Köhler cousins (page 4)


Letters sent by Franz and Auguste Köhler in Germany to August Maas in Walnut Grove, MN.  Franz and August were first cousins.

See page one for additional information about these letters.  

[The accession numbers (A/N) are for reference and cataloging purposes.]




A/N - KOH026 Undated letter from Franz Koehler to August Maas.

[translation by Dieter Begehr in Hamburg, Germany]


Appen Kr. Pinneberg

Haupststr. 22 (Hamburg)

Our condolences to Karl's family

Dear cousin and wife!

We just send you also a picture of us so that you also have a memory and meet us visually. We heard from Martha Buss that our dear Karl Maas also has departed from his loved ones, somewhat too early, and followed Bertha, Anna, Franz (Frank) and his dear parents into God’s kingdom.  We all go the same way. I stayed in a hospital for some weeks, sick with kidney disease, however I am well again.  I’m now also 70 years, same age as Fred Buss. Otherwise it’s getting a little better than before, as one can now buy everything except clothes, coffee and linen wool , which are still too expensive.

In the hope that you dear all are healthy, cordial greetings to you and dear children

Auguste and Franz Köhler

[Comment by Gene Maas: Based on Franz’s age (he was born February 21, 1881), this letter was most likely written in 1951. Karl (Carl) Julius Franz Maas died on November 24, 1949.]

A/N - KOH029 -  postcard from Franz Koehler to August Maas.

[Translation by Siegfried Krause]



Franz Köhler Appen

(Kr, Pinneberg over Hamburg

at the Memorial Stone

Dear August and wife and children!

We wish everything good for you in the coming year! In the hope that you all are still healthy, as we still are. Uncle Block now is also so suddenly gone from his loved ones, as well by an accident. Since he still was very sprightly, aunt is very saddened. God lets him rest after his beneficial (blessed) life and takes him into His Kingdom. So, one after the other leaves, until we will see again ourselves all there. God be praised, we still have no winter, since coal is scarce.

Sincerely yours,

August and Franz

[Comment by Gene Maas: This undated postcard was postmarked Dec 10 (year unreadable) but is probably 1951 since Fritz Block died on October 10, 1951.]




A/N - KOH006  -  letter from Franz Koehler to August Maas.

[translation by Monica Spicker from Spokane, WA]

Appen Kr. Pinneberg

Haupststr. 22 (Hamburg)


January 5, 1952

My dear all (of you)!

We have received the nice Christmas package and thank (you) much for all the good things with which you delighted us, the coffee, which is expensive and we cannot buy here, the long-johns came at the right moment, since for 8 days I had such a cold, that I must watch out for myself, because 2 years ago I was in hospital with a kidney infection. We want to drive to Burg to celebrate the holiday with nephew Ernst Brietzke, who is foreman for the Kaiser company of Labes, which has a wire factory in Burg, since father Brietzke and sister Berta live with him. Father Brietzke is 76 years old and had a stroke in the autumn; he is, thank God, doing better. 

My brother Wilhelm, the shepherd in Neukirchen by Labes,  and his wife were with us one day ago.  He now lives in Ostenfeld, Kries Husum (in the village) (24) Schleswig- Holstein (Wilhelm Köhler).  He is 60 years old, you can probably remember him. (He) has to work hard as a field worker. In the winter he is unemployed. His sons Walter and Werner are employed as shepherds in the Lüneburger Heide (Heideschnucken). [note by Monica:  Heideschnucken are a special breed of sheep that do well in the heath country south of Hamburg].  Walter was also sent from Africa to America into prison, then later to England. They are doing well and they are hardworking shepherds. Walter married a shepherd's daughter from Pomerania and has 2 small daughters and Werner (married) a farmer's daughter from around here and has a daughter. 

Our dear brother Fritz is probably not alive, or he is in Siberia, and his poor wife waits for him in Lübeck.  Their daughters are married, the son Günther has a smith's apprenticeship near Köln, he is decent and learning much. Minna Köhler, the wife of my deceased brother Karl (shepherd in Schleswig, Kreis Schievelbein) lives with her married daughter in Wilhelmshaven, Grimmstr.7. One daughter is married in the East Zone. Marta Köhler, the wife of my deceased brother Hermann in Eichennwalde lives in Glückstadt on the Elbe, Grabostr. 19 Schleswig-Holstein. The son Herbert is ???? auto mechanic at the paper factory T????, Glückstadt. The youngest son Willi is mechanic with the railroad and currently works in Sweden, he wants to earn more there, the daughter has a music????? there and has a small son.  

Sister Anne lives with her husband in Heeslingen; he works with a farmer.  Sister Emma Vogel is in Thüringen, she is also unhappy, that her husband has died.  She lives there with a son and a married daughter. (She) was happy, that she also got a package and didn't know how we were related. My dear wife thanks (you) much for the beautiful morning-robe as well as for everything else. Now we remember all those who have died, your dear parents, Bertha, Anne, Franz, brother Karl! They see and are with God, where we will all sometime see each other. Uncle Block had to bravely part from the dear aunt. Were Bertha, Anna, Franz not married? More later.

With fondest greetings, To you, your dear wife and children, and brother Willi,

Auguste & Franz Köhler.

A/N - KOH009 -  letter from Franz Koehler to August Maas.

[Translation by Siegfried Krause]



Appen Kr. Pinneberg, near Hamburg

Haupststr. 22


July 14, 1952

In a message from sister Berta (Brietzke), the sad notification, that her dear Hermann now also was called to the heavenly kingdom of God at the age of 77 years. He was healthy and strong otherwise, but the Artierenverkalkung (arteriosclerosis) already had progressed too much. Sister Bertha and son are inconsolable, since he was well aufgehoben there with them, but God wanted it so, now he is with his deceased loved ones and all will find themselves.

We and brother Wilhelm and Martha Köhler from Glückstadt traveled to the burial in Burg at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal. From aunt Block, our only aunt in Kenosha, (Wisconsin) I got a farewell-letter, the aunt will have a breast operation, and doesn't think that she will survive it. She asks me to inform all the relatives. Aunt also wants to go to her dear deceased husband. So one after the other is going until we also have to make the last journey.

Otherwise, it is generally bearable in this area here. Good harvests in this year, but so far very hot, like still in no year. Hermann Brietzke was a shepherd in Charlottenfeld near Woltersdorf / Freiwald. The owners of Kikebusch and Sons are living impoverished here, and are working as an inspector or workers at the estate here, according to that of all estates generally they reached this area still alive. The estates are distributed to settlements. So (this is what) Germany came to be by such a crazy fellow like Hitler, who could not be peaceful. We should have come to you also as single siblings as well, it also would be better. So, we ask God that still we can stay with our loved ones and you can stay with your children.

Karl had a wife and children and Berta (and) Anna, whom I know so well, also passed away early.

With cordial greetings to all you dear ones,

Auguste (and) Franz Köhler




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