|Birth: ||Jun. 9, 1902|
|Death: ||Apr. 25, 1945|
My paternal grandfather was the son of Friedrich Meinikat and his wife Maria-Emilie, née Kampmann, and he was born on June 9, 1902 in Essensberg, near Moers, Northrhine Westphalia.
Although just like my maternal grandfather, I never had the chance of meeting my grandfather Gustav, as far as he is concerned I can trace the family back to around 1730 when the Meinikatis lived in East Prussia. As for that, my grandfather had a family book in which all the names of parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. were written, including birth and death dates of all the family.
I happened to find that book only a few days ago, which made me wish to finally write the tributes for all my grandparents, well knowing that I owe them my own existence. It it had not been for the sake of them, I might not have been born.
Which is why I also made the decision to sponsor the pages myself, this is the least I can do for my grandparents.
Anyway, the first clear date following Gustav Meinikat's birth was his wedding certificate to my grandmother, Rosette Anna Lauterbach, dated June 11, 1929.
What I know about my grandfather is still far too little, apart from the fact that both sons kept assuring that he was exceptionally kind, caring, warm-hearted and compassionate beyond measure.
What I feel, however, is that this special grandfather was exceptionally courageous. It must have been hard to face the family telling them that one wants to marry a woman who has got a child. Well, nowadays, there is no much fuss about such a marriage, nobody would even have a second thought, but back then, in the 1920s, this was a scandal and my grandfather risked to be kicked out of the own family.
They made him chose, as far as I have been told, and he made his choice, luckily in favour of my grandmother. To me this was the ultimate proof of both love and courage. He did not care about the influential family background, he did not care about any possible consequences but married the woman he loved and loved her little boy, my beloved Uncle Karl, as if he was truly his biological son, which is why he never made any differences between the two boys, both of whom he was enormously proud of.
My Dad used to tell me much about his father, guess this missing him for so long made him open his heart. From all I know, my grandfather Gustav was an honest, very hard working man who always did the best he could to support his little family.
However, WWII put an end to all the hopes and dreams, the whole nation, or so to speak the whole world was shattered. My grandfather had no choice, just like my maternal grandfather, he was recruited and sent to war.
From what my Dad told me, my grandfather rarely had a chance to visit his family after having been sent to the front, at best once a year.
Sadly, and tragically, he was fatally wounded in the last few weeks of this sheer horror, and passed away in a soldiers hospital in Salzburg, Austria, where he was buried on the Kommunalfriedhof.
I wish I had seen him, just like grandfather Paul, I always felt it was so unfair to never have had my grandfathers, as a child, I would have given anything to see them and be cuddled by them just once.
One day, Opa Gustav, I shall have the chance to see you, and until then, be blessed and safe in heaven with Oma Rosa and Karl whom you loved so dearly. I guess your brother has long since forgiven you for your fauxpas of having lost your heart to a scandalous woman, hasn't he. After all, when I was in my early 20s, I sent him a long letter, and after that, he took up contact with your second son, my Dad.
While the subject of the first, illegitimate son, was never mentioned by your brother, I guess he could not overcome his own prejudices after such a long time and being an old man then, he was quite pleased to meet his nephew and his great niece (me). And believe me, then I was able to ask questions, and mention my granny, your wife, and Dad's brother. I guess this story pleases you, somehow I feel that you sit there with a broad smile.
After all, I meant to tell you that though you never had the chance to hug me or hold me in your arms, nor did I have a chance to run to you and tell you about a bruised elbow or knee, I love you very dearly. I always shall, and one day, we shall have the chance to meet .... and then I shall never let you go, trust me. I love you.
Thanks for all of you who kindly remember this beautiful soul, my dear grandfather Gustav.
Karl Meinikat (1925 - 2002)*
Friedrich Wilhelm Meinikat (1930 - 2011)*
Plot: Row IV, Grave 174
Created by: Edda Meinikat
Record added: Jul 13, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28246943