Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Phoenix from the Ashes

Untitled Documen9)
1949 - 1951
American tanks still rumbled through our town, ruining the blue stones of centuries old cobble pavements. Boy was I scared.
They were so terribly LOUD and huge. I was hor-ri-fied. I remember being at the opposite side of our house and needed to cross the street to go home. I did not dare to run between two tanks. Frozen with fear as I was the soldiers were sitting on top of the tanks having a blast throwing chocoloate bars and introducing chewing gum to the old world.
"Shawing Goom" is what we read on the Wrigley wrappings and that's what the kids were screaming for. "Shawing Goom, Shawing Goom"
(Owing to my extreme youth, I don't know how I even remember any of this. But I surely do, even now I still see myself looking in horror at these tanks and sticking my fingers into my ears.)

My parents hated this "shawing goom" and forbade us to chew in their presence and actually all together. "One can not imagine that any one with good manners would CHEW and throw that stuff around in their mouths all day long and in front of other people"!
Now two new states were born. Germany was divided into the German Democratic Republic (DDR) and the BRD, the West.
The East first was fed by Russia, just as the West was supported by the Allies. The Soviet Union could not let the population starve because after all they wanted to take over, thus had to pretend to be friendly.
Sadly however, the Russians dissembled entire productive facilities, complete industries, even the tracks of railroads because Russia had nothing left either.
I can not even start to imagine how chaotic life must have been in the east sector. They were totally isolated - there was no in or out. (Which of course got worse in August of 1963 when the wall was built to halt a mass exodus and keep 'brains' in the eastern part of the country.)

1949 West Germany conducted it's first free and democratic election:
A Catholic Attorney and former Mayor of the City of Cologne,
Konrad Adenauer became the first post war Chancellor, after a while affectionately called:
"Der Alte" (The Old one)
Adenauer shaped the politics of West Germany for more than 14 years
and managed to raise Germany's reputation in the world again.
German soldiers were still imprisoned in Siberia, Russia in 1958 !!!
and Adenauer was the one who traveled, negotiated, and begged
the Russian Government to finally free them.
He was successful, but not many were able to come home.
Most of our POWs had starved to death.

Surely you have heard of the world famous International Frankfurt Fair - a fair for all kinds of goods and the biggest in the world of it's kind. (It could be though, that Shanghai in China might be bigger now)
Father attended the International Frankfurt Fair since the first one in 1948 (Twice a year the Koziol company is present to this day).

This was one of the first if not THE first display ever at Frankfurt Fair,
presenting Ivory and the new "imitations" (1948) Today Koziol is represented at over 40 international fairs every year.

The only thing Germans were longing for now was working and living in peace. They were busy as bees rebuilding their country.

My Father though came up with an ingenious idea. And naturally there is also a story to it.
T'was winter 1950 when a man drove through the forest surrounding his home town and became stuck in a snow drift. Looking back out of the window of his VW Beetle he saw in front of tall firs two deer  that were probably as stunned as he was.
Snow was falling softly and because this man was my Father he immediately saw a "story". It was the birth of the world renown Snow Globe, right there in the middle of a dreamy snow covered forest.

Yup, Bernhard Koziol sr. invented and produced the first Snow Globe ever. An item that I think everybody owned at one point and has fond memories of.
Being a child and wanting an allowance I always had to earn it. I painted figurines or the back "sky" onto the clear globes. I glued scenes together or - later on - had to clean those LOUD, big, greasy injection machines or work benches. This work was carried on after school or on Saturdays and during school vacations.
I earned a dime and then later a quarter per hour and although I didn't like it, I learned some discipline. I had to write an invoice before I got paid and I remember at one point Father handing me a letter saying that he is only paying me if I "promise not to waste the money and spend it on things that are harmful to the body". Yes, I am serious!

