Grandpa would often tell the story about how he walked into his grandparents’ (Ignatz and Lena) home and saw them weeping over a letter they’d received from family back home in Germany. I believe it was Ignatz’s family, from Vollenborn, only because Grandpa talked about how his grandfather had gripped the pages of the letter.
Grandpa told me that they were weeping over news of Hitler’s rise to power. He said that Ignatz and his family could see how scary this was.
Until recently, I thought that this took place closer to Hitler’s invasion of Poland; however, Lena died in 1934 and so my timeline or my memory of the timeline is off. It is possible that I misremember Grandpa’s story and it was only Ignatz reading the letter and weeping. It is also possible that this event occurred much earlier, before the war officially began.
I also know that they made at least one trip back to Germany to visit relatives in 1922. This was news to my cousin and uncle (also amateur genealogists), but to paraphrase the old country song, “the papers don’t lie!”
I only have passport and ship records concerning this trip. My grandfather would have been two at the time and he never mentioned anything to me about it. No other documents, letters, or photographs remain. I wonder if a relative had died or if they had finally saved enough money after World War 1?
My dad’s cousin said she remembers her dad (grandpa’s brother) talking about how there was a relative in Germany who asked for money from an American relative (presumably Ignatz) which caused some kind of embarrassment or rift in the family, not sure when this happened or how long the rift lasted or if this was the reason for Ignatz and Lena’s trip.
I don’t think I’ll ever know.
My grandpa always said that Ignatz left Germany so that he and his sons could escape the Bismarck/German wars. The irony, of course, is that his son and grandsons all enlisted or were drafted to fight against Germany.
Grandpa always told me that the Wars wiped out the Frohmbergs in Germany, that the only Frohmbergs left were women who’d married and didn’t have the last name anymore. I always accepted this and my research and random google searches have seemed to support Grandpa’s claim.
I have found Frohmbergs in Poland and we are related through Ignatz’s father Anton’s siblings. More on that some other time…