Wednesday, February 20, 2008

land of our fathers

This past weekend my husband's very first movie made its world premiere to rave reviews!

No, it wasn't a Scorsese production nor will it be viewed at any film festivals or nominated at any awards, but it is a very special film, nonetheless!

Karl's grandfather on his mother's side was born in Germany. Although he immigrated to America as a young child with his parents, the rest of his relatives remained here. And the family has made a little bit of contact with some long lost German cousins.

Back in November, while I was enjoying my Thanksgiving in the States with family, Karl took a little trip to the birthplace of his grandfather, Gotha in central Germany, to meet these distant cousins. He brought a video camera with him and made a little film about his visit including interviews with relatives and visiting the birthplace of his grandfather and great-grandmother.

Karl with Wolfgang, whose grandfather was the first cousin of Karl's great-grandfather:

Wolfgang and his son are master carpenters...this is their shop and their home:

The finished film got send off to the family and was shown Saturday evening at the annual family reunion. Every February Karl's relatives get together for the annual "German Dinner" where they catch up on the past year, eat good food (that is sometimes inspired by Germany and sometimes not so much), and where there is usually some kind of program celebrating the family's German heritage. And Karl's wonderful film was this year's highlight!

Sadly, we couldn't be there for the big premiere. (Sometimes we hate that Germany is so very far away.) But Monday night Karl's parents called to let us know that everyone loved the film!

Would you like to see my husband's masterwork? It's been posted on YouTube in three different parts that you can see here (part 1) and here (part 2) and here (part 3).

But Karl's not the only one to return to the native birthplace of his fathers. When I learned we were going to be moving here I decided to help my dad out with some of his genealogy research. He had traced his family back to their immigration from Germany but couldn't find any information on the Germans before they immigrated. After a lot of research I found the location my forefathers left when they immigrated (family legend says that my great-great-great-grandfather was involved in a plot to assassinate the Kaiser and left Germany when the plot was discovered!).

My sister and her husband came to visit us in October and together my sister and I were able to visit the town of Gau-Odernheim where our ancestors were born! It was really neat to see the place where we would have grown up if our families had made a different decision so many years before!

Me (on the left) and my sister in front of the church (where our ancestors were probably baptized and married) in Gau-Odernheim:

Some old buildings in the small town that were standing when our family once lived there:

If you're interested in visiting your own roots, here are some good sites to get you started:

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Don't forget to check out my last post for a special shop announcement and a special discount for all my blog readers!


Cicada Studio said...

I love that door! I would love to visit Germany... some day.... some day....

Sarah said...

So cool!

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