Yet today I think he had a good reason to ask for responsibility because I was a bad tomboy, always fervently wishing to be a boy. Yes, I had dolls, but the more welcome gifts were cars big enough for me to sit in and race around. No tree was too high for me, I never ever had "clean" knees. We were not allowed to leave our vast backyard and visiting kids from the neighborhood were almost hand picked. I always was the "leader" but looking back we were not aware then how much our parents had isolated us.
In hindsight - THAT was NOT a good thing for me.

MUCH more to come.

Please don't forget to hug your kids tonight! I missed out on that :(
In the meantime, Please , sign up, become a "fan", follow me? Leave a message? Tweet it, click on +1 ...?? I'd be grateful. Thank you!

And this is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills :
And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE


Johanna (YooHUNNa)

Monday, December 19, 2011

USA to the Rescue


1945 - 1948

Following the defeat of Germany after the World War, the country was divided into two states: The Federal Republic of Germany (BRD, West Germany) was founded on democratic institutions, and the German Democratic Republic (DDR, East Germany) a totalitarian Stalinist Dictatorship which became a client of the Soviet Union.
Berlin, located in East Germany, was also sub-divided into four sectors. The ostensible purpose was both administrative and diplomatic. On one hand, the Potsdam Agreement among the allies implemented the post war German borders and areas of allied control, while the Morgenthau Plan laid the foundation for a new economy, stripped of military and industrial capacity. On the other hand, Potsdam and Morgenthau placated the Soviets, who were determined to completely swallow up as much of Germany as possible.

The eventual outcome was a reborn West Germany which rapidly became the most productive and richest economy in Europe, and an impoverished East Germany where living conditions and industrial production were a sad reflection of a failing Soviet economy.

However, in the years immediately following the end of hostilities, misery intensified by magnitudes in ALL of Germany's occupied zones and among all its people. West Berlin in particular was at high risk. Completely blocked and encapsulated by the Russians on the ground, the only access to West Berlin was by air. Care packages of food, coal, medicine and other necessities were brought in by a massive, round the clock airlift, an "air bridge" whose planes became affectionately nick-named "Rosinenbomber." "Rosinenbomber" translates to "Raisin Bombers" and that's exactly what they were, especially for Berlin. In addition to the tonnage of raw materials, the planes dropped candies, treats, and yes, raisins, launched from the open cargo doors and cockpit windows of the "Sky Train" which was Berlin's only life line in those days. Many of these confections were actually attached to their own little parachutes.
"Raisins" sailed from the skies.
The Allies saved thousands and thousands of lives.

Additon - I personally JUST learned today:
There is a cute story to the "Rosinenbomber", perhaps apocryphal, about how the whole raisin bombardment thingy started. Evidently, it was an individual pilot in the airlift who tossed some candies out one day, but the idea caught on and was eventually supplied by donations from US citizens. The military supported the effort completely, because, in addition to the nutritional value, it helped Germans understand that Americans were not monsters or oppressors, and it helped US citizens understand that the German PEOPLE were not their enemy.

As I mentioned before, we were lucky not to fall in Russian hands. US soldiers and officers confiscated parts of Father's company facilities. Not without a fight though - the officers demanded too much space and Father stood up and sternly said "no".
'We need space to continue working and space for refugees too.'
He got his way; the officers wisely agreed and we worked together.

Even so, the American officers also came to our home and took (or "borrowed?") a lot of our silver (meaning our flatware - silverware).
In time, the American officers, enlisted men and my family all got along pretty well. (Although we did not get our "silver" back.)
The officers watched my Father carefully and he watched them.
At one point Father's observations of the American's cooking and eating habits drove him up the wall. 'These guys are THROWING stuff and FAT and OIL away!!' he exclaimed. 
He was outraged.
So, he finally confronted them
'Hey guys, you are throwing fat and oil to the ground and my people are starving to death!'

He mainly communicated in gestures, with his hands and feet, because of the language barrier. And in truth, from then on, he received everything that was left over; sugar, flour and of course the infamous fat they didn't want.

