Sunday, May 14, 2017

What might happen if you enter a wrong number

I intended to enter a search for Zip Code 72641, but instead entered 72541. The latter number is for Rozivka, a village in Zaporiz’ka oblast, Ukraine. Search for that village gives little information, but one of the hits was for a Hans Keller. A decided German name, a somewhat unusual return for a village in the Ukraine.

A search showed that Hans Keller was, indeed, from Rozivka. He was born March 2, 1881, and died October 14, 1918. At first, I figured Keller was killed in the Russian Civil War, or starved or succumbed to some disease associated with war and/or famine.

I was partly right. Keller was one of more tha 20 million who died from the 1918 influenza epidemic. Keller died in Sedan, Ardennes, Champagne-Ardenne, France. He was buried in Freiburg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. says his occupation was divisionspfarrer. The nearest English word to “pfarrer” I could think of is “farrier.” So, was Keller, born in the Russian Empire, a blacksmith in the Kaiser’s army?

No. Keller was an army chaplain.

How was it that someone born to German parents in a village in the Ukraine, became a chaplain in the Kaiser’s army?

His life must have been an interesting journey.

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