On the day of my confirmation, I received an ancestral chart as my sister and cousins had before me. I looked at it, recognizing many of my ancestors from the stories my parents and grandparents had told me. There was my Great-great-grandfather Adolph, the mayor of the city of Driesen, Great-great-grandmother Concordia, who bore 14 children in 16 years, of which 13 survived, my 5x-Great-grandfather Pastor Abraham, who guided King Frederick the Great on his visits to the Neumark, and Great-great-grandmother Sophia who left her hometown in Switzerland to marry a German mechanic 16 years her senior. Then there was one more person who caught my eye: Great-great-great-grandfather Friedrich Stange. There were no stories about him or his family. The information on him in the ancestral chart really puzzled me. According to that, he had left for America, but his son, my Great-great-grandfather Carl Stange, obviously had remained in Germany. Why did Friedrich leave? What had happened? What became of him? Finally, I managed to find some letters that Friedrich’s children Albert and Marie had written from America. So, Carl had siblings who left for America as well? Why didn’t Carl follow his father? This was getting more and more mysterious. Meanwhile, Carl’s picture was hanging on the wall. He smiled at me every time I went by, and I was reminded of the mystery that needed to be solved.
Then, one day, I started my journey into the past and into an unknown land…
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