gärtz received his Military Draft Summons (see Drafted 100 years ago), this photo was taken of my grandmother, Elisabetha, (known most often as “Lisi”). It was stored with [...]
Travel Tuesday When we took a brief visit to Sibiu (Hermannstadt to the Germans), we marveled at the massive wall surrounding the city, its combination of thirty-nine towers and four bastions a bulwark against invading Ottoman Turks. But while Sibiu defended the [...]
Lutheran Church, NeppendorfWelcome TRAVEL TUESDAY Come, enter with me into the courtyard of the Evangelische Kirche Neppendorf. We’ve been here before—and learned when and from where (late 18th century and Gerstheim, Alsace, respectively) our forebears made their way [...]