Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning More about Heinrich Lange

Several months ago the granddaughter of Friedrich Lange reached out to me after finding this blog. Friedrich was the youngest brother of my maternal grandfather, Gustav Lange. She has shared photos with me, asked her father, Wilhelm, questions, and over the past month or so I have been interviewing him. During our second interview I received enough information to look for the remaining "missing" brother, Heinrich Lange. Mom had known his name and thought he was born about 1903. That was all we knew.

Caroline (Ludwig) Lange with six of her seven children. Left to right: Richard
Lange; unknown woman, likely a relative; Lydia "Lida" Lange; Olga Lange;
Friedrich Lange, in front of Olga; Gustav Lange; and Heinrich Lange. Not
included was Traugott Lange. Personal collection. A big thank you to Willy
Lange for identifying the people in this photograph.

Honestly, we don't know much more now. But every little bit is quite exciting when found.

Heinrich Lange was born on 5 July 1903 in what is now Poland or Ukraine. He was the sixth child of Carl August Lange and Caroline Ludwig. His father died in 1905. A year later the eldest brother, Gustav, went to Essen, Germany, where he worked for five years before immigrating to Canada in 1911. The next eldest brother, Traugott, also immigrated to Canada in 1912 or 1913.

When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914 Caroline (Ludwig) Lange and her five children found themselves in an uncomfortable position. They were people of German heritage living in Russia. The Russian government doubted the loyalty of the more than two million Germans who lived within their borders, and relocated many families, including the Lange family. They were notified they would be moved east and ordered to sell everything.

According on one of Caroline's grandsons, she made quite a bit of money after selling their personal possessions. She was able to buy train tickets for the journey, which not many people could afford to do. And she had money left over, which worried her. She was so afraid it would get stolen, she sewed it within the clothing of her two youngest children, Heinrich (about 11 years old) and Friedrich (about 9 years old).

Heinrich had a tendency to wander off at that age so Caroline told the boys if they missed the train, they would get left behind. They went off to play by a river and Heinrich fell in. When they got back to their mother, she was so angry their paper money got wet. The family settled somewhere in the Omsk Oblast, which is in Siberia and lived there until about 1920, when they were allowed to return to Porazava[1]. When they returned the territory was in dispute between the White Russians and Communists. In 1921 Proazava was ceded to Poland.

The years between World War I and World War II saw Caroline's five youngest children grow to adulthood, marry, and begin families of their own. She died a few months before her youngest son, Friedrich married, in 1929 and was buried in Porazava.

Heinrich married Lydia Hoffman in the mid 1920s. She was the daughter of Ludwig Hoffman and Wilhelmine Krause. Heinrich and Lydia had seven children: Tabea, Friedrich, Hanna, Frieda, Ruth, Rita, and Emil. In 1939 after Germany and the Soviet union signed the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the two countries invaded Poland. Germany attacked from the west on 1 September and the Soviets from the east on 17 September.

Poland after the invasion by Germany and the Soviet Union; couresy
of Zoom Maps

Several members of the Lange family were relocated again. This time to the west, which was the portion of Poland German occupied after invading the country on 17 September 1939. I do not know the exact travels Heinrich and his family were forced to make during the war, but by 1952 they lived in Wettmershagen, Germany, which is in Lower Saxony.

Heinrich and his family immigrated to Arkansas in 1952, but it must not have been to their liking as the next year they moved to Winnipeg, where Heinrich had an uncle, Gustav Ludwig, living.

By 1968 he was registered to vote in Canadian elections and worked as a presser in a laundry. Some time after that, Heinrich, his wife, and at least some of this adult children moved to Vancouver. Heinrich worked on a ranch in British Columbia.

Lydia (Hoffman) Lange died on 22 November 1982 at Burnaby General Hospital of a cerebrovascular accident. She was interred Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby. Sometime after his wife's death, Heinrich moved in with his eldest daughter's family in Port Moody. He died on 3 November 1991 at Queen's Park Hospital of a myocardial infarction. He was also buried at Ocean View Park.
His wife's name was Lydia Hoffman. She was the daughter of Ludwig Hoffman and Wilhelmina Krause. She was born on 19 November 1907 in what is now Poland and died on 24 November 1982 at Burnaby General Hospital. She and her husband lived at 6955 Doman Road in Vancouver at the time of her death. She and Heinrich were interred at Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby.

Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby, Canada; courtesy
of Find A Grave volunteer Karen Hanna

Children of Heinrich and Lydia (Hoffman) Lange

Heinrich and his wife had seven children; however, two are still alive so I will not mention them:
  1. Tabea "Toby" Lange born in 1927 in Poland; died 27 September 2002, Mission, Canada; married Paul Beschetznick
  2. Friedrich "Fred" or "Fritz" born 3 November 1930 in Poland; died 7 April 1991, New Westminster, Canada; married Gertrude "Gerty" Wahl
  3. Hanna Lange born 11 May 1937; died 23 November 2003, British Columbia, Canada; married Hans-Juergen Logeman
  4. Frieda Lange born 17 May 1942 in Matschulek, Poland; died 21 Mar 2015; married Waldemar "Wally" Jack
  5. Ruth Lange born 25 June 1943; died 27 December 2008 in California, USA; married Manfred Czinczoll
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[1] Porazava is now in the Grodno region of Belarus. At the time the Lange family lived there, it was in the Volyn Oblast of Russia. Germans spelled it Porozov, Volhynia.

Friedrich Lange's son, Willy, provided the story about relocating to Siberia, and several locations for various family members in interviews. Knowing Heinrich died in British Columbia, I was able to find the death certificates for he and his wife online through the Royal BC Museum. Other information about where they lived after leaving Europe was included in his daughter Frieda's obituary, which Willy kindly sent to me.

Traugott Lange's Descendants
Lange Family Bible Unlocks the Life of Traugott Lange
The Sibling Problem

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