Tag: German Language

  • Brandt Monument, Trinity German Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Franklin Park

    Youth may die

    A tower of zinc with a number of stock inserts, but also what appears to be a portrait of one of the deceased—something old Pa Pitt hasn’t seen on other zinc monuments around here.

    Brandt monument
    Hier ruhet Philip

    Hier ruhet Philip, sohn von Philip und Regina Brandt, geboren 1, Nov. 1857, gestorben 7, Aug. 1879. Seine Seele gefiel Gott, darum eilte er mit ihm aus diesem Bösen leben.

    Father Pitt’s translation is based on his limited knowledge of Cemetery German, and he invites corrections:

    Here lies Philip, son of Philip and Regina Brandt, born Nov. 1, 1857; died Aug. 7, 1879. God was pleased with his soul, so he took it with him out of this evil life.

    Faith pointing upward

    If you were wondering which allegorical figure the statue on top was supposed to be, you will find it helpfully identified as Faith on the base of the monument.

    Faith points us upward to the sky; / Hope, anchor like, holds till we die.
    By faith are ye saved

    This portrait might represent Philip Brandt Senior; the man is certainly older than the 21 years that Philip Junior was allotted.

    Portraits were a service offered by the Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, as an 1882 catalogue tells us: “We are prepared to produce correct pictures of individuals in the shape of medallion portraits, half, three-quarter or life size, which we can model from seeing photos or the living subject, having competent artists employed at our works, who are also skillful in producing portrait busts and life size portrait statues.”

    From the catalogue, we can identify the monument as the Monumental Bronze Company’s No. 155, which the catalogue mentions can be fitted with “life size Medallion Portraits.” The top of the monument has been replaced with the No. 176 Statue of “Faith”.

    Philip and Regina Brandt inscription

    By the time the parents died in the early 1900s, their inscriptions were placed in English, perhaps by surviving children who no longer spoke German.

    Elizabeth Brandt

    Although zinc monuments ceased to be made at the time of the First World War, inserts for them could still be ordered for some time afterward.

    Rear of the monument

    The date 1880 would refer to the erection of the monument, put up shortly after Philip Brandt the younger died in August of 1879.

    Philip and Christena Brandt

    There are two small headstones beside the main monument: one for Philip Brandt (presumably the same Philip for whom the main monument was erected) and Christena A. Brandt, a girl who died at the age of 11. Youth may die, as the motto in zinc reminds us.

    Christena A. Brandt

    Christena A. daughter of P. and R. Brandt, died April 28, 1866, at the age of 11 years. Farewell all ye earthly friends.

    Christena’s inscription is in German, but the standard back panel for the headstone is in English.

    Gone, but not forgotten.
    Philip Brandt

    The back of Philip’s monument is a gesture equally understood in English or in German.

    Hand pointing upward
  • Maria Boertzler Monument, First Congregational Church of Etna Cemetery

    Maria Boertzler monument

    A beautiful work by a German craftsman. Father Pitt is not an expert in German, but the inscription seems to be in Franconian:

    Hier ruht
    die Gattin von
    gb. Maria Wunderlin
    Gebor. 1 Marz 1829
    Gest. 28 August 1875

    Ein freues Weib und
    eine wahre Mutter
    warst Du und das sagt
    Alles! Alles!

    Anyone with a better knowledge of German dialects is invited to submit a better translation, but here is old Pa Pitt’s attempt:

    Here lies
    the wife of
    Johann H. Boertzler
    Born March 1, 1829
    Died August 28, 1875

    A joyful wife and
    a true mother
    were you, and so says
    everybody! Everybody!

    See the transcribed inscription above
  • Friederike Hannach Monument, Tree of Life Cemetery

    Burials in the Tree of Life Cemetery go back into the middle 1800s. Here is one from 1871 that uses a stock-model monument with inscriptions in German, most of which have eroded to the point that old Pa Pitt was not able to read them. The name and date (in English), however, are still legible: Friederike Hannach, July 12, 1871.

  • John and Elisabeth Seiferth Monument, St. Paul’s Cemetery, Mount Oliver

    Seiferth monument

    A prominent granite monument in this German Lutheran cemetery. John and Elizabeth are identified as “Uncle” and “Aunt,” suggesting that they had no children of their own.

  • Statue of Christ in St. Michael’s Cemetery

    Statue of Christ

    St. Michael’s was a German parish, but it must have had a small Hungarian contingent as well, or it shared its cemetery with a Hungarian parish. This statue of Christ blessing visitors as they enter the cemetery (it is placed in the middle of a circle at the entrance) stands on a base with the inscription EGO SUM RESURRECTIO ET VITA in Latin and three other languages: German, English, and Hungarian.

    Statue in circle
    I am the resurrection and the life
    Ego sum resurrectio et vita
    Hungarian and German
    Rear of the statue
    Full length