Thursday, March 09, 2023

a semi-mysterious aunt

Every picture tells a story, season 2, picture 26.

Aunt Therese, who appears in the photos below, is semi-mysterious because we know whose aunt she is, but not whose sister she is. She could be a sister of Ernst Leopold the steelworker or of his wife Auguste, or indeed one of Auguste's half siblings from the earlier patches of the East Prussian patchwork family. Thus, Therese's maiden name can have been any of these three: Kosmowsky, Faust, Wittke.

Ernst and Auguste's son Fritz labelled the photos below quite carefully, saying that the lady on the right is called Therese Vietz and is his aunt. However, in a list of allegedly all the siblings of his father he didn't include her. In a list of the siblings of Auguste, he didn't include her either, but at least he didn't claim the list to be complete and he admitted to being a bit hazy about the earlier patches of the patchwork. Hence my guess that she might fit in there but we don't really know. We don't know either what became of the Mr Vietz she appears to have married.

So, well, here comes the semi-mysterious aunt first in 1950 outside Auguste's home in Knappenstraße 43, Duisburg-Hamborn (we've seen Auguste entering that very same door here). The other woman is a neighbour called Frau Majer, who lived in number 51, where Auguste's sister Johanna also lived with her husband Fritz Krieger (both appeared here). The girl is Karin and the dog Molly. No idea who these two belong to.

I love the light in this photo.

And then with Fritz's wife Mathilde in their flat in 1953:

Looking for Vietz people on GedBas, I found this family which was active in Kreis Wehlau, like Auguste's paternal line, and featured a marriage with a Witt woman (one of the daughters of the Wittke patch in East Prussia also married a Witt), so it appears entirely possible that Therese found her husband in East Prussia. The most recent Vietz in that database is Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Vietz 1872-1915.

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
  21. the oberlehrer's family
  22. a double wedding
  23. mystery solved
  24. young Frieda
  25. old aunts and young children
  26. a semi-mysterious aunt

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.

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