 Production at Father's factory, controlled by the Morgenthau Plan, turned to consumer products like combs, buttons and especially those buttons for "Lederhosen Hosenträger" (buttons for the renowned suspenders of Bavarian leather pants).

MANY, many years later it dawned on me what Father witnessed and was talking about back then, when he confronted the American officers about food waste. It was the grease from cooked bacon that is thrown away by the tons to this very day! Yeah, sad.
Father collected every little left over crumb and gave it to the women whose husbands still didn't come home and who had to feed an entire family, including all Omas (Grandmother), Opas (Grandfather) and Enkel (Grandkids); and many aunts and uncles, too.

MY Oma though, my Father's Mother, was a tough cookie in her own right. She went into the forests, collected mushrooms, the fruits of beech trees ("Buchegger" is a kind of a nut), blueberries, hazelnuts and brought them home. She gathered "factory second" Koziol-made buttons and combs, took them to the farmers and exchanged them for eggs or even a chicken now and then!!

My Oma! She DID have a strong mind of her own!
When my Father married his wife, Oma was mightily upset that the bride did not bring a sewing machine into the marriage! Yup! Customs were more rigid back then.
By the way, this Oma was the very one who wore wide skirts so she could pee directly on the ground - and she was my Godmother! We shared the same first and last name. And I am VERY proud of it. (Although she didn't like me too much... I think!) She always preferred my cousin
Ute, [R.I.P., my dear and best Friend] the daughter of HER daughter Lucie.
This Oma, though, had a wicked sense of humor of which, sadly, my Father had only a slim inheritance.
At one point, "unsere Amis - our Americans" how Father called them, drove my Mother and her big belly in a Jeep to the hospital to have her third child. They were excited to no end. "Frau hat baby", which translates to "Woman has baby, woman has baby!!" they shouted in their broken German. Well, this baby happened to be me and "our soldiers" helped bring me into this world. Mother had problems and they HELPED, literally. Yup, there was a doctor too among them. They also gave soap and powdered milk to my Mother who in return donated it all to the hospital.

That is one incident among many that made me feel very fond of America and all things American. Who would have thought that I would even end up living there one day?

Nuh, surely not I.
The only thing I always "had" was this "wanderlust". I wanted to see the world. I NEEDED to learn about different cultures and today I feel like I have lived MANY lives before. Indian, Japanese, Chinese, American, African but mostly and strongly Asian, actually. Is this possible? I believe so.

You know who was my very first "love" - music-wise? No, not the Beatles or Rolling Stones or any band like that.
It was Harry Belafonte, Fats Domino and the like and their music, lyrics and style. The ONLY live concerts I have ever been to in my life (besides classicals, of course) was to see Harry Belafonte - twice in Germany!
Crazy yeah.

But, well, I am getting ahead of myself now again. I am, after all, still a baby at this point in my story.

PLEASE, don't forget to hug your kids and tell them - they are doing GREAT!

MUCH more to come.

This is my birth town, Michelstadt, dubbed "The Pearl of Odenwald". Enjoy my little Video presentation ;)

Thank you JS Geare for correcting my sometimes very "personal" English ;)
In the meantime, Please, sign up, become a "fan"? Leave a message? Click on +1 ...?? I'd be grateful. Thank you!

And this is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills:
And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE

Johanna (YooHUNNa)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dreadful Times (not only for Europe)


The Western Allies intensified their air strikes. Numerous German Cities were bombed to rubble and ashes.
The greatest loss in my opinion was the near total destruction of Dresden on February 13, 1945. Just THREE months before the end of the war in Europe.

