Monday, March 15, 2010

German Family Bible – Die Deutsche Bibel

I have in my possession my Grandfather John’s German Bible. I cherish and protect it.

Die Deutsche Bibel Uebersetzung
Von Dr. Martin Luther
Copyright, 1904, By A.J. Holman & Co.
Lutheran Book Concern
Columbus, Ohio

Because the Bible is so fragile, I keep it protected in an airtight box. When I spent time with it, I use gloves. I am in awe of the artwork and the German Language.

Grandpa John spoke five languages. He was dedicated to preserving the German language and taught it to anyone who wanted to learn. In Russia, he was a schulmeister, schoolteacher, and I think deep in his heart he wanted to be a preacher also. His brother-in-law, Elias Hergert (married to John’s wife’s sister) was Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. Grandpa John and Grandma Katherine lived in Portland for a while. I have been to the church building several times. It is located at the corner of SE 12th Street and SE Clinton Street. This building was sold and is now a Buddhist temple. The beautiful stain glass windows on the sides of the building remain. The round window behind the altar has been removed and is at the new Luthern church. I have attended a service there and looked through old church records for familiar names.

In 1988, when I first began my quest to find out the answers to MANY questions about my family and the German Russian culture, my Uncle Dave in Auburn, California showed me this Bible and copied pages from the Family History. What a wealth of knowledge: Names, Geburten (Born), Getauf (Baptised) with names of Godparents, Confirmiert (Confirmed), Sterbefalle (Died). Date immigrated - August 1909.

We are in the season of Lent and this time of year is special and sacred to me because living the Christian life in a tradition of my people that I consider vital for my life.