|Birth: ||Jun. 28, 1906|
|Death: ||Mar. 9, 1945|
There is not much that I could tell about my grandfather, at least nothing which I could underline by own experiences or memories. I have never been lucky enough to meet him or my paternal grandfather, so all I can tell is what I was told by my granny, my godfather, his oldest son, and my Mum, his beloved daughter. My youngest uncle, Paul's youngest child, does not have memories, he was 1 year and 7 months old when his father died.
Paul Schmitz was born in Gummersbach, his brother Erich was several years his junior.
My grandfather started working as a steelworker in 1922; in 1927, he married Mathilde Lange on September 10, 1927, and the couple had three kids.
Unfortunately, though, war forced not only Europe but the whole world onto their knees, and just like many good man and ordinary people, my grandfather and his brother were recruited and sent to the front to fight, they had no choice, those who tried to escape and were caught were immediately executed.
On March 9, 1945, my grandfather was fatally wounded on one of the battlefields near Mönchengladbach, where he is buried on the soldier's part of the Rheydt-cemetery.
According to my Mum's memories, grandfather would have been just the type of grandfather I had always longed for, a very tender and caring man, able to make you smile, to work exceptionally hard, but also to show real emotions.
He never had a problem in admitting when he was sad, and did not even mind sheding a tear, if something shattered him. He had this big heart and would write wonderful letters and poems, my Mum used to say that she knows for sure from whom I have inherited my ability to and love for writing poems. If so, I am certainly proud.
Since his death right to the very last day of her life, my Mum never stopped missing her beloved father. And even the last evening before she was taken home, when I was sitting at her bed, she talked to me and how much she longed to see him, that she could really do with his hugging her and easing her pain.
From what old neighbours, those who had the pleasure of being friends with my grandfather, have told me I can say that grandfather was a devoted husband and father, and that especially his daughter was the apple of his eye.
This is the explanation I need to know that Mum's smile (she sure had a smile on her lips when she had just passed away) was due to her father having been there when she was taken home. I am sure that he waited for her with his arms wide open, and that she simply flew into his embrace, knowing that she never ever had to miss him again but would stay at his side forever.
And for this, I am so incredibly grateful and proud to be Paul's granddaughter. While I never had the chance to see him in this life, I shall, one day, be able to finally have my grandfather, hug him, and tell him that I love him very much.
Thank you to all of you who kindly remember my grandfather, this is highly appreciated.
Mathilde Martha Lange Schmitz (1904 - 1981)*
Manfred Paul Schmitz (1929 - 2006)*
Ingrid Elisabeth Schmitz Meinikat (1934 - 1987)*
Specifically: Cemetery Burial, Mönchengladbach-Haardt, Block B, Plot 1, Row 17
Created by: Edda Meinikat
Record added: Jul 13, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28242352