Thursday, January 27, 2022

field work

Every picture tells a story No. 22

Hedwig the milk maid worked on various farms until she got to the one owned by Hedwig Scholz and Paul Gellrich at Olbersdorf (Kreis Reichenbach, Silesia), and ended up marrying their son, Paul Gellrich junior. When her husband was drafted to serve in WW2, he insisted she and her baby move in with his parents (rather than with hers at Dörndorf). She did so quite reluctantly, as she didn't get on very well with her mother in law, who allegedly made everybody feel that it was her farm and everybody else was just tolerated by her good grace. As Hedwig Scholz died in 1945 and her son didn't come back from the war, there was nobody to defend her views, so I may be reporting a single-sided, biased view here.

The only information we have about her siblings comes from an inheritance fought over in court, which kind of fits with the reputation.

As the surviving relatives didn't like her much, there aren't many photos of her, but here she is (right) surveying her fields with an unidentified woman:

(Photo dated 25.8.1942)

And another one which has suffered some sort of unintended darkening:

The name Scholz, by the way, which she shares with Germany's new chancellor Olaf Scholz, is the Silesian variant of the village mayor, elsewhere known as Schultheiß or Schul(t)z(e). Like Schulz and all other variations, it's far too common to be useful, but at least it points firmly to a Silesian origin.

This photo is also on flickr.

Every picture tells a story series so far:

  1. string quartet Wuppertal Elberfeld 1927
  2. greetings from Adamsweiler
  3. Gastwirthschaft Ferd. Weirich
  4. quartet times three
  5. Neumühl 1923
  6. Tangermünde railway station 1889
  7. a singing lesson
  8. bei Wilhelm Geppert
  9. a bakery at Lorsch 1900
  10. Consumgeschäft von Julius Düsselmann
  11. Hanna and Ruth
  12. a young chemist
  13. school's out at Reichenstein, 1886
  14. a patchwork family in East Prussia
  15. the case of the missing grandmother
  16. checkpoint Glaner Brücke 1929(ish)
  17. finding Mimi
  18. five sisters, five decades
  19. happy at home
  20. gone milking
  21. steel workers
  22. field work

Alternatively, you can use this twitter thread as an illustrated table of contents.

In a somewhat roundabout way, this series relates to my research for the family history music memoir I have now completed in a first version.

No comments: