Thursday, January 20, 2022

steel workers

Every picture tells a story No. 21

Ernst Leopold Kosmowsky from East Prussia (son of Auguste the missing granny, brother of Friedrich with the fiddle) moved to the rapidly growing industrial city of Hamborn in October 1922 to find work there. He worked in mining at first, but from August 1938 he was employed as a Brenner (burner?) at the steelcast factory Friedrich-Wilhelms-Hütte at nearby Mülheim.

The photo shows him (top row, marked with a cross) with his colleagues around 1941. It strikes me that he and some of the others are looking quite cheerful - suppose at that point being an essential worker in the steel industry was preferable to being cannon fodder at the front.

Ernst Leopold and Auguste from the East Prussian patchwork family moved to Hamborn in the same month and got married the following year, so we assume that this was a coordinated project, but we don't have any explicit information on that. Their shared migration background was wiped from the collective memory fairly swiftly.

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

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.

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