Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A bit of family history...

While clearing my dad's house, this appeared, hidden in a metal trunk.
 
 
The base has a musical chime (some sort of waltz) and the helmet contains a cigarette lighter.
 
It was the shield that interested me most.

 
A map of Germany showing the post World War 2 occupation zones, but also showing the 1939 border with Poland.  I have seen this sort of thing before, an obvious indication that for a time there was still hope that the old borders would be restored.
 
Then we found out the story behind it.
 
My dad bought it in Germany while doing his National Service in the mid 1950s.  He brought it back and gave it to his mum, who hid it fearing that her husband, (my grandad) would sell it for beer money.  Yes, sadly my grandad was the sort of guy who felt that beer was more important than anything else in life.  Hiding the ornament was also a big risk as, if my grandad found it he would probably have given her (yet another) thorough beating.  I never really liked that grandfather, even without knowing this sort of thing.  Guess I just got a feeling about him.
 
I found it strange that, many years after both of these grand parents died, the ornament was still being hidden.  Maybe it brought back too many memories of what home life had been like.

16 comments:

wReggie said...

We all have skeletons in the closet.

ShadowRun300 said...

Wow. What a story. Nice that it doesn't have to stay hidden anymore. And it seems like the kind of ornament that would fit right into your home. Display it proudly.

Rock Chef said...

wReggie - I guess we do!

SR300 - It does sort of fit with our stuff - might put him close to the history books.

Abby said...

Very interesting! Pass the cigars to celebrate the liberation of... (he needs a name)!

Rock Chef said...

Abby - He does indeed! Something Germanic! Maybe I should hold a small contest!

Shammickite said...

My mother visited Germany just before the war and brought back some coins with swastikas on them.... they're still around somewhere.

Riot Kitty said...

That's quite a find - I'm glad you get to have it out in sight now.

terri said...

Guenther. He looks like a Guenther.

That is a really cool little treasure, but such a sad story behind it.

lotta joy said...

Men like your grandfather do not have to bother with their fake personality they put on for the public. That's one reason everyone was so shocked that I would leave someone as sweet and dear as my first husband after 33 years.

Rock Chef said...

Shammickite - Things like that are difficult to put on display, aren't they? There is always someone who will read the wrong things into it...

Riot Kitty - Yes, it is right out there now!

Terri - Hah, many years ago I had a dog called Guenther!

Lotta Joy - That makes it so much harder, doesn't it? Everyone just assumes that the person they see is what they are like all the time. Glad you got away, but sorry it took that long.

agg79 said...

Sir Light A Lot? (my entry for the name contest).

You can uncover some interesting things/stories you find when cleaning out a family home.

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh my goodness. What an amazing find!

Rock Chef said...

Agg79 - Hm, I wonder what that sounds like in German?

agg79 said...

Sir Lightenstein?
Baron Von Flickenhausen?

Rock Chef said...

Ulrick von Lightenstein! Have you seen A Knight's Tale?

CiCi said...

Going through someone else's belongings is unnerving, and more so when it is your parent. Finding treasures like these and being able to share the stories must be heartwarming for you. My thoughts are with you as you keep sorting and moving forward.