Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Martha Herde Hackenberg - Franz Hackenberg

You may be interested in this book - No Escape: My Young Years Under Hitler's Shadow.

It was written in 2004 by W. John Koch. Koch's maternal grandmother was Martha Herde. Martha Herde was born in Koppernig (since 1945 it's been called Koperniki, according to Koch).

Martha was the daughter of a well to do farmer. Koch says in his book that her life was filled with a large sense of pride in her background, her family, and herself. He recalls her as a loving grandmother, but that she had a possessive way about her that caused him to avoid her rather than hurt her feelings. Koch says that his grandfather Franz Hackenberg (Martha's husband) was a "gentle giant" - tall, stood erect all his life, bald but had a large mustache that dominated his large face. Koch says Grandfather Hackenberg's mustache couldn't hide his gentle, friendly, and goodnatured disposition.

(I know these folks are indeed related to me, but I need to figure out how. I think they are grand-cousins removed...will research. It does get confusing, because the names Martha and Franz are used often in the family)

Koppernig Silesia

Northwest of Katowice, was a parish village called Koppernig. The ancestors of the famous astronomer, Copernicus were from Koppernig.

The name of the village has been spelled various ways through the years. A large German atlas of Silesia was published in 1731 by Wieland in Nuremberg spelled it Kopernik.

The name Kopernik or Koppernig may come from the occupation of coppersmithing. From Latin word 'cuprum,' through the German 'kupfer.' Kopernik in old Polish also meant a dealer of copper or someone who worked in metal, but especially copper.

Based on information found in the book, Nicholas Copernicus 1543-1943 by Stephen P. Mizwa.

After 1945, Koppernig was known as Koperniki, according to some sources.