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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!


  1. Loved reading about your childhood If I wrote about mine it would be a lot of pages LOL!

    1. Hi Deb, thanks for your comment - did you read below?
      And yes, here too, MANY more pages are waiting to be written ;)