Saturday, January 28, 2012

Political Trial leads to Trade Mark


1952 was the year that German scientist Dr. Albert Schweitzer was duly honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless dedication and work at the Jungle Hospital in "Lambaréné", the Capital of Gabon, Moyen-Ogooué District, West Africa.
Humanist Schweitzer was reckoned Germany's idol of the time.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer *1875 †1965

Germany grew and so did our family. My parent's number Five arrived and my older sister and brother NOW could rightfully moan that they had to "share" even more because that's what they already did when I, being number three, arrived. 
Yeah, my jealous older siblings!
(This was conveyed and told by "outside sources"  ;)

I vividly remember one morning standing in front of the big blue sink in our "Kinderzimmer" (children's rooms), my mother braiding my pigtails when I finally noticed that she had pretty well grown out of proportions.
'Mutti, du bist aber dick geworden in letzter Zeit!'
(Which is to say, "Mutti, whew, you are eating more? You became very big lately!"). As it would be an embarrassment, she whispered that "we" are expecting a baby.
Not missing a beat I just answered: 'I hope it's a boy, we are already 3 girls'.
And that was it. I still was a tiny miniature edition of the human species, mind you!

In the middle of the summer the youngest member of our family arrived and YES, it was a boy - our "Goldi-Locks".
Stephan was a pretty baby and even stayed that way throughout his childhood, which, what experience taught me, is not always a given. Everybody loved and adored him and we older ones where - you guessed it - mighty jealous. Five kids were naturally divided by age gaps - it panned out that I was the "big" one of the three youngest. BAD position to be in.

I was not the first born, neither the heir to the throne. I was not "finally a son again" neither sickly as my younger sister who demanded a lot of attention.
I was not pretty (matter of opinion, sure) but a tomboy and healthy to the bone.
I was the "Sandwich Kid". 

And let me tell you THAT was not desirable and no fun. No soul was interested in me.
This was surely no pleasure in our family where always nannies and household helpers were around, living, sleeping and eating with us. That made for a huge family where guests - business and otherwise - were always welcomed too. Sometimes we had a "midday meal" table of 12 or more people. Chatter occurred only when strangers attended; otherwise, as told before, our meals were taken in silence. The parents spoke a little "business" to each other but that was all.
At one point we had a household maid who was a sunny happy-go-lucky young girl. Her name was Gisela. She teased my Father asking him to smile for a change. Father looked mighty irritated at her and produced a wry smile. After dinner she asked him:
'So, Mr. Koziol, tell me what you just ate'. This question made my eyes bug out, stunned as I was by her sassiness.
No, Father could not tell. Gisela had noticed what was daily reality for us. Father was always totally absent, his thoughts away on business and politics. Naturally, Mother felt miffed and gave the girl the evil eye. How dare she expose this!
Mother had pottered about in the kitchen all morning and her husband wasn't even aware what he had swallowed.

Father's company kept growing and being the character he was, he also took care of his people. Once a year all company employees received a "lunch bag" (a little bigger than that) that even included a small bottle of wine and were invited to a day-long excursion either by train or by ship, cruising the Rhine River, always ending at a nice restaurant where all their hungry bellies were filled. Having fun was mandatory, and these events became the year's highlights.
Come Christmas, Father arranged for a Christmas Party right under the roof of our factory in our so-called "Festsaal", Festival Room that even had a stage with lighting and a curtain.
Today we would say a Party Room, right?
Carnival Societies held their festivities there and Koziol produced the needed Carnival fraternity honor medals.

These pictures are similar to the honor medals we made

Now we had a church and a festival room for many societies to hold their festivities there and in case you are wondering: yes, use was always free for everybody who would behave properly.

Father's business had nothing to do with Ivory anymore although he had become an avid collector of all things Ivory and more over a collector of all objects of beauty and artistry. Those would consist of figurines and unusual mirrors, elaborate antique or just elegant chairs, illustrious chandeliers and lamps, Persian rugs, crystal, wood carvings as well as artistically aesthetic jewelry for my mother. The most beautiful (and expensive) porcelain was used daily. He wanted to see and enjoy it, not look at it stashed away behind glass.

The firm's hallmark had changed too and and in an unexpected way:
It all started with Father's involvement in politics, and a trial.
Father was fully engaged in politics and therefore it was inevitable that he had to clash with some big shots. He was never shy to speak his mind. He fought for what was right - even with the help of full page ads in the area's big newspapers. He was "THE Koziol" - not Mr. Koziol anymore.
I even had the honor to "be seated" on a knee of Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in our famous Gentlemen's sitting room during one of his visits to our home.
Father was engaged in such a big fight with one of his political foes that it ended up in court. It was a two weeks trial but one day when I returned home from school, I found the house flooded with flowers.
For me that just meant that the trial was over. Finally! There had been no subject other than the trial spoken about at home. It was dreadful and soooo boring for me.
All the flowers though, were the sure sign that Father had won.

During the trial this important member of the Parliament was so lost after all, that he did not know what kind of "kitchen sink" to throw at my Father after all else had been attempted. So, he resorted to an insult, by bringing up Father's unusual name.
'Your honor, do you even know what the name "Koziol" means when translated? It is Polish and means Billy Goat.'
The entire court room went into a laughing fit for such an "ingenious" defense.
Father himself had not known this and, needless to say, used it to his advantage.
Our new Hallmark was born

Later on, the "Mr. Impo-tant" who challenged Father even had the nerve to ask for compensation for his "invention." Politicians!

