FC: Scrapbook Adam Oelke
2: March 1, 1889 Today is the day, the day my family starts its voyage to America. Father has saved up enough money for all of us to go in the second class part of the ship. I have never been on a boat before, and I must say, it is quite surprising that it can hold us up. Father says that with his new job that he is getting at Uncle Adolf's bank, he can afford to get us a nice place.
3: September 1, 1889 We have finally arrived at Ellis Island! There are so many people here from all over Europe. I never imagined the Stature of Liberty would be so big!
4: September 16, 1889 Today we move into our new home, I'm so excited! We are fortunate that Uncle owns a bank and gave us a loan. Father was given a month to settle in before he has to pay.
6: September 18, 1889 I suppose I haven't really talked about myself now have I? My name is Adam Michael Oelke and I am fifteen years old. Me and my family came from Germany to seek opportunity here in the United States. I love reading and Father is teaching me how to hunt. I have seven siblings, three sisters, and four brothers. My sisters names are Abigail, Laura, and Maria. Their ages are nine, eight, and seven.
7: My brothers are Stephan, Christian, Alexander, and Ralf. Ages thirteen, six, three, and two.
9: September 21, 1889 Today Father, Mother, Alexander, and Abigail went down to Johnson's Photo Shop to get their picture taken. Father says that he will bring the rest of us there in a couple of days. Mother is acting strange lately, and her belly is getting bigger. Is she having another baby?
11: November 13, 1889 Baby Sophie was born November 6, 1889 in Charleston Community Hospital. Mother says she is a beautiful looking baby and I have to agree with her. Laura tells me she is jealous of all the attention Mother is giving her. I told her that I, being fifteen, had to go through that with all of you, and that she will get over it. She doesn't believe me, but shes eight so I don't need her to.
13: December 1, 1889 My brother Stephan took a picture the other day in my old suit. I was glad to give it to him, as father got me a brand new one. | December 5, 1889 I found this picture of Christian. Laura, Ralf, and Maria at the beach. What are they wearing?
14: June 15, 1918 Dear Mother and Father, We are heading overseas today. We will be in France in about a week. Stephan's all riled up, I don't think he fully realizes what has been going on over there for the past few years. Anyways, I just want to let you know that we will try to stick together as much as possible, and that I'll keep both of us safe, and hope it turns out well. Love, Adam
15: July 20, 1918 Dear Mother and Father, We met up with the First French Army a week ago, and made a temporary base. We are supported by many tanks, it makes me feel more secure I suppose, even if they don't always work right. Every now and then some French soldiers look at us in a bad way, I believe they know we are German-American. I'm afraid I must stop, some are approaching us as I write this. Love, Adam
16: August 9, 1918 Dear Mother and Father, I'm afraid I have some horrific news. I suppose I shall start at the beginning. Our army started advancing towards Amiens yesterday, and as we arrived at the battlefield, one of the more "radical" Frenchmen yelled that he would not fight with a German. He grabbed Stephan and told him to beg for mercy, but Stephan wouldn't loose his pride to a Frenchman. He was shot clean in the head. He was going to shoot me as well but some of my American friends stopped him. I must stop writing now, just thinking about it is painful. I just hope it wont get worse from here. Love, Adam
17: August 18, 1918 Dear Adam, We have received your news, and just want you to know that we are counting on you to return home. Your sisters are going frantic with the news and your brothers are dying to go over there and shoot the Frenchman. Come home as soon as you can and remember, make sure Stephan's death doesn't go unpunished. Love, Ma & Pa
18: The Christmas Day Truce By Adam Oelke An unofficial truce has been declared throughout the Western Front as British, French, and German troops celebrate Christmas. There is a wide range to the truce, from playing soccer together or just simply removing dead soldiers. This truce has not been applied to all parts of the Western Front, as soldiers are still fighting through it. This is a great symbol of peace and humanity in such a widespread and great conflict. General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, commander of the British II Corps has stated that a truce with the enemy is not right and has delivered strict orders not to have friendly communication with the Germans. Even with this, regiments everywhere still celebrate Christmas with the people that just earlier, had been shooting at them. This shows that even in a time of war that peace can happen, even if temporary.