Dubbed "The Elbflorenz" (Florence on the Elbe) and esteemed as "Europe's Capital of the Arts", the city is located east of Berlin in Saxony and was home to countless works of art and antiquities, housed in famed and ancient museums, cathedrals, schools and institutions. Hundreds of planes bombed the city for 3 days and the resutling firestorm leveled 15 square miles. The death toll has been variously estimated between 25 and 100 thousand civilians.
Yes, yes, many people say the Germans had it coming. I agree - but Dresden represented nothing but art, churches, cathedrals and museums. For these to go up in flames was soooo senseless.

Telling you the truth:

Growing up I surely did not feel comfortable about being German. As a child I thought I had to be "ashamed" to be German. I was totally consumed by this collective "sense of guilt" and was not able to shake this feeling far into my 40s.

While visiting foreign countries I always tried HARD to hide that I am German. (But no, not anymore!)
Why? I'm not sure. Maybe because I saw so much of the hardship that Nazi Germany had caused. We always had people and refugees around who lost everything. Father constantly plundered Mother's closets and cabinets for bed linens, towels, clothes, blankets even tooth brushes. And she complained and scolded him but he just laughed. That was just so my Father.
As for me, personally, my Father molded me. Today, I wish I had only half of what I have given away over my life.

Dresden later was part of the Soviet zone, thus, we were not able to visit. The East German Government (DDR) did little or nothing to reconstruct the once bustling and gorgeous city.
I visited in 1990, a year after the Berlin Wall came down, and was literally in tears. I was overwhelmed by seeing what an abundance of beauty and art has been destroyed there. Irreplaceable treasures... paintings, buildings, bridges, art, art, and more art. Dresden was, and still is, being rebuilt after Germany's reunification - for the most part using the original stones or what was left of them.
Today, I'd send everybody who wants to see "Germany" to... no, NOT Heidelberg! Dresden it is!! Dresden is a must see for every visitor.

 -> on the right: The reconstructed world famous "Frauenkirche" (Church Of Our Lady)

Then, just think of the incredible Semperoper (Semper Opera). It too was reduced to rubble. See picture -->

The East German Government restored it though. It was a matter of prestige.

OK, enough distraction for now - the above was my heartfelt info / opinion about this incredible City of Dresden.

The Allies landed on the Normandy shores. Germany lost on all war fronts. An end of WWII was in sight.

For some reasons that are unknown to me, Father managed to stay away from the Nazi Party. And for some more mysterious reasons he knew from the very beginning that this Party would become deadly. He KNEW it was bad. And he always said 'it will not last'. Whenever possible he would hide or work even on Sundays to have excuses not to attend Party meetings. He hated the whole "mishegas" (Yiddish for insanity or craziness).

Father had not been drafted because his factory produced military-related necessities. Alas, his employees were wives of soldiers bleeding out in Siberia or elsewhere on war fronts. They were mad and bugged him about why he was still at home.
One day they had him worn down - he jumped on a train and left for Berlin to go to the war front. His train was underway for maybe 2 hours when my Mother found out.
Now SHE jumped! Into a car, that is, and raced to catch the train. Yes, she caught up, found him, dragged him out and drove back home.

The 'Deutsche Reich' (yuk, how this sounds to me)  surrendered unconditionally on May 7, 1945. In August of that same year, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan and forced them to surrender. Germany was living off food stamps, stamps for ONE egg, for milk, and potatoes. We ate them even when they had sprouted; nobody suffered food poisoning.
The Koziol company survived with no damage to the facilities.

AND then the Americans came. (We were lucky not to be "sold" to the Russians.)
Father "took them on". He made them help, you better believe that.

Hunger reigned and droves of refugees appeared everywhere. The Nuremberg Trials started in Bavaria late November of 1945. Koziol provided work for many war refugees - they were all displaced and coming from the East. Most of the women wore head scarfs and long, wide skirts. (You are wondering now who they were? Well, about 90% were Catholics). They had their scarfs tied under their chin.

