The Brick Walls, 4

Oh, those brick walls… I keep knocking on them, but they don’t break. I have names, but no location to tie them to. I may have a location, but no records are available online. Faces that are lost to history. Let’s try and change that.

The first one up is Miss Johanna Müllenberg who had her photo taken on Valentine’s Day 1918. The WWI was in its last year. It would take another 10 months until it would end. Johanna’s smile gives us hope. She seems happy with her life. For me, she makes the impression of a working lady. Perhaps she was a teacher, or a sales lady at a department store, a secretary to a tax inspector? The women back in the day did not that wide range of a choice of jobs.

The name is too widely-spread and as I don’t have a location, I cannot be sure I search the right Johanna. So brick wall she is.

On New Year’s Day in 1917, Johanna Herold and her three girlfriends put on their hats, grabbed their purses and went for a stroll at the New Year’s fun fair. Where that outdoor photographer met them, I don’t know.

Two photos of Liesel Börnchen, both taken in the same sitting in July 1918.
Liesel could be a calling name for Elisabeth, Lieselotte or Anneliese. She was probably born in the last years of the 19th century. I wish I knew where. But because I can’t be sure what her real first name was and where she was from, she remains a brick wall for now.

Walter Wilhelm who lived at 8, Mittelberg in Kleinschmalkalden, Germany. How old do you think Walter could be in this photo? Early 20s I would assume. Unfortunately I cannot access any records from the town Walter lived in, so Walter remains a brick wall too.

I would love to find each and every photo in my collection their real family, but I have to accept that I can’t. Perhaps these faces aren’t forgotten and someone somewhere misses their stories and perhaps even could tell their stories, but for now they remain our brick walls.

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