Every picture tells a story, season 2, picture 37:
Ernst Leopold the steel worker and Auguste from the East Prussian patchwork family settled in Hamborn (now part of Duisburg) and brought up their three sons there. Another son had died less than two months old. The Kosmowsky family lived in Knappenstraße 43 from 1927 (at least, possibly as early as 1925) until the late 1960s or early 70s, when the building was cleared to be demolished (strangely, we haven't been able to find a date for that).
The street harboured a tight-knit community – at the age of 77 the oldest surviving son was still able to compile a name of the “indigenous” residents with hundreds of names.
From this we learn that neighbours in the same house included Heinz, Karin and Christel Kuhwald, who appear to have been the same age as youngest son Werner. I believe we saw young Karin sitting on the steps in the entry about Tante Therese, although back then I didn’t know who she was.
Judging by the photos, young Werner got on well with the girls and they even appear to have gone on holidays together.
In vaguely chronological order, here's young Werner in ca. 1943 with all the Kuhwald kids and their mother, Anni:
I love this undated photo of Werner with Karin - note the photo on the wall which appears to show Anni with all three children, so this was probably taken in the Kuhwald flat:
Here he is with Christel, undated (the photo has this tilt, it's not my fault!):
and apparently on holiday in the mountains with both of them.
Other parties in Number 43 were Ursula and Erika Hölscher, Günter and Marianne Gruczka, and somebody called Herzog. Note that the list is from the perspective of the boys, so any first names are more likely to be those of the children of the respective households, rather than the parents.
On the list of indigenous residents we also find Auguste’s sister Johanna and her husband Fritz Krieger in number 51. I might type out the whole list at one point, but want to keep it separate from this post about the residents of number 43.
Should anybody have any answers to some of the many questions I am raising in this series, please leave a comment here (I'll need to vet it, so it may take a few days before it goes public) or contact me at michaelgrr [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk
Season 2 so far:
- could be a cousin
- two weddings in Silesia
- off to Canada
- off to Australia
- a very romantic poet
- fireman August
- 50 hundredweight of coffee
- mysterious Minden people
- horses for Hedwig
- guessing the great-grandmothers
- cousin Charlotte
- three sisters from East Prussia
- travelling saleswoman
- family portrait
- dancing chemist
- games time
- desperately searching Wilhelm
- the third Hedwig
- patchwork portraits
- missing brothers
- the oberlehrer's family
- a double wedding
- mystery solved
- young Frieda
- old aunts and young children
- a semi-mysterious aunt
- a gathering at Gellrichs
- farm work at Bad Landeck
- meet the Weitze family
- a post-war wedding
- the joy of chemistry
- the joy of botany
- becoming Frieda
- becoming Peter
- bakery kids united
- the four from the farm
- neighbours at Hamborn
I started a twitter thread for season 2 here. However, as the bird site seems to be turning into an evil empire, I have now switched to logging the entries in a similar thread on Mastodon.
The twitter thread for season 1 is still here. It only loads 30 tweets at first, so you have to click "show more" a couple of times to get all 40 entries. Alternatively, visit the last instalment and find the numbered list of entries at the bottom.
I'm also adding all photos from this series to my family history album on flickr.