Bert Brecht
Questions of a reading worker

Who built the seven-gated Theben? 
In the books are listed the names of kings.  
Have the kings dragged along the rockets by themselves?  
And the several times destroyed Babylon -  
who built it up so many times?  
In which houses of the golden Lima lived the construction workers?  
And the evening, when the Chinese Wall was ready, where went the brick-layers to? 
The great Rome is full of triumphal arches. Who built them?  
And about whom triumphed the Caesars? 
Had the much sung Byzanz only palaces for its inhabitants?
Even in the legendary Atlantis in the night when the flood was coming, the drowning persons were crying to their slaves.

The young Alexander conquered India.  He alone?
Caesar beat the Gaul.  Didn’t he have at least a cook with him?
Philip of Spain cried, when his fleet perished.  Did beside him nobody cry?
Frederic II triumphed in the Seven Years’ War.  Who else triumphed besides him?

Every page a victory.  Who cooked the victory-banquet?  
All ten years a great man.  Who paid the bill of expenses?

So many reports.  So many questions.


Where do we come from - Where are we going? The study of history will give us answers to these questions. And what is nearer beginning with our own roots?

We are fortunate to be able to trace our ancestors back to the 17th century from written notices in parish-registers despite of wars and other destruction that have impeded our progress.

The important information about our forefathers is not only the date, when they were born, baptized, married, died and buried. Beyond that we are learning about their life’s conditions in order to reconstruct human history in it’s full context.

We are not eager to glorify our ancestors, but rather show them as they were - ordinary, honorable people living in extreme hardship and trying to earn their daily bread in dignity without kissing someone’s feet.

The adversity and tyranny they encountered led many to emigrate to other areas of the country and world. May this chronicle bring relatives together, who have lost sight or who have never seen each other, in order to understand where we have been and where we are going.

Düsseldorf, in August 1999      Bruno Reble