I remember Gypsies too. A lot of them. They came in their wagons "parked" on the side of roads and lived there. We had none close to our family though and we children feared them like the devil because we were told horror stories about them. Sad, huh?
 Tell you what - my Oma (grandmother) wore those wide skirts too. She got MAD when we stole an apple from the trees in our own garden. She had counted them all (seriously)! But one day she stood there and peed on the ground. We kids screamed and giggled - she just laughed. These wide long skirts were pretty convenient... you get my drift  ?

Oh my Lord, so much history, so many memories in my head, all told by my Father.


Please don't forget to hug your kids (I never received one)
 ... to be continued.
Thank you JS Geare for correcting my sometimes "very personal English" ;)
In the meantime, please leave a message? Click on +1 ...?? I'd be grateful. Thank you!

And this is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills:

And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE

Johanna (YooHUNNa)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moving on to New Pastures



Hugely successful were all kinds of animals;
it's light hearted during difficult times
These are all original photographs from back then

Father's business was outgrowing his workshop. Almost 100 people were crowded into the available space to work the coveted jobs. But the Boss had already planned ahead. Was it a coincidence that ground was broken for a new, larger building on the very same day that his first child, Edith, was born? May 5, 1938

The finished building had more likeness to a Sanatorium than a factory
Creating our own steel moulds
Injection moulding section
Ladies scraping the seams off and hand painting many items

1939 - 1940
By the time the new factory was ready, the old shop was bursting at the seams with a work force of over 150. Yet, the optimistic expansion of the business occurred in step with darker political and military developments of the nation. Despite the attempts of Western Allied Powers to appease Hitler's own designs for expansion, Poland, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium and then France all succumbed to the blitzkrieg as the Reich swept through western Europe.
Honestly, I am cringing here ... I know the entire history but it hurts me to put all this into writing - AGAIN.
Understandably the political changes had huge impacts on Father and his company though.

Inevitably, the rapid expansion of the German frontier beyond its borders prompted greater control of resources within them. Father had just finished a major order for a national social relief organization when the order came.
His business was to cease fabrication of jewelry and vanity items and turn to production of war and survival materials, instead.

1942 - 1943
The company suffered the same fate as so many others did. Parts for tanks, radios, and ignition devices had to be produced from now on. There was no "beauty", no more Ivory.
The male work force count went down to 40 employees; women had to take over the brunt, 20 of "our" soldiers did not come home anymore.


Please don't forget to hug your kids ... to be continued.
Thank you JS Geare for correcting my sometimes "very personal English" ;)
In the meantime, please leave a message? Click on +1 ...?? I'd be grateful. Thank you!
This is my birth town, Michelstadt, dubbed "The Pearl of Odenwald". Enjoy my little Video presentation ;)

And this is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills:

And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE

Johanna (YooHUNNa)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Milestone


Proving to be quite prophetic was a small new figure: an ascending Dove carved to be a pin, carrying a fish or perhaps a heart ♥

Koziol had acquired something totally new to the area. An injection molding machine. This was unheard of and called the "Devil's machine" by Father's fellow Ivory carving guild. He had his windows smashed, stones flew, a riot and an uproar ensured. Trying to explain that this had nothing to do with real Ivory carving didn't do much good.

The company "drove two-tired". Ivory was still worked, but at the same time, the new machines were also used. A figure, or part of a bracelet, had to be worked by hand into a steel mould to produce a 10 gram "heavy" dove from plastic granulate. These appeared to be just like the "real" ones that were carved from Ivory. 

Koziol offered both versions and was successful from the start.

Non-Ivory was called "imitation" and mostly hand decorated, hand painted.

The year of the Berlin Olympic Games. Nazi-Germany mocked the entire world, feigned and presented itself as friendly and peaceful.

My Father had found his soul mate (don't know how he managed THAT one... working so hard and courting a girl) but without big ado they announced their wedding on Dec. 19, 1936.
However, we learned 60 years later that our Mother had been in love with another man named Georg.  Unfortunately "Georg" was not Catholic - so, a marriage between him and my Mother was a strict no-no. We never found out who this Georg was - after her passing we found love letters that Mother kept hidden for more than half a century.

