Hello dear friends. As you may know, I am currently working to translate my Uncle’s (Emil Heitmann) WW2 memoir. He rebelled against the Nazis and was treated as a political criminal.
He is reminiscing about WW1, as he writes about his unit (Penal Battalion BB-999) in 1944, going to Paris.
‘At that time, I wrote home: “Dear wife, we hope we do not come to Paris.”
It reminded me that my father wrote back home [WW1], hoping to come to Paris.
He knew the city well and met my mother there. He worked there for a long time. That must have been his best time.
He never went back to Paris. He had to sacrifice his young life for the Moloch of war and my mother, who could barely speak German, had to struggle through with three children [living in Hamburg].’
This is a significant confirmation of my WW1 family research. All the documents and records pointed to my Grandmother’s (Agnes Heitmann, Emil’s mother) life London then Hamburg circa 1911 -1914. But her life in Paris was an educated guess, garnered from stories my mother (Emma Lossl nee Heitmann, daughter of Agnes, sister of Emil) had told me.
It feels good to get corroboration of my supposition about Agnes Heitmann’s life, with my Grandfather, in Paris.
You can read their story in my book Mizpah Cousins: Life, Love and Perilous Predicaments During the Great War Era (Amazon)
#familyhistory #genealogy #WW1 #Paris #memoir
Main picture: Agnes Heitmann with her three children, Baby Bertha, Emil Heitmann Jnr, and my mother Emma circa 1915.
Below, family Heitmann circa 1945: Emil Jnr, Lorna with their daughter Heidi