Saturday, March 21, 2020

2019 Historical Trip to Graben, Germany

Coat of Arms
At the beginning of 2019 I made contact with Graben Church Pastor Ulla Nagel, Tel. 07255 9634, E-Mail:  I asked if she was willing to give us a tour of the city. She wrote back that Gerd Hartmann, former Principal and historian would be a better choice. I made contact with Gerd who was perfectly willing to give us a tour. My wife, sister Sandra and our respective spouses flew to Germany on September 9th. We arrived at Gerd's house on the morning of September 11, 2019.

September 11  Graben tour and history lesson by Gerd Hartmann. Gerd is a 78 year old retired teacher and principal. We met his wife Doris and he guided us around the town on foot telling us about the early history of Graben where my gg grandfather Philipp Scholl was born February 12, 1825.  It was here Philipp learned the trade of shoemaker, probably in his early teens. He most likely immigrated in 1848.  Seven generations of Scholl's spanning 225 years or at least 17 families lived in Graben, Germany. During the 19th century only 7 percent of the people moved. And if they did their town was still responsible for them if they got into debt in their new area. Gerd spent the whole day with us and presented us with a green folder crammed with information on the early history of Graben. 

Park at the edge of Graben and Neudorf. This is a monument to those brave
men and woman who fought in WWI. Behind the statue is a little river 
call the Pfinz that marks the dividing line between Graben and Neudorf. 
A mill used to sit on this river in days past.

There are a number of plaques around the monument commemorating
Graben natives who served in WWI
Pfinz river. Neudorf to the north, Graben to the south.

This is the main bakery located in the center of town across from the Church. The reason my sister and I were interested in taking this picture is because our 3rd great grandmother Christina Scholl married Johann Martin Köhler. Could there be a connection?

Church Pastor Ulla Nagel
Tel. 07255 9634
This church is modern. The actual building the Scholl family went to was on the same spot in the center of town.  Everything revolves around this building, now and in the past.

Learning about the Graben Evangelical Church.

Graben Evangelical Church or Kirche, Kirchenstraße, 76676 Graben-Neudorf, German

Chatting with the Graben Pastor Ulla Nagel next to a monument which sits between the Church and the pastoral residence. 

There is an old graveyard behind the church where some of our
relatives are no doubt buried. The gravestones have been removed
but here I found a plaque on the wall with Scholl's. There are 
still plenty of Scholl family members who live in the community. 

Herzlich willkommen im Landgasthof "Zum Löwen", Graben-Neudorf. Wir wünschen einen Guten Appetit. Translation: Welcome to the country inn "Zum Löwen", Graben-Neudorf. We wish you a good appetite. Location: Zum Löwen, Karlsruher Straße 19, 76676 Graben-Neudorf, Germany  From the Löwen: Thank you very much for your message. The "Löwen" is between 250 and 300 years old, it used to be the farm building of the castle in Graben.

Gerd arranged for a meeting with the Bürgermeister, or mayor, of Graben, Christian Eheim, who spent an hour with us and presented us with a book on Graben-Neudorf.  A delightful man with a keen awareness of US politics and details about his own community.  In his community, immigrants live in common housing. If they want to work, Graben helps them find jobs, housing, and works them into the local culture. 

Friedhof is translated - Cemetery. This is the Graben Friedhof at the south edge bof town. It is the best place to look for relatives. Most village cemeteries in Europe removed their older headstones many years ago. Today people rent spaces for 25 years. When time is up, the marker is removed and a new resident takes their place.  We found some Scholl's and Kammerer's!

Based on these headstones I'm changing the Cammerer name to Kammerer.
See Anna Maria Kammerer 

No day would be complete without a visit to the Köhler Bakery.

 Christina Scholl and her son Philipp may well have bought  a loaf of  bread from the köhler Landbäckerei, Or maybe Johann Martin Köhler, who was a farmer, sold his wheat to the family owned Landbäkerei.

September 1
2  Visited Karlsruhe. In the 1800's Karlsruhe was the seat of government in the nobility area of Baden. When Philipp Scholl lived there he was subject to Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. In 1848 the middle class, like Philipp Scholl, wanted both freedom and less taxes that were enjoyed in France and the United States.  Freedom was considered a liberal idea.  Leopold was interested in liberal ideas, and granted concessions to his subjects in 1848.  He declined to oppose the revolution which broke down some barriers and forced him to flee from the country. The revolution failed, Philip Scholl emigrated, and Leopold later returned and died in Karlsruhe. Germany didn't become a unified state until 1871.

Leopold Grand Duke of Baden. When Philipp Scholl applied for US citizenship
he had to renounce allegiance to this man and swear allegiance to the USA.

On 25 July 1819, Leopold married in Karlsruhe his half-grand-niece 
Sophie of Sweden (21 May 1801 – 6 July 1865). Sophia and Leopold 
had 8 children.

Painting - main street Graben before cars. Notice Zum Löwen on the left.