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, July 3, 2012

Remember Me in 1910

This is a repost, originally published Nov. 29, 2010

About the time Josef Gärtz received his Military Draft Summons (see Drafted 100 years ago), this photo was taken of my grandmother, Elisabetha, (known most often as “Lisi”). It was stored with other old photographs in an envelope on which she listed the contents, including this one: “Mein Bild in Großpold Kleider." 

[My picture in Großpold clothing]. (Grosspold was her home town -- near Hermannstadt/Sibiu). 

On the back she wrote: “Zur Erinnerung des Jahres 1910 19/6”  [To Remember June 19, 1910].  Lisi was 22 about to turn 23. Did she give a copy of this photo to Josef to remember her as he went on his itinerant carpentry work?

Samuel Ebner (rear) Family:
L-R Maria, Elisabetha (nee Eder),
Elisabetha, aka Lisi, my grandmother

This second photo is the earliest I have of my grandmother, posing with her father, Samuel Ebner, mother, also named Elisabetha, and older sister, Maria, born February 2, 1882. My grandmother is the little girl on the right, about six, so the date of the photo must be about 1893, (Lisi was born July 30, 1887).

We don’t know much about Lisi’s early childhood, but we do know that life wasn’t easy in rural 19th century Europe. Decades before antibiotics, vaccinations, and advanced medicine, death was intertwined with life, ever-present --lurking on roadways or horseback, in the swoosh of a scythe,  stalking young and old, rich and poor alike. It came to the Ebner family often, each visit ending in heartache.

When my brothers and I went on a roots-finding mission to Romania in 2007, we found out just how often.

In my next post, you’ll get a first hand look at the
Großpold Familienbuch” (Grosspold Family Book), maintained by the Lutheran Church in Lisi's hometown, in which births, deaths, and marriages are recorded and what we discovered there.

No comments: