Last week, I had the great fortune to see a photograph of my aunt Gertrud Kappius for the first time. And my, does she resemble my father!
When Gertrud was born on 8 September 1909 to Josef Kappius Sr. and Antonie Lingemann, who were living in Bochum, Germany, she already had a brother that was just about turning two. After her, another girl was born, Elisabeth, and that comprises the entirety of Josef Sr. and Antonie’s children.
Gertrud’s mother had to leave the family while she and her siblings were still children, and when Gertrud was 15, her mother died of the flu in far-away Rostock. Her father married again, and her stepmother’s name was Ida. We suspect that Ida and Josef Sr. married at the courthouse in 1915, and then at church in 1927, after Antonie had passed away.
On 2 February 1933, Gertrud’s first daughter Marie Theresia was born, and she married Richard Krüger, with whom she had another daughter, Margaretha. The family lived in Bochum at that point. Whether Richard died or they separated is not clear, but eventually, Gertrud married Waldemar Jacobsen and moved to Wuppertal. After his death, she moved to Bad Segeberg to live close to her daughter Rita, and at that point she called herself Gerda Jacobsen. She found employment at a small inn where she also lived, and her daughters and families visited her there often.
Gertrud Kappius/ Krüger/ Jacobsen died on 13 November 1983 in Warder near Bad Segeberg. She rests in the Krems II cemetery.
Rest in Peace, Aunt Gertrud. It is such a pity that we never met.