Frithjof was born in Stockholm, Sweden on April 8, 1885, as the second child of his parents. His father, Richard Robert Max was an ambitious young man who wanted to manufacture and sell products in Stockholm and therefore had moved his family there. The ice skating in winter created happy memories for Frithjof of his early childhood. But unfortunately his father soon got seriously sick and the family had to return to Magdeburg and became much poorer.
In 1894 his father finally passed away when Frithjof wasn't even 9 years old.
It's not clear what has become of his brother Richard Conrad, if he survived or also passed away. But all his other sisters and brothers had also already passed away. So either Frithjof grew up only with his mom Auguste or with his mom and brother.
After his mother was defrauded of her shop and money they lived quietly for a while. Frithjof went to school and afterwards did an apprenticeship to become an office clerk.
When Frithjof was only 24, his mom passed away as well and Frithjof simply packed his bags and moved to Hamburg, where his uncle Otto Korn was already living.
Dora Johanna was born in Uetersen, a town known for its roses, in 1890. She had 4 siblings, 2 elder brothers, Johann Heinrich and Carl August, an elder sister called Minna and one younger brother called Hans. Her father was a carpenter. Before her birth the family had lived in a small place called Kesdorf, close to Süsel (Lübeck) and close to where her father had grown up but had then decided to move to Uetersen where her mother was from.
Uetersen is not far from Hamburg, still we don't know how the two actually got to know each other. But they did and they got married on October 4, 1913.
For Dora her father was her witness for her wedding and on Frithjof's side it was a man called Hans Hansen-Beck who had a French wife called Ernestine Albertine Nourtier.
Soon after, on December 25, 1913 their first child Richard was born, named after Frithjof's father.
Their second child, my grandfather Ernst was born in 1915 and might have gotten his name from Ernestine.
It was the first world war and maybe Frithjof had to fight. After the war had ended inflation was high and finally peaked with hyperinfation in 1923. So the economic situation was difficult. But they muddled through.
Frithjof worked as an office clerk at a newspaper.
Whenever he could, he would go to the movies. He loved watching all the newest films. Dora loved roses.
Their kids went to school, learnt how to skate and how to swim.
But then in 1933 Hitler took power and shut down the newspaper Frithjof was working for. Now he was unemployed and didn't get any help from the state because of his double citizenship (German and Swedish).
Life was hard now. Ernst had to leave school and to make it through Dora Johanna even had to sell her jewlery. They struggled.
In 1939 war broke out again. Ernst had to fight. They were still struggling.
Then came the bombing of July 1943. The allied forces dropped bombs on Hamburg and their apartment burned down. Their neighbourhood, Hamburg-Hammerbrook was one of the hardest hit neighbourhoods and the houses in their street did not survive. Now they had even lost their home and their modest belongings.
Dora Johanna shortly left Hamburg but soon came back. They were given shelter in someone else's house.
The war ended in May 1945 but 2 months later Frithjof died. The years of exhaustion had made him vulnerable. Dora was now forced to move into a shelter. There simply weren't enough apartments and houses left for people to live in as everything was destroyed.
Later in 1945 Ernst came back from the war. And in 1946 my father was born. Dora Johanna was surely happy to see him. But the years of suffering had also taken a toll on her and she had a stroke in the night to December 24, 1947 and passed away.
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