Mother had everything and more, my Father adored and worshipped her but to me she always seemed bitter, snippy ... not quite sad, but just not "there".
She was not able to show or give love although she had a very loving childhood home. I do not remember that she ever hugged me in a warm loving, or comforting way - when tears had to be dried, she always said: "Oh come on, don't be such a wuss." Or even better: "Get out of here" and she meant it.

Nor did my Father show any loving gestures ever - I HAD to go to our so-called "Gentlemen's* Meeting Room", say "good night" and give a kiss; a kiss which really wasn’t one - it was just something I HAD to do. No, back then I didn't think anything about the lack of affection; it was just normal. I feared Father down to my bones (being a bad tomboy I surely had done SOMEthing wrong again).
And, believe it or not, I still feared him when I was 40 years old.

*This Gentlemen's Room, or "Library" was a cozy room with a huge tile stove (heated from a fire “hole” in the kitchen), a
big  round table, rugs everywhere, also on the walls, round sofas, big chairs and heavy curtains.
Lots of business and POLITICS were brewed up there. NO access for kids, except when we had to say our formal ‘good night’.

Father was politically VERY active too – I sat on the first German Chancellor’s - “Konrad Adenauer’s” - lap...
See, there was no "dad or "mom" (Mutti) in our house. We had to call our parents "Father" and "Mother". This might explain a little more...???

But now, I am getting WAY ahead of myself - 1936/37 was no offspring in sight.

So, please don't forget to hug your kids ... this will be continued.

In the meantime, please leave a message? Tell me what you think, correct my typos and grammar - Click on +1 ...?? I'd be grateful. Thank you!

And this is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills:

And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE

Johanna (YooHUNNa)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

... it wasn't easy...

Follow me?? Please?
Germany now had 6 million unemployed people. The economical adversities gave radical parties more and more influence. National Socialists won one election after another.

Father had 32 employees by now - 32 families plus his own were fed. The company's revenue reached a whopping 132,000 "Reichs Mark" and half of it were international orders.
I put an x over my father ;)
There surely were no toilets in this old barn-factory. So, saga has it that Father asked a worker to clean the "outhouse" which the employee refused: 'I am an Ivory Carver, I am not hired to clean the shit.'
Now, Father ordered him to get a chair. The man did. Then Father told him to sit down beside the out-house hole. The man did. Father grabbed shovel and bucket and started to clean out the hole.

It's said that the onlooking man got up and without a word took shovel and bucket out of the boss' hands and finished the job.
(Ok, I KNOW this story is true!! There are more like this to come.)

 It's all Ivory Jewelry

We all know what hellish times dawned next. Compulsory service was ordered as well as the construction of the Autobahn.

Beautiful Ivory carvings continued to be created at the Koziol Ivory factory, located hidden in the small town of Michelstadt in a serene forest - something like the Black Forest, just much smaller.

There were many more Ivory carving businesses, of course. After all it was the Ivory Capital of Europe.
But Father was such a hard worker, was so committed that he grew by leaps and bounds and while others "went out for a beer" he toiled away. Never took free time or God-forbid a vacation. Times were just not cut out for such.
As the very first of all of the region's Ivory Carvers in 1934 Koziol presented his goods at the Leipzig (East Germany) international fair.
The attendance' result was an immediate duplication of the company's revenue. Koziol achieved business connections that should persist over decades.
Meanwhile the Government dictated what was "cultur" and what NOT. In many exhibits people were shown what was meant by 'degenerated art'...
... and Father took on yet another mile stone that should change and define his (affectionally 'my') company for the next 50 years and beyond.