19: Weapons of the Great War By Adam Oelke New types of weapons that are being used in the Great War are a large reason for so many deaths along all fronts. The machine gun sprays a barrage of bullets at incoming enemies and is a reason for wide-spread deaths. Another invention, the tank, was introduced by the British in the Battle of Somme. Tanks are heavily armored vehicles that are capable of withstanding many attacks and can shoot with their machine guns. The flamethrower was first introduced by the Germans and is now used by other armies. The flamethrower may be a heavy, and not very tactical weapon, but is is a powerful tool that is both demoralizing and terrifying. Aviation or airplanes, and balloons are used for reconnaissance and bombing. Aerial reconnaissance helps with determining where to send troops over into "no-mans land" where they may find it easiest to reach the enemy trenches, as well as enemy movements.
20: November 25, 1941 FAMILY UPDATE Stephan-dead Christian-Divorced-Works at a bank Alexander-Married-Runs a law firm Ralph-Married-Military General Abigail-Married-Secretary at a hospital Laura-Married-Nurse at a hospital Maria-Single-In the hospital with the flu Sophie-Engaged-Nurse in the war Father&Mother-Dead Me-Married-Own a multi-million dollar corporation that is currently producing the finest war machines All of my married siblings have 4 kids, I have 3. Their names are Jason, Dave, and Kenny. Jason is in the Navy, Dave helps me run my business, and Kenny is in the CIA.
21: December 1, 1941 Dear Ma&Pa, Training has been a pain lately. Our Captains have been working us like crazy, apparently there is supposed to be an attack from the Japanese soon. Everyone is wondering where it is going to happen, some have even said it would be here at Pearl Harbor. The Japs don't dare attack us with most of our fleet here, we would stop them right in their tracks! Anyways, we've been doing all of our drills that range from being bombed to an electrical fire, and I must say it is quite exhausting. I'll keep sending letters whenever I can. Love, Jason
22: December 9, 1991 Dear Ma&Pa, As you probably know, Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. Being here, when it happened, was an intense and scary experience. Waking up to hear bombs and gunfire all around you, is a feeling I can't even describe. Seeing your friends die in front of your eyes... incomprehensible. I'm afraid I must end this letter early, there is much to do, those damn Japs will pay for what they have done. Love, Jason
23: December 20, 1991 Jason, The whole nation is behind you, everyone is committed to the war. Factories are converting into war production machines. Tanks, planes, bullets, guns, everything. We as a family hope for the best, and hope you stay safe. Our country is going to retaliate, with the full force of America in the effort. Our prayers are with you. Love, Ma&Pa
26: July 30, 1942 Dear Ma&Pa, We are approaching the island of Guadalcanal. The Japs have a significant base on the island and our main objective is the airfield. Once we take the airfield the generals say that we should have an easy time taking over the rest of the island. Taking Guadalcanal will protect Australia from air attacks and will give us a great advantage over the Japs. Victory is inevitable, Jason
28: February 3, 1945 Dear Ma&Pa, The island of Iwo-Jima is in our sights. The island is heavily fortified with tunnels and emplacements in the mountain. Our force is about 70,000 so I expect that we will win, but I can't be certain. Everyone is nervous about this battle, it is obvious that some of us aren't going to make it back. I can only hope that I am lucky enough to come back. Love, Jason
29: August 15, 1945 Dear Ma&Pa, Today is a day of celebration. With the dropping of the atomic bombs, Japan has surrendered, which marks today as V-J Day, Victory over Japan. The war is finally over, WWII has ended. Democracy and liberty have beaten the Fascist and oppressive leaders, and peace may finally be achieved. Let it last forever, and not forget what has happened. Love, Jason