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  • Writer's pictureIlka Knüppel

Ruth's parents - They would lose two children in the war.

“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Emma Anna Perlitz was born on September 20, 1892, in the hamlet of Markt Alvensleben which at that time was a part of Prussia. She was the one of seven children born to Luise (geb. Kӓstner) and Christian Perlitz.

Emma Perlitz circa 1911.

Emma was very close to her parents and her large family. Christian and Luise were married on December 26, 1886, in Alvensleben, Prussia when he was 32 years old. Their first child, Christian Wilhelm “Willy”, was born in 1887. Emma was born in 1892 and was quickly followed by Franz in 1893, Karl in 1895, Helen in 1900, Erich in 1903, and Elsa in 1910. According to church records found by my cousin, Steffen Bage, there were 21 pregnancies in all, some multiple births, but not all children born to Christian and Luise survived childbirth.

Little is known of Emma’s early life. She most likely attended the Dorfkirche in Alvensleben located on Wellenbergstraße. During the Great War (World War I), the family was on the brink of starvation and only had potatoes to eat. Christian Perlitz bought the house at Friedensstraße 81 in Alvensleben from Gustav Thienemann, the baker, in 1912.

In 1912, Emma gave birth to my grandmother, Elsbeth Emma Perlitz, on February 28, in Markt Alvensleben. Emma was unmarried at the time, a fact duly noted on the birth registration by the midwife, Elisabeth Förster.

Elsbeth's birth registration document.

Paul Mühlmann circa August 1935.

Paul Hermann Mühlmann was born on July 5, 1893, in Eibenstock, Prussia, to Hugo Felix Mühlmann and his wife Rosa (geb. Lorenz). When Paul married Emma Perlitz on February 15, 1920, he was 26 years old. When they were first married, they lived for a time in Alvensleben with Emma’s parents. Christian and Luise’s house was small by today’s standards so it must have been a bit crowded but my grandmother had many stories of how much fun was had. Many in the family were musicians. My cousin, Frank Koschel, lives in the house now and he has taken very good care of the house, the barn, and the garden.

Ruth Rosa Luise Mühlmann was born to Paul and Emma on July 11, 1920. Paul and Emma would go on to have two more children, Heinz, in 1921 and Gunter in 1928.

Emma and Paul Mühlmann at Emma's 50th birthday celebration September 1942.

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