Grandma's picture

Grandma's picture
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

35 - Celebration in Nieder-Mohrau - 14 June 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile made on her way to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She had crossed the United States by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. The Europa, a ship with the North German Lloyd ship line, had carried her across the
Atlantic Ocean.

In her previous letter home, Grandma Cecile mentioned that they had held a celebration in the village for her. Fortunately at least a couple of photographs survived from that party. Two different poses of the same group of people can be seen in these photos. In the first, they are standing in front of trees. In the other, they are standing in front of a building, presumably the restaurant where they gathered.

Thanks to two of the people who were there as little girls - sisters Hedi Bernt Ramolla and Hermi Bernt Kotrc - those people have been identified. 

The first image here is a scan of the photo/postcard of the group. This photo belonged to my aunt Betty Beitel Silbernagel.

The second image is an enlarged, cropped print that Hedi wrote numbers on so that she could identify the people. She was doing this at the request of Sr Agnes, who had told her that my cousin Marilyn Pursley and I were working on family history and wanted to know who the people were. Hedi sent this numbered image to Sr Agnes along with a letter with all the names.


Family & friends gathered around Grandma to welcome her


Hedi's key for identifying people at the celebration



Hedi and Hermi identified them all. Hedi wrote it down; Sr Agnes rewrote it for me, since Hedi's handwriting isn't the easiest to read. I added the descriptions of the people.

Hedi numbered the people, working from left to right, top to bottom, acrossshe the picture:
1.*Rudolph Wehrberger - man at far left back row  (Sr Agnes wrote Wehberger, but it looks to me like Hedi put another "r" in there.)
2.*Amelie Wehrberger - lady, white dress, she & #1 were owners of the restaurant and friends of Grandma
3. Hedi Bernt Ramolla - 2 braids showing
4.*Hilde Schinzel - lady, face partly blocked,  ("all the Schinzel family were good friends of Mom")
5. Anni Bernt Binder - one braid to front,
6. Gisela Bernt Schulig - blonde tot in front of #5, 
7.*Alois Schinzel - man to right of #5,  friend of Grandma
8.*Anna Schober - young woman blocking #7's face, maid for Grandma's sister Gustie Weiss
9.*Hilde Wehrberger Hahn - girl directly in front of #8, with white edged collar, daughter of #1 & 2
10.* directly in front of #9, with white apron, Herti Ott, also daughter of #1 & 2
11. Mina Schiebel Bernt - lady to right of #8, whole face showing, Grandma's sister, Hedi's and all the other little Bernts' mother
12.*Erika Schinzel - blonde girl with bow in her hair, light colored print dress in front row, 
13. Hermi Bernt Kotrc - girl to right of #11, only eyes peering over boy's head, 
14.*Herbert Schinzel - little boy in front of #13, looking to right, 
15. Franz Bernt - tall man, center of back row, Aunt Mina's husband,  father of all the little Bernts
16. Hermann Bernt - tallest boy in front row
17. Cecilia Schiebel Beitel, Grandma! - in front and to right of #15, wearing light colored dress
18. Gustie Schiebel Weiss - to right of Grandma (#17), wearing dark dress with light tiny print,  Grandma's sister
19. Franz Bernt - middle boy in front row, right of #16, Hedi's brother who lived in Canada and visited the Beitels out in Oregon in the 1980's or 90's.
20.*Mr. Schindler - man wearing fedora in back row, a teacher and friend
21. Herbert Schallner - little boy in front row, buttons on his pant legs, wearing vest and dark collar on his suit, son of #22 & #24
22. Hedwig Weiss Schallner - lady to right of #20, big buttons on her dress, "(Gusti's only daughter, daughter of #18)" (Weiss/Schrott? - Sr Agnes wrote Weiss, but I thought she was Gusti's daughter with her first husband Alois Schrott, maybe Mr. Weiss adopted her?)
23.*Luise Ludwig - young woman, face only showing to right of #22, "friend of [Grandma]'s"
24. Joseph Schallner - young man to right of #22 & 23, "husband of #22, Hedi Weiss" - again , Sr Agnes wrote "Weiss" whereas I thought it was Schrott, maybe I'm wrong? Not sure where my idea comes from.
25. Hedi Schallner Fleischhauer - girl in front row, directly in front of #24, dark dress with white belt and buttons, "daughter of #22"
26. Wilhelm Weiss - man on far right, back row, smoking a pipe, watch chain on his vest, Gustie (#18)'s husband
27. Ilse Schallner Reiser - little girl on far right, front row, white dress with ruffles and dark ribbon bow, "daughter of #22 & #24"

