It’s kinda odd to think of your own father as a historical figure, but in my case, he is. Josef Kappius, commonly called Jupp, belonged to an altogether different time, that’s for sure: When he was a child, cars were so rare in his native city of Bochum, Germany, that children ran after them because they were so exciting and new. Much happened between the first decade of the 20th century when he was born, and the late 1960s when he died, and today.
My father lived through two world wars. At the end of the first one, he was 10 going on 11. Two decades later, he found himself first in exile in England, searched for by the GESTAPO for treason, then interned in Australia because the British decided to trust no German living in England at that time, shipped back to England eventually to help in the fight against National Socialism, and finally jumping back into Nazi Germany with a parachute to organize the resistance movement in his home town in the Ruhrgebiet.
He survived all that, more or less unscathed, and so did his wife Aenne, herself a notable figure in the social-democratic resistance against the Nazis. Aenne died in the late 1950s though, and in the second half of the 1960s Jupp was fortunate enough to find a second wife, much younger than he was, and finally start a family. Two children they were given before he died on Dec 30, 1967.
Here is a link to a longer biographical sketch on his site (it’s in German though).
So there’s the historical bit for you. He was also a grandson, son, husband and father, and is now, posthumously, a grandfather as well. Our site about him covers the different stages of his life as well as the results of our genealogical research into the Kappius/Cappius family. His paternal uncle, for example, spent his adult life in Nebraska, USA – we call him Father Uncle William, but he was born Wilhelm Cappius, and insisted on spelling his name with a C, instead of a K. He also was interested in the history of the Cappius family in their original home town of Haaren in north-western Germany. Today it is part of the city of Bad Wuenneberg, but for the longest time – and Haaren had a 1000 year jubilee in the 1970s, so you see how far back this little town goes -, it was independent.
Recently we researched the house name that the Cappius family used to have: Cappius v. Reelen. You can read our findings in the most recent post on Jupp’s site, if you know a little German:
Have a look around, have fun! Not everything on the site is written in German, but a lot of it is, naturally.