The Wegeners in Brandenburg a contribution to their family history

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Almost all of Alfred Wegener's biographers emphasise that he was born into a family of Evangelical Theologians who were working more than 200 years in smaller towns in the region of Brandenburg. They notice that it was "a surprised occurrence when the two brothers, Kurt and Alfred Wegener, suddenly decided to break with the tradition that" (Schwarzbach 1980, Wutzke 1988 and 1997). Reinke-Kunze (1994) emphasised on, there are no prominent personalities found among his ancestors.The author contradicts partially this one sided view, which only considers a long line of pastors in the family tree dating back to the 17th century. The great-grandfather of Alfred Wegener, Georg Jacob Ludwig Wegener (1757-1840), a superintendent in Wittstock/Dosse, was married to Wilhelmine Rudeloff (great-grandmother of Alfred). She was the granddaughter of Kaspar Friedrich Dänicke, an influential and wealthy owner of a grocery and clothier company. The Dänicke's had been one of the most distinguished merchant families of Wittstock. In 1674 clothier Michel Dänicke received from the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm the privilege to belong to 3 Trade Guilds, at the same time, Clothier-, Dress Maker- (Schöngewandschneider) and Bier Brewer Guilds. This was absolutely uncommon and the Guilds were angered by it (Polthier 1933).Wilhelmine Rudeloff inherited Dänicke's company and the estate Below, which was acquired by her father. Her son Friedrich Wilhelm Wegener (1798-1886), the grandfather of Alfred Wegener, founded in the 1820th the first Textile Co. in the Dänicke Commercial building in Wittstock. This factory was continued by his son Paul Georg Wegener (uncle of Alfred) and was growing into the most important industrial company in the region, existing until 1990 with a workplace for 2500 workers at last.The Wegener family tree is presented in detail here. It shows many facets of a successful clan strongly influencing fortunes of Wittstock and its surrounding area. This family has a private cemetery in Wittstock, which it is still existing (Polthier 2000). Many relatives of Alfred Wegener are buried there. One of them is Otto Wegener (1836-1923), uncle of Alfred and father of Paul Wegener (1874-1948). Paul also "broke with family traditions", in becoming an actor, well known in Germany.Polthier W., 1933, Geschichte der Stadt Wittstock, Berlin, 246-247Polthier W., 2000, Ein Privatfriedhof in der Mark Brandenburg. Die Begräbnisstätten der Familien Gabcke, Rudeloff und Wegener in Wittstock. Herold-Jahrbuch NF., 95-120Reinke-Kunze Ch., 1994, Alfred Wegener, Polarforscher und Entdecker der Kontinentaldrift, Basel, Bosten, Berlin, 14-16Schwarzbach M., 1980, Alfred Wegener und die Drift der Kontinente, Stuttgart, 13-17Wutzke U., 1988, Der Forscher von der Friedrichsgracht, Leipzig, 10-15Wutzke U. 1997, Durch die weiße Wüste, Gotha, 11-15

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
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Event Details
2nd International Alfred Wegener Symposium 30 October - 02 November 2005, Bremerhaven, Germany..
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Fritzsche, D. (2005): The Wegeners in Brandenburg a contribution to their family history , 2nd International Alfred Wegener Symposium 30 October - 02 November 2005, Bremerhaven, Germany. .

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