At the end of the 1920's in Dithmarschen, a county in the West of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany the people started a revival of the so-called "Kluften", an old German (Frisian) expression for family associations. The people there were very much in favor of the idea of a family tribe. The Dithmarscher farmers were always self-confident and very proud of their country and their inheritance. In times past the Dithmarscher farmers fought against the Danish King several times to keep their independence. Their motto on their flag was: "Lever dot as Slav" which ment, "Rather Dead Than To Be A Slave."
These ideas were in accordance with the philosophy and agenda of the upcoming political party of the Nazis, which gained control of Germany in 1933. Their political program was known years before, and in Dithmarschen there certainly were a lot of the Nazi party members.
Genealogical researchers had found out, that all the family names i.e. Göttsch, Göttsche, Gottsch, Götsch, Götsche, Gotsch, Gösche, Gosche, Gosch, Götzke and Gotzik had the same origin.
The "Family Association of Göttsche" was founded on the 10th of June 1931 in St. Margarethen in Schleswig-Holstein.
The following is a copy of the 1937 "Association of Family Göttsche Day" invitation to the second Göttsch Family Day that was found among papers belonged to his grandfather Emil Göttsch. Klaus researched this document and it's origin.
In 1973, when my father died, I found in the papers that I sorted and arranged for my mother the following invitation for the Association of Family Göttsche, a family reunion from 1937. It was addressed to my grandfather Emil Göttsch and it somehow got into the hands of my father. I suspect that my grandfather gave this invitation to my father in 1937 with the words "Boy, this is nothing for me, so you can go!" My father also did not want to attend. So the matter was dropped and forgotten. After my father died I took the documents as mementos for me.
As it already happened seven years ago, there shall be a family day on 13th of June 1937 once again, which for all members of the family are cordially invited. As strange it may look: All the above-mentioned names have the same origin. It is the pet name of the Godescale (Gods servant, gods man) and it means the little Godescale or the son of Godescale. About the year 1300 the name changed to Gotzike. Later on it changed to Goske and Gosche, then to Götzke and finally to Götsche. It is to be supposed that people with these names originally lived in Holstein, above all in the area of Segeberg , where they already were found in the records in the year 1444. So, Dr. Jellinghaus already wrote in his publication of the oldest records of Segeberg of 1444: It is curious how many names of the farmers have its origins in nobles and priests, who are well known in the history of this area.
The family crest is originated from the church in Brockdorf in the Wilstermarsch, where it is shown in shining colours on the portrait of the pastor Matthias Götzke from 1641. The inhabitants of the Wilstermarsch in the chronicles of the Presbyter Bremensis (about 1400) are characterized as very Holsatia, as genuine Holsteiner, already.
Family association Göttsche
Elmshorn, in April 1937
Circular Nr. 8
Subject: Family day on 13. Of June 1937 in Elmshorn
Our Family Day originally should take place on 6th of June this year. With regard to the regional party congress of the N.S.D.A.P. (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) on 6th of June in Kiel, we had to postpone our Family Day to the 13th of June. We hope that this postponement will not have disadvantageous consequences and we reckon with a numerous attendance at our family day, the more so as our festival committee believes, that they have done everything for a pleasant stay for our guests in Elmshorn. Enclosed you get the invitation for our family day for you and for your dear relatives with the request to follow this invitation possibly in great number. In order to get an overview how many persons will take part in the family day, you are requested to inform us until 7th of June how many persons are going to take part in the family day. As well you are requested to send us the known addresses of members of the Göttsch family, who haven't got an invitation.
At the end we have another request. By the family day we have to bear a lot of costs, which shall be covered by a tombola. In order to have low costs for the winners you are asked to support us with items (useful things, handiworks, cigars, cigarettes, books, non-perishable food as ham, bacon, sausages, coffee, tea a.s.o.). In order that the tombola is well prepared, we ask you to write to Mr. Ernst Göttsche until 9th of June, which items you intend to bring with you.
With family greetings and Heil Hitler!
In 2002 - I had been a Hobby genealogist and had also been a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Society for Family Research - I was in the club's library, and found the report on the above family meeting, which took place in 1937 and suddenly my curiosity rekindled. I started researching.
In 1931 there was already evidence in Germany, how the political development was going. The brown virus (Nazism) spread inexorably, and there were areas in Germany, where the ideas of the new leaders about the Germanic race, clan, blood and soil was on particularly fertile ground. It is said that a German tribe that still lives in the historic landscape in western Holstein, has proven particularly susceptible to these ideas. Anticipatory obedience began there in the early 30s again form fissures. And so on 10 May 1931 in St. Margaret's the family founded the Association Göttsche. This day was also simultaneously the first Family Day. In the following years the family was not big on the outside or visible appearance. Six years later the second Family day was held.
Again grandfather Emil Arthur Göttsch was invited. He was probably not convinced of the idea of the family unit or for the necessity of participation because he never mentioned it himself, as probably almost all Göttsches in the Probstei. The family reunion took place without him so! If you read the report on the second Family Day, you come to the conclusion that almost all of those gathered there were probably supporters of the new ideas and the leader, Ove Göttsche pastor of worship at the feast thundered from the pulpit: .... Loyalty to the people, the fatherland, faith in the heart before God. So be constructed our honor, as the memorable Eckart of the German people, our Hindenburg, it is described by the words: "Loyalty is the essence of honor " Amen….
Hövetmann Reimer Göttsch said in his opening speech: ........ Our family has given a large number of fighters for the Third Reich, true to the name (Göttsch) that means God's fighters yes, God's warrior, and according to the old custom of Holstein means for God to fight, fight for the people. I am not aware that our family has suffered a death in the battle for the Reich, some drops of blood, but she has to give away. If it is possible for us today to celebrate the Family Day in deep sleep, and we will also remember the man, whom we thank for all this. I ask you to rise from their seats. Our beloved German fatherland, our leader Adolf Hitler, a triple Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil! (Followed by Germany - Song, Horst-Wessel-Lied) I hereby declare the Family to open! Heil!
The other papers and program points proceeded with similar expressions and statements. Interestingly, however, the statements of the members are Hövetmannes Reimer Göttsch stock. He says among other things:
"Our older man and managing director Ernst Göttsch from Elmshorn has about 1,300 addresses in his index. In my research card index I have over 3,500 Göttsches, in addition there are about 1,000 women by marriage. When you consider that in two card index exceeding 100 pieces, so we have now about 5,700 Göttsches recorded. Unfortunately missing from this card index are the Probstei, almost completely sure there is still research to be made there also Göttsches almost 1,000. I hope it will soon sacrifice even a member of Probsteier line to fill that gap.
"He has probably not experienced"
The family unit after the end of the Third Reich probably dissolved. Because all of the stringent Nazis had every reason to hide their heads for a while. Everything in this document is indeed historic, but for my own family research but little significance. The only thing that I liked and what I took over, is the idea of a family crest. The reason: It's so colorful; it's nice to be certain all documents and struggles that do not have these versions, from admiration. In this sense, don't pass it on! And here's the revised crest!
Klaus Robert Emil Göttsch