This Week: Privates Leopold Maisch and Robert Laub

This week our story comes from Mathilde Heinrichs (born Laub) of Ettlingen-Spessart. Both Mathilde's grandfathers served at the Western Front as privates in the Great War.

Leopold Maisch, the father of Mathilde's mother, was born on August 17, 1888 in Ettlingen-Oberweier. He was married to Rosa, who worked as a midwife. Their daughter Hedwig was Mathilde's mother.

Leopold in uniform with his wife Rosa, a midwife, and daughter Rosa (Mathilde's aunt)

After the war, Leopold worked for the German railways and died in Ettlingen-Oberweier on January 1, 1975.

Mathilde's father's father, Robert Laub, was born on August 13, 1884 to Maria Laub (1844-1924) and Johann Laub (1835-1916).

He is shown in this photo together with his parents.

Upon returning home, Robert received the official letter of thanks presented to all the soldiers from Baden who had fought in the War, from "The Temporary People's Government of Baden", on November 16, 1918. Although it states that it is signed by "The President", it bears 11 signatures.

The Kaiser had fled to Holland, and Germany had become a republic. The country was in the hands of workers' and soldiers' councils.

The letter contains the line "Späte Jahrhunderte werden noch von Eurem Ruhme sprechen" - "You will be renowned for hundreds of years to come", which is an interesting quote in light of the centenary of the Great War this year.

In addition to his work as a gardener, Robert was very active as a paramedic for the town of Ettlingen in a Red Cross-type organization.

He died on January 29, 1953.

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