“A HATRED THAT WILL HAVE
NO END AND KNOW NO BORDERS”
“One hundred and fifty years ago, on January 18, 1871, the German Empire was proclaimed in Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, which the troops of the German states had just captured in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.”
“The choice of January 18 for the proclamation that marked Germany’s birth as a unified nation was not accidental: it was the anniversary of the coronation in 1701 of the first king of Prussia.”
Tsar Alexander II of Russia warned Wilhelm, the Prussian king, that if the Germans forced France to concede long-held territory it would instill “a hatred between peoples that will have no end and know no borders” with “catastrophic consequences for all of Europe.”
For years she lived and worked in Seattle. The family is from Vermont, and she spent much of her youth in Switzerland, where her father was stationed with the State Department, I think.
While we talking one evening, she mentioned my tweet. She was curious about the name. We figured out the God part, but didn’t get farther than that. So later I decided to use the Google, specifically Google Translate, and after learning the meaning of his name, I sent off a note to her.
I’m so glad I’ve finally found a record of my great-great grandfather, Ludwig Lentz of Gröbenzien. Gröbenzien was a village in Germany, near the Polish border.
The images are from the Borntuchen church book, known in German as Kirchenbuch. This is the first time I’ve found Ludwig in any historical records. And there’s another unknown, his son Eduard. Most other surviving records from this branch of the family are in other church books.
I’ve included links to the image files of the complete record and the key at the top of the page.
In my pursuit of learning more about the family history, I discovered the names of three siblings — three brothers — of my great grandfather, a farmer born in Prussia who settled in South Dakota named Albert Fromke, which for some reason had been lost and not been passed down.
Oddly, another brother who also immigrated to America, August Ludwig Fromke, isn’t included on this family tree. He was born on 1873 and died in South Dakota in 1909. He relocated to California for a while, but did not like life there and returned to South Dakota.
My great grandfather was named Albert, and I’ve been wondering where the name originated — within German society, culture, history. In looking through famous Germans with the name I came across a Duke of Prussia named Albert.
The family was steeped in Lutheranism, so learning about Duke Albert has been eye-opening. He was the first ruler in Europe to adopt the Lutheran faith and thus introduce Protestantism to the masses.
Hence, the name Albert makes a lot of sense. Grandpa Albert’s parents, Carl Fromke¹ and Caroline Radde, must have been devout Lutherans too.
Sure enough, he certainly looks like her, though I have yet to get a decent photo of her uploaded for posterity. Those eyes and the nose. So alike. I am convinced the two are brother and sister based on their photos alone.
Yet, another clue is the family tree attached to his obviously poorly photocopied image of a photograph. It lists his parents as Henry Lentz and Marie Schenovsky, precisely the same name of the mother of Augusta my grandmother had jotted down years ago.
Henry, however, is something different. Our branch of the family has Augusta’s father listed as Ludwig Lentz, not Henry. I tend to think that Ludwig is probably the correct one. That’s not a common name to confuse. But who knows for sure until we can get more documentation.
The Schenovsky name, however, is a mistake that must flow from a common source. The actual name, after years of including Schenovsky in drafts of the family tree, I learned is Scharnofske. It’s easy to see how the name was bastardized.
In 2006 I was taking an upper level class at Portland State on the history of imperial Russia. In an email to my professor, I wrote about my surprise about discovering that the Prussian royal family still existed. I was considering something to do with Prussian-Russian relations as the subject of my major paper for the class. It was a bit broad a subject, but a good starting point.
Friday, 27 January, 2006 8:38
It’s amazing and fascinating, but in my early research I’ve found that the Prussian Royal Family still exists. Thought you might be interested.