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The Koops family

The existing information about the fate of the Koops family is incomplete, and often contradictory. Dr. Wilhelm Koops, owner of extensive goods, was born in 1880. His wife’s name was Lore, nee Götsch (b. 1886 – d. 1938).

Four sons were born of this marriage:

1) Klaus, born in 1918, died 1.9.1939, on the first day of the war against Poland

2) Heinrich, born in 1920, in early childhood suffered from infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) and remained an invalid for the rest of his life. After the war, he became a grammar school teacher in Wyk on the Föhr island, where he lived with his family. He is the author of the basic work dedicated to the history of the region, published in 1967 “Heimatbuch Kreis Lauenburg/Pommern” (the Memorial Book of the Lębork County), which made his name famous among his countrymen.

3) Wilhelm, born  in 1922, received agricultural education from his neighbor, Fritz Ulrichs, who run the farm in the Lübtow (Lubiatowo) estate. During World War II he was taken prisoner in Tunisia by the American army (as a Lieutenant). After the war, in the village of Schuby (Eckernförde County in Schleswik-Holstein)he acquired a 30-hectare farm and married a woman from Silesia, with whom he had five children. Wilhelm Koops died in 1986.

4) Peter, born in 1924, was shot in the knee during a hunting trip and became unable to perform military service. Apparently, his resentment with the daily excesses of the Red Army against the civilian population, caused him to lead a guerrilla war of his own. There is proof that in the longer term, to the beginning of June 1945, he shot many Russian soldiers. A 16-year-old boy, Hans-Joachim Gemkow from Zackenzin, accompanied him in his brave, although ultimately futile, actions that are only understandable in the context of the situation. Although the boy was never identified as an accomplice, he was deported along with his father to Workuty (Russia) and returned to Germany as late as 1955. His father did not survive the labor camp, and his mother and sister, Ingeborg, had to leave their homeland back in June 1945.

Peter Koops managed to escape from his persecutors many times, until a certain German betrayed his hiding-place. He was captured by a Russian military patrol and shot. His corpse was probably buried by preacher Benckendorff’s wife.

During the dramatic events that took place in the early days of the Russian invasion, Dr. Wilhelm Koops, fleeing from the danger of being shot, found refuge at his neighbor and friend, Fritz Ulrichs, the owner of Lübtowa (Lubiatowa).

Six people who sought refuge there, (Dr. Wilhelm Koops, 65 years old, Erich Menzel, 60, whose wife and sister-in-law, a certain Ms. Gust,  were shot by Russian soldiers shortly before the events described below, Fritz Ulrichs, 65, his wife, 63, Mrs. Hedwig Reckow, 45, hostess of the Zackenzin estate, and Ursula Ulrichs, nee Mentzel, 23 years old), departed on 14.3.1945, by a convoy consisting of three carts and six horses, on an extremely daring and highly risky expedition to the West, through Pomerania, which was at that time completely occupied by Russians. After many adventures they succeeded and after nearly five months, on August 2 1945, reached the border of the British occupation zone in Lübeck.

Dr. Wilhelm Koops, the last owner of the Zackenzin estate, died, as we learn, at the end of the sixties in the village of Rotenbek /Trittau near Hamburg.

The grandson of Dr. Wilhelm Koops, Klaus Koops, lives today in Lübeck, where he practices the profession of a gunsmith and usually visits Ciekocinko during the traditional January hunting season in Pomerania in Poland.