As always! Stay tuned, this will be continued - slowly but surely it's getting more personal then - not so much sad politics anymore. Well, yes, a little.
This is my birth town, Michelstadt, dubbed "The Pearl of Odenwald". Enjoy my little Video presentation ;)

I sincerely hope I am getting you hooked - please tweet, +1, send it to FB
AND ... visit my little adventures. All comments are welcome, especially the nice ones ;-)

Don't forget to hug your kids and tell them they are doing GREAT!
I NEVER got one or a pat on my shoulder growing up!

Johanna (YoooHUNna)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Father, The Ivory Carver


Going back just one step:
My Father registered his Ivory Ware business in November 1927 at the age of 19.

I don't know who did this rendering, but it definitely is him

Just matching some history here:
T'was May 20, 1927 when Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic during his legendary non-stop flight and famously landed the "Spirit of St. Louis" in Paris after a 33 hour trip.

Father already had 3 helpers, still working in his mother's small kitchen and living room. They produced the world renown 'Erbacher Rose', as well as Daisies, Pansies (we call them 'little Mother-in-Law ;), and then of course the wonderful 'Edelweiss' as pins, brooches, tie-clips or pendants.

The pioneer Count Zeppelin made waves with his invention - the famed Blimp 'Zeppelin'. He awed the world for an entire decade, generating lots of admiration and sensation where ever he appeared.

The world came to a screeching halt - when on October 24th the inglorious "Black Friday" caused the collapse of all Stock Markets, resulting in rattling the German economy structure too.
1930 The bad outcome of WWI and global economic crisis strained the German 'Weimarer' government to the point that emergency regulations had to be decreed.
My Grandmother and her two children, Bernhard & Lucie, were used to meager times though. Oma kept cleaning, washing, and ironing for strangers, after school Lucie helped my father and in the house where ever she could.

Lucie as a young Lady, not a kid anymore (notice 'our' noses!!!)

Father seems to have been BORN a workaholic. I never knew him any differently.
Unfortunately, in later years, he demanded the same from us. Oh BOY, was he strict and hard on us.
(And honestly, especially on me... but that comes later - in 1930 it was a loooong way for the world to meet ME. I still was in Abraham's lap, how my Oma used to say) 

With hard work Father 'made it' through. He fed his family and also his workers, employees.
He had to hire more and more helpers and in 1931 he acquired an old run down barn in the neighbor town of Michelstadt and with much sweat, self-help and do-it-yourself the young company had a 'real' work shop. Father always called it affectionally HIS 'Werkstatt' (work place... kinda)
And guess what! I still was able to see it - I remember the old barn to this day.

Thank you for your visit - comments are VERY welcome and a +1 on the bottom too ;)
As usually: This shall be continued. Stay tuned.

Johanna (YooHUNna)

More about the family, me, and company today: Right here

There is also an OUTLET Store  ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Ivory Carver's Story


I am remembering now when I was told that my Grandmother had to wear a black wedding dress because ... she was catholic and shame on her ... she was pregnant with her first son: Bernhard. But yes, she was allowed to wear a white veil. Rough custom rules there...
My father always held his mother up sky high and presented her to us kids as THE shining example.
After her husband's tuberculosis related death she cleaned people's houses, washed and ironed stranger's clothes to feed her two children.
Yet when she passed in 1958 we found out that our oh-so-holy upheld Oma was no virgin when she married, although our father made us believe it.

Johanna and Bernhard Koziol on their Wedding day: March 17, 1908
My father was born on May 30, 1908

I still have my Grandfather's Wedding Ring, which bears
a nice diamond now wearing it proudly almost daily.

After registering his Ivory Carver's (Elfenbeinwaren) Business in 1927 father quickly had to hire one and then 2 more helpers. Father worked using my grandmother's sewing machine and it's pedal to drive his grinder, sander and Ivory polisher, despite Oma's constant protests. She would lay it into him to save the lights and get sleep. But my father would keep working and to save power he used candle light. 

On the right, my Father

No, he never went out 'for a beer' or meet any pals. His mother was very concerned. But three mouths had to be fed.