Other notes that Sr Agnes made:
1.* friends of Cecilia Schiebel Beitel
2. All the Bernts are children of Nos. 11 and 15. (“Bernts” meaning Hedi Ramolla and all of her siblings)
A further note. Hedi wrote in the letter where she was doing the ID's , " I do remember everybody." She wrote "16 people are related family people, including your Mom, 11 are friends, 15 people are passed away, 9 are alive, 1- Anna Schober we lost contact" Best I can tell Hedi wrote this in early 2004. Where it says "Grandma", that is my addition.

The rest of Hedi Ramolla's letter:
I do wish Elizabeth and Marilyn luck with their family tree projects. I don't have any pictures of my parents with their brothers and sisters in one. When your mom emigrated to America, everyone went away. My father's brother to Berlin, his Sisters to Vienna and Tirol, Uncle Hermann to Schemel, Uncle Josef and Uncle Johann to Teschen. I also know that there are no pictures of our Grandparents. They lived and died in Nieder-Mohrau. I do know where most people lived and died. Like for instance, the Schinzel family, he was a teacher, their son was only 16 when he got killed because of the war. Erika was a nurse, she was married to a Polish man, they emigrated to America and she died very young from cancer.

The second photograph from the celebration in Nieder-Mohrau on June 14, 1936, is the next photo. It appears to be the same group of people, taken on the same day, since they are all wearing the same clothes. The only difference is that they are standing in front of a building, presumably the restaurant where they had all met. 

The children appear to have been having fun, most of them have mischievous looks on their faces.

This photo, which is in postcard format, was in Grandma's collection with her diary. The dark around the edges is from smoke damage.


Grandma Cecile at her Welcome celebration
Using the other photo as a guide for identification, here are the names of people in this photo:

Back row in the top left corner:
Rudolph Wehrberger
Amelie Wehrberger - white buttons on dress
Hilde Schinzel - to right of open window
Alois Schinzel
Anna Schober - face partially hidden by boy in front of her
Grandma Cecile  - white dress
Franz Bernt - tall man behind Grandma
Mina Schiebel Bernt - to right of Grandma
Luise Ludwig - behind Mina
Gustie Schiebel Weiss - print dress
Johann Schindler - wearing hat
Hermi Bernt Kotrc - white collar
Wilhelm Weiss - smoking
Hedwig Schrott Schallner - right of Mr. Weiss
Joseph Schallner - upper far right

Front row, left to right, all children:
Hedi Bernt Ramolla - dark dress, hand over mouth
Hilde Wehrberger Hahn - white apron
Anni Bernt Binder - tall, with long braids
Gisela Bernt Schulig - little blonde girl with white collar in front of Anni
Herbert Schinzel - looking to the side
Erika Schinzel - big bow in hair
Herti Wehrberger Ott - white skirt
Hermann Bernt - tallest boy with white collar
Franz Bernt - shorter boy with big, white collar
Herbert Schallner - jacket & vest
Ilse Schallner Reiser - white dress,dark bow
Hedi Schallner Fleishhauer - dark dress, white belt, white bow & band in hair

  To see the photos closer, simply click on any of them and you will be able to scroll through them all.

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Story to be continued......

To read Post "36 - Letter From Grandma to Grandpa - 17 June 1936 Click here

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