My daughter shares a name with Anna (Meyer) Blatz who was a strong young woman that emigrated from Germany after refusing an arranged marriage. Her trunk still sits in a place of honour in our home. In spite of the challenges of being separated from her sisters during WWII, she married, made a home and raised her family in the Canadian prairies.
Anna was born in 1901 in Wettmar, Lower Saxony and had three sisters, Else, Greta and Ella. When she emigrated to Canada at the age of 20, it was the last time she saw her parents and her eldest sister Ella as she never returned to Germany until 1961. She travelled via Bremerhaven, then England, on a ship with her Uncle William and Aunt Mary Meyer, landing in Hamburg, Canada on May 7, 1924. She travelled through to Winnipeg and finally arrived in Lydiatt, Manitoba where she worked for them on their farm until she had re-paid them for her trip. Her passport (Deutches Reich Resisepass) stated that her build was ‘middle’, her face ‘oval’, her hair ‘deunkel’ (dark) and that she had no earlobes.
In October of the same year, her uncle gave her $5 to purchase a winter coat and brought her to Winnipeg where she worked as a cook in a rooming house for Mr. & Mrs. Abram Doerksen. This is where she met her husband, John Blatz, as he enjoyed meals at the rooming house on his delivery trips between Steinbach and Winnipeg. After marriage they purchased the boarding house where they had two children, Else and Henry, and operated the business until from 1931 to 1935. Then, renting two farms in southeastern Manitoba, they purchased one that was located 1 mile from New Bothwell, Manitoba where they lived from 1942 until 1967 where a third child, Alwin was born and died in infancy. On retirement, Anna and John moved to New Bothwell where she lived until her husband passed away, spending her remaining years in Winnipeg. During WWII she had very limited communication with her family in Germany and lost her brother-in-law near Trieste on the border of Austria and Italy.
~ Ron Funk
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +