On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago to start his training for WWII. So began the correspondence between him and family & friends, comprising almost 300 letters going both ways. I’m posting many of these World War II letters, each on or near the 70th anniversary of its writing. To start with his induction, click HERE.

This blog began in Nov., 2010, when I posted a century-old love note from Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, to Lisi (Elisabetha) Ebner, my paternal grandmother, and follows their bold decision to strike out for America.

My mom and dad were writers too, recording their lives in diaries and letters from the 1920s-the 1990s. Historical, sweet, joyful, and sad, all that life promises-- and takes away--are recorded here as it happened. It's an ongoing saga of the 20th century. To start at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Fallen - Part I

"Names of the Fallen"  #403 "Samuel Ebner"
Travel Tuesday 

Many of us family history buffs have relatives/ancestors who fought in World War I and/or II, and if they died in those wars, it’s likely  we might find their names on a memorial in their home town, on a  plaque in a church, or eulogized in a newspaper article.

When we visited Grosspold in Transylvania (prior to 1914, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to find my great-grandfather’s house, we weren’t looking for a memorial, but we unexpectedly found one.

In the courtyard of the church my grandmother had attended, we saw this memorial. The following is inscribed on one side (photo) “Our fallen Heroes in the War 1914-1918, The Church Community of Grosspold”

"Names of the Fallen"
Samuel Ebner #402, 2nd from top
On the other three sides are listed “Names of the Fallen,” including my grandmother’s brother, Samuel Ebner, born 1894. His name is the second from the top (left photo. Close-up at top of this post).

But it wasn’t until several of the letters in my collection were deciphered from the old German script that I made some astounding connections, both about this monument as well as the last words the family ever heard from young Samuel. Watch for "His Final Words," coming up.

I look forward to your hearing from you. Please click on the word "comments," centered, below this post and leave me a message.


Monica P said...

Hello Linda, I just caught on to your blog this morning from The Armchair Genealogist's mention and I've spent all morning catching myself up. All I can say is Wow. You are a beautiful writer and I've become enthralled
by your Josef and Lisi story. Every post's ending leaves me excited to read the next and you've managed to make me tear up and laugh multiple times in the time it's taken me to read everything. It has been exciting to read about Transylvania as my own great-grandparents migrated from there to Ohio and it's amazing to see their homeland through your eyes. It was also exciting when I realized that my great-grandfather and your Josef even traveled on the same ship (mine in 1903) to America!! Your ability to take a complete stranger and make them feel like they are on that journey with you and with your subjects is a gift! You definitely struck a chord with me, so thank you so much for your posts and I look forward to your future ones.

Linda Gartz said...

Dear Monica,
I am truly so moved by your response to my blog stories! It's the kind of feedback that makes me want to keep going -- especially when I'm not sure I'm connecting. Thank you so much. For those who didn't see an earlier post, Monica is an expert in the history of Siebenbürgen Germans who emigrated to America and she helped me discover the ship my grandfather too to America, for which I am so grateful. See Mystery of the Missing Mest. Thank you, Monica. Also, thank you to Lynn Palermo at The Armchair Genealogist (http://www.thearmchairgenealogist) for adding my blog to her Monday Mentions on 5/16. Lynn is so on top of things, she caught me in the act of composing -- I must have been working on the post she mentioned, and I published it accidentally, in real time, just as Lynn was scanning through. I then scheduled that post to go up on May 30th--for the 100th anniversary of the featured letter. So if you saw it on Lynn's Monday Mentions, you got a sneak preview--and can see it on my site on May 30th. Thank you so much, Lynn for mentioning my blog! I am delighted you like the stories I’m sharing! My html wouldn't cooperate I had to write out The Armchair Genealogist entire link above. Please check out Lynn's excellent blog!

Monica P said...

Hi Linda, You have me confused with your other Monica. I am not an expert in anything, certainly not the Siebenburgen Germans. I'm just a reader who enjoys your posts. Sorry for the confusion! :)

Linda Gartz said...

Sorry about that confusion, Monica! I've been out of town for more than two weeks now and didn't have a chance to respond to your note on this blog post. In any case, I'm just as thrilled to have received your response. Back now and must get going on the next blog posts.