Weber Family Photo

Weber Family Frankfurt (Oder) c 1920
Weber Family Frankfurt (Oder) c 1920

At a 2016 reunion, a relative shared this photograph of my great, great grandparent Johannes Weber Sr. and Marie Elizabeth (Richter) Weber, their daughter Amalia, and their grandson Henry Sessler (by their deceased daughter Elizabeth). This photo was taken in a refugee camp on the Polish/German border town of Frankfurt an der Oder. Their family was part of a large group of Germans that lived in the Volga region of Russia for about 100 years. The Russian political upheaval in the early 20th century caused the German/Russian community to leave. The children, grandchildren and neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Weber left their town of Schulz (in Samara, Russia) starting in 1910s and settled in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This photograph was taken c.1920-1922; Marie Elizabeth (Richter) Weber would die in the refugee camp on July 21, 1922. Mr. Weber, Amalia, and young Henry would make it to American traveling on the S S Palonia from Danzig (Gdansk) Poland and arriving at Ellis Island on October 13, 1922. They settled with their family in Wisconsin. Their town of Schulz was largely destroyed during the Stalin era. I was able to “meet” my family through this photograph because of my family’s genealogists and because of the work of archivists in Germany and Russia. This photograph embodies my past and it also inspires my present profession as an historian and historic site director—what “family reunions” could our historical research make possible?

Place(s): Germany,Russia,Wisconsin
Year: 1922

– Kristen Laise

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant