Thursday, January 19, 2023

missing brothers

Every picture tells a story, season 2, picture 20.

We've met Ernst Leopold the steel worker as well as his mother, Auguste Adschuck. We don't have a photo of his father, Friedrich Kosmowsky, born in Gerdauen, East Prussia in 1862. Out of Ernst Leopold's six siblings, only Friedrich with the fiddle and the forester Albert have made a mark in this series so far (although their sister Anna, mother of Grete Kalippke who emigrated to Canada, pops up in a group photo to be shared later).

Here is a curious family portrait uniting family members of two of Ernst Leopold's brothers, minus these brothers themselves.

A newer inscription on the back clarifies that the woman standing on the left is Ella, wife of Franz Kosmowsky (who ended up in Cologne after the war, and I don't think we have any photo of him) whereas the older woman sitting is Auguste, wife of Albert Kosmowsky, erstwhile forester in East Prussia, but after the war settled in Hennef (Sieg), not too far from Cologne. An earlier inscription from an unknown author reads: "Tante Ella Oswald Marianne Oma mit Frantzi + Heinz". I have no idea who Oswald is, could be a son of Franz. I assume that the children Marianne and Frantzi are both grandchildren of Auguste (and Albert the forester). I have a son called Heinz on record for each of the two absent brothers (contradicted by the stag photo where the boy in the family is labelled as Fritz, possibly in error), so if this information is correct, the guy on the right could be linked to either. For simplicity I'll just assume that he and the children are all attached to Albert and Auguste's family. I don't have precise dates for anybody involved, but I guess they will have had their children in the 1950s most likely.

I keep thinking this photo looks strangely American, but there is no indication that it is any other location than Hennef or Cologne.

Let me throw in a couple of bonus picture of Heinz Kosmowsky's earlier years:

If this Heinz is Albert and Auguste's son, the girls could be the sisters we saw in the photo with the dead stag, including Charlotte. Come to think of it, the oldest girl looks a lot like Charlotte. It only says Heinz on the back though, so no guarantees. It is dated 1929.

This one says Heinz Kosmowski (with an i) on the back, and has the stamp of the photographer's atelier: Goetze-Steindamm / Königsberg (Pr). Steindamm was a major street in the centre with lots of shops and six tram lines.

This suggests Heinz was still in East Prussia as a young adult, during WW2. Charlotte was born 1919, so the photo with the girls would date Heinz to a birth date in the late 1920s. He may have just been lucky to escape service at the end of the war, but how he got out of East Prussia we don't have a clue.

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

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Season 2 so far:

  1. could be a cousin
  2. two weddings in Silesia
  3. off to Canada
  4. off to Australia
  5. a very romantic poet
  6. fireman August
  7. 50 hundredweight of coffee
  8. mysterious Minden people
  9. horses for Hedwig
  10. guessing the great-grandmothers
  11. cousin Charlotte
  12. three sisters
  13. travelling saleswoman
  14. family portrait
  15. dancing chemist
  16. games time
  17. desperately searching Wilhelm
  18. the third Hedwig
  19. patchwork portraits
  20. missing brothers

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.

See also my Lost Cities series (which may get an extension at some point).

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