To be continued! (Read from chapter ONE!!)

Please don't forget to hug your kids tonight! Sadly, I totally missed out on that :(
Hugs and/or showing affection was a no-no in our family.

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!
This is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills. Maybe you find this very gift you were looking for? :
My personal Web Site
And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE


Johanna (YooHUNNa) .... scroll down, there is MUCH more:
You GOT to start at the Beginning: Chapter 1 !

koziol invented the Dream Globe, taught dish brushes and shoehorns how to stand on their own two feet, and made the world a more colorful, cheerful place. Since 1927, koziol characters have been colonizing households around the globe. And while their shapes and functions may have adapted with the passing years and trends, the underlying philosophy has never changed:
Make your world a better place and yourself a happier person.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

American Officers sent Father to Prison


Time: Must have been around 1945-46 after American Officers occupied part of "our" factory.

At some point, after the occupying forces moved in (and as I said, thank God it was the Americans in our part of the country, Hessen, South of Frankfurt!) they wondered why Father was not a soldier, was not drawn to the war front. They figured "He must have been a good Nazi" with lots of strings pulled for him. Consequentially they threw him in jail. There was little Father could do to prove that they could not be farther from the truth.

Officers combed his offices, files, and papers.
What they found was no sign of any Nazi membership, but rather found a letter from Father addressed to one of the dreaded Party Croesi, suggesting just the opposite. 

In this letter he excused himself from a Sunday's Nazi mass "cheering" because "he had received a lorry full of coal by train which he had to unload to keep the factory going, his people working and making sure the military-related items would be delivered on time".

 In a BINGO moment, the stunned American officers had change of heart.
 "If this man does such straineous and dirty work himself, all alone, on a Sunday - and has 100s of workers under his command, THEN he did not WANT to go to this meeting."

It was true. Father pulled many similar stunts - besides, he never did shy away from dirty work. He DID empty this entire train wagon on that "oh-so-important-for-the-Party" Sunday.
After two weeks in jail Father was released immediately upon discovery of the truth about his allegiance. But during his brief incarceration, he observed the dire conditions of the prison, and returned with a troupe of his own workers to paint the entire jail inside and out.
"End of story" ... so to speak. That was once again just soooo my Father.

All of this of course was one of many reasons why he and the Americans got along and why he was well respected. The officers listened to him and helped out where they could. Father never had to beg in vain for sugar, flour or milk powder and then again: this infamous grease (please see chapter 8). He fed many, many people.

Father was a God fearing man, yet absolutely down to earth. While he was no hypocrite, he sometimes made a "deal with the devil," to achieve a greater good.
He trusted in God without many words and most of all without trying to convince others. He just did what he deemed was right and he did not ask anyone. We did our prayers in the morning, before and after meals, at night, went faithfully to church but there was never any talk about God. It just wasn't necessary.

He was successful - to me it seems today - with everything he touched and started.

On Sundays, after our collective breakfast, the complete family sported their best attire and marched to church, attending 10am mass. My Mother had a very good singing voice and was heard throughout and by everyone.
"Oh, Mrs. Koziol is in the house"... people would say.

(I laugh about this now, but at the time I was morbidly embarrased.)

In the early 20th century Catholics were in the minority in our part of Europe but with all the refugees from Eastern Countries the Catholic population grew by leaps and bounds. We had no Catholic Church. Father though had more than enough room in his factory and thus provided space that was converted into something like a church hall. I think it held up to 250 parishioners. He had artists decorating the walls with relief carvings, the seats were chairs, there were no church pews.

After church and dutiful "meetings and greetings" we marched home again, Father worked through his mountains of business mail and we waited for "Dinner".
Our "Dinner" naturally taking place at 1pm was called "Mittagessen" - "midday meal". This was our main meal. The family had to be there; every single day our table was decked in white linen, white napkins and silver flatware. We used our linen napkins for a week and recognized our own napkin, because the napkin rings, of silver or Plexiglass, were engraved with our names.
Only Father was allowed to have a drink with his meal. Usually it was milk.
(Having no drink with a meal is unthinkable today. And honestly, I still do not drink anything during a meal, if it is not wine ;-)
We were not allowed to speak. "One does not talk while eating." Children may be seen but never heard.

Every day after our midday meal Father would rest, take a 30 minute nap during which each and every present soul had to be silent and sneak quietly through the house, if necessary.

I always had the dubious honor to be seated at Father's left during our meals and cannot number the countless times he pulled my right ear up, up toward the ceiling.
My other siblings were seated either far away from him or not even present in later years. They attended boarding schools... until it was time for me to suffer the same fate.

MUCH more to come.

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

Please don't forget to hug your kids tonight! I totally missed out on that :(
Hugs and/or showing affection was a no-no in our family.

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!
This is what I am doing now, trying to pay my bills. Maybe you find this very gift you were looking for?  :
And I am selling part of my jewelry HERE


Johanna (YooHUNNa) .... scroll down, there is MUCH more: the beginning!