Saturday, August 27, 2016

Anyone know German?

While at the antique store a few weeks ago, I came across this really old book. For four dollars, I couldn't resist.

It's like I've found a lost Tolkien manuscript! Not sure why the newspaper was there...

Penmanship was much more important to those who were educated, and this guy clearly had a steady hand (probably several hours of good instruction too). That German script is so gorgeous, but as you can tell from the last picture, some of the pages were torn out. Only ten pages of text remain and the rest are blank.

Before I put my own pen to these pages, I'd like to have the diary portion translated. I'm not sure what the cover is made of, but the paper and binding are really nice.

Anybody know someone who's fluent?


  1. You may ask fellow collector and typospherian Georg Sommeregger. As far as I know he lives in Switzerland, but German appears to be a native language for him.

  2. Neat! Gedenkbuch means thought-book, or journal. I read German, but the old-fashioned German cursive is hard for me to make out.

  3. I would bet the newspaper was there either as a bookmark or because the article was of interest to the reader.

  4. Am always a bit surprised, how somebody's family history gets floating out there...
    (Difficult to read indeed - seems to be relaying the story of the trip from Remagen, Germany to Portland.)

  5. It is indeed very hard to read.
    What I can tell is that a woman called Emma and a man called Kurt either went from Remagen to Portland, or the other way around.
    Also if I am correct, Emma got divorced from Carl Z... on March 20th 1887. And maybe she lived with her parents after the divorce for five years.
    As far as I can tell, it seems to be a family chronicle type of thing.

    1. I had not considered that possibility. I've read many church records but not a book kept by a single family.