Soon, my father would expand and even travel across the ocean to promote his goods in America, which was unheard of - a land so far, far away!


Bear with me, it's getting interesting - this shall be continued.

My father had an eye for beauty, balance and relevance. I THINK I got this too.
So, now I am trying to sell what I can not take with me... MY last shirt has no pocket either. I really want to find good homes for my treasures and people that APPRECIATE what they are getting there.

Thank you for logging in.
Johanna (YoooHUNna)

Want to check out already what 'we' are all about...???
Look here: This here would be me / see 'Ancestors' and there 'About me'

Some of the special beauties my father created with his hands can be found here: Just peek, real quick 

Besides Ivory I have a vast collection of beautiful and precious cut Crystal items, Bohemian / Czech glasses that you can NOT find in it's originality anymore today.

That's at Bonanza  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Carved Elephant Ivory - some History first. Interesting?


I think so!
Thus let me tell you that I DO know a 'little' about it - my father was an Ivory Carver and mighty proud to even have a master's degree.
HIS father was a master Potter who worked for Royals in what is Poland today in the late 19th and early 20th Century. So, that would be my Grandfather.
They both had the same name: Bernhard Koziol.

Around 1912 my Grandfather packed up his wife (Johanna) and 2 kids (Lucie and Bernhard) and moved from Poland to West Germany because he heard there was a kiln he could work with. Alas, this kiln was defect and then my Grandfather was drafted to serve in WWI. He came home with severe tuberculosis and was not able to work anymore at all.
A gentle whispering wind grazed his grave soon thereafter.

That's where my father came in. He started carving wood animals and flowers, sold it to tourists and was able to earn the rent for his family at the age of 12 (Twelve!)
Bernhard jr. had no shoes or a bag for books to go to school, yet he went. He was sincere and was teased by his 'buddies' for not coming out and play. He worked and learned.

After finishing his basic school he went to a technical college nearby at the still existing world renown 'Ivory Carving School' in Erbach/Odenwald in Germany.... that's where I grew up.

An Ivory carver first must be talented enough to draw what he has in mind and has to learn to perfect his skill. Ivory is and always was too precious to be wasted. What you start you have to finish.
At the tender age of 19 years my father registered his own business as an Ivory Carver. (Not a MASTER yet)

                On the left his registration        The first official Company Logo

A little bit about Ivory:
Ivory is a hard, white, opaque substance that is the bulk of the teeth and tusks of some animals such as elephant, hippopotamus, walrus, mammoth, etc
Prior to the introduction of plastics, it was used for billiard balls,
piano keys, buttons and ornamental items
The word "ivory" was traditionally applied to the tusks of elephants
In June of 1997 the ban on ivory trade was lifted under CITES guidelines
and then agreed upon by its member countries
Nothing really comes close or compares to the beauty of ivory
and was admired for centuries by Caesars, czars, kings and queens.

See, the Ivory carvers are NOT the bad guys. They would not dream
of killing Elephants for their tusks. They would PRESERVE them.
The material they worked with came only from Elephants that
died a natural death. It was later on that ruthless 'killers' went
out and slaughtered those then helpless giants for their tusks.
And we condemn this STRONGLY.

I have been in Africa more than once, I have seen them,
I have HUGE respect for nature and in this case for these
intelligent, amazing creatures. We would not HURT them!

I will continue and show and tell more about Ivory (and cut crystal glass too)
and a little more about my fascinating father and what he accomplished.

Meanwhile you can look some up... my ancestors... right here:

Interested in my collections for sale?
I always say: Our last shirt has no pockets - so, I am looking for good homes for my rare treasures.

See you later.... oh and BTW, my name is Johanna (YoooHUNna) ;)
I am also creating Videos for fellow Sellers - no matter where, Bonanza, Etsy, eBay, Addoway - using YOUR pictures and what ever YOU want.
It's quite a process and takes me about 3 days to finish one - yup, really.
See my latest? Right here