Monday, March 28, 2016

I have not yet  been able to connect with a relative of the Dittes families corresponded with in the letters in my possession but will spend a portion of Thursday with a Dittes family in Diedelsheim.  We do share a common ancestsor.

I brought along a biography of Albert Einstein for reading on the plane.  My goal was to find out about Ulm, birthplace of him and my grandmother about eight years apart.  His family left there when he was a small boy a few years before my grandmother Anna was born.  Ulm is a medieval city with a grand cathedral I hope to visit on Sunday.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Letters now in order

I have almost finished arranging the many Dittes letters from Germany in order.  Most of them start in 1946 and end in 1951, the hardest years for our German cousins after World War II ended.  

What strikes me at this point is that my Aunt Frances here in Tennesee corresponded with all these people while carrying a full teaching load as a college professor and taking care of an ailing older sister.  She was in her mid 50's at the time and must have been an expert using her time.  Just reading all thee letters takes time.  

Keeping up and sending them desperately needed supplies shows great unselfishness on her part.

We still have a few letters from Friedrich Ditttes to mount.  I hope to complete it soon.  I leave for Germany one week from today.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dittes letters to share

After World War II ended in 1945 my grandfather's first cousin, Frances Dittes of Madison, Tennessee, made contact with her Dittes relatives in Diedelsheim and started sending them needed supplies.  They were having a hard time buying basic necessities such as food and soap.  They sent her many letters of thanks, telling her what they were going through and thus what war was really like on the home front.  I now have possession of these letters and have mounted them on Google Drive with the help of my son.  We are planning a trip to Diedelsheim the end of this month, and I would like to share them with the Ditttes families there.  Many of the people writing these letters are probably no longer alive, but they are bound to have children and grandchildren interested in them.  

Some of the correspondents are Anna Steiger, Erwin Berner, Richard Schwab and Witrud and Werner Holler.  Those with the last name of Dittes are Christian, Ernestine, Friedrich, Irma, Ernst, Lucie, Margarethe, Ursela and Walter.

Would anyone know of them or their descendants living in Diedelsheim?  Please let me know.   

Frances Dittes grew up in Minnesota, being born around 1890, and distinguished herself as a dietitian professor at Madison College from 1910 to 1960.  Her father left Diedelsheim in the mid-19th century.  One of the letters said he could never return to his childhood home much as he wanted to.  He must have wound up on the wrong side of some kind of a revolution. 

Frances left letters from several cousins.