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  ;)