This Week's Story: The Kunz Family

This week's story is about a family of four brothers - three of whom fought in the Great War and one in the Second World War - and of their brave, hard-working mother, a farming family who lived in the village of Schöllbronn in the hills above Ettlingen.

Julius Johann Kunz, born on August 9, 1899 in Schöllbronn was only 18 when he lost his arm fighting at Verdun. Julius' daughter has contributed this story and the accompanying pictures. She was thus able to tell us that Julius was brought to the lazaret in Ettlingen, where he was treated and made his recovery.

However, food and vitamins were not in abundance in the lazaret, and Julius' mother made the journey from Schöllbronn down the hills to the lazaret in Ettlingen and back every single day, bringing Julius fruit, vegetables, milk, butter and cheese, in a basket on her head. She made the journey by foot - a round trip of 13 or 14 kilometers, after working in the fields all day.

Julius' daughter tells us that if his mother had not cared for him in this manner, he would not have made it through. We are very lucky to have the following photo of soldiers inside the lazaret from the Kunz family - our first photo of the lazaret.

Julius is fourth from the left in this photo, with the word "Papa" above his head.
Julius had problems with the amputation of his arm all his life, often suffering from phantom pains.
He died in 1956, at the age of 56.

Leopold was the oldest brother of the family, and was a prisoner-of-war in England. He returned home in 1920. Although he had survived the Great War, he was carrying hepatitis and spent the next five years in bed. His mother also cared for him through these years, of course, while at the same time bringing up her youngest son, Oskar, and working in the fields. Sadly, and despite the care of his family, Leopold died in 1925 of hepatitis.

Valentin was the third son, and he too survived the Great War. Valentin also spent time as a prisoner-of-war in England. The photo below shows Julius and Valentin together.

Valentin is in the center of this photo and Julius on the right. Valentin has his arm around Julius' shoulder.
Oskar was the last son, and he was too young to join up during the Great War. He fought and fell during the Second World War.

Julius Johann Kunz, born August 9, 1899. Lost his arm at Verdun at the age of 18. Died in 1956, aged 56.

Julius Johann Kunz is seated in the center of this photo.

We have been lucky enough to find a photo of the mother of Julius, Valentin, Leopold and Oskar at the house where she lived in Schöllbronn. She is the first person on the left in the photo below. Julius' daughter, who contributed this story, is the little girl in the center of the group in this photo. Oskar is at the right, and Julius' wife, who died, together with their second child in childbirth, is standing next to him.

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