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The history of our Familientag - in a nutshell

by Helmut Wlokka,

promoter of the Kröhnescher Familientag´s revival in the 21st century

The Kröhne family has its origins in the region nowadays comprising Germany´s federal state of Thuringia (Thüringen) and adjacent areas. The family history is documented there since the end of the 17th century, more precisely in Blankenhain bei Weimar through Johann Georg Kröhne, a council member in that city. Christian August Kröhne (one of his great-grandchildren) and his wife Johanna Friedericka Kröhne (née Richter) are considered the elders of our Kröhne family with its manifold of family lines.

 

As described in a 1918 report about the history of the "Kröhnescher Familientag" a sense of belonging developed amongst the Kröhne relatives, expressed through repeated meetings (particularly by those living in Saxony and adjacent regions). This fraternal sense of belonging led to the idea of founding a "Familientag" (family association). The first such meeting occurred in Altenburg (Saxony) on 18th October 1868.

In 1902 a charter for the Familientag was written, which distinguished between family members and fee-paying members of the Familientag. Furthermore, three different funds secured, among others, the organisation of the annual reunions, provided financial support to less endowed Familientag members to secure their travel and attendance to the meetings. Furthermore, Johanna Friedericka Kröhne (née Richter) entitled, through her ancestry, all her descendants to apply for a scholarship of the "Küchmeister und Lietzo´sche Familienstipendium".

 

The Familientag tradition was maintained annually, at different venues within the Thuringia-Saxony region, for seventy years until 1938. One looked forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Familientag´s since its first meeting. The outbreak of WWII dashed these plans. The political implications in the war´s aftermath led to the disbanding of the Familientag. One attempt at keeping the Familientag alive during the era of a partitioned Germany was a joint (East-West) publication of an address book in 1965 with all the then-known family members.

 

Only after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the desire to revive the Familientag´s tradition gained pulse. The first Familientag in the third millennium took place in Waldenburg in 2004, an achievement only possible through the efforts made by Helmut and Matthias Wlokka´s initiative. And since 2006 members of the Kröhnescher Familientag have been meeting annually in order to "...keep the memory of our forefather Christian August Kröhne alive, to learn about his descendants amongst his descendants, and to promote the acquaintance amongst them...", (§2 of charter from 29th June 1902).

 

Soweit nicht anders erwähnt, Textübersetzung: W. Brand Penner von Kader