The Cannon King's Daughter

An unrecorded banishment from Germany's Krupp steel family

Archive for September 2013

Engelbertha Krupp (updated September 24, 2013 at 1:55pm EST)

leave a comment »

(updated September 24, 2013 1:55pm EST)


Engelbertha Krupp Stroebele (13 Jun 1854 – 27 Jan 1911) is alleged to have been banished and disinherited from the Krupp 400-year-old steel and munitions dynasty (known today as ThyssenKrupp AG) of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, around the year 1874 by her father, Alfred Krupp. Her existence and unrecorded banishment are currently being investigated by scholars and others in Germany. Her mother was Bertha Eichhoff and her brother was Friedrich Alfred Krupp, who ran the firm from 1887 until his death in 1902.1

==Family background==

Born into Germany’s most successful and infamous steel and armament manufactures, Engelbertha became romantically involved with John Joseph Stroebele, a poor shoemaker and veteran of the Franco-Prussian War who was born in Veringendorf, Baden-Wurttemberg, and later resided in Rosna, Baden-Wurttemberg.2 His father, also named John Stroebele, was a teacher in Rosna who died in 1848. His mother, Walburger Staudinger Stroebele, died from tuberculosis (TB) in 1852. It is not known who raised John Stroebele and his three siblings Adolf, Otto and Emma after the deaths of his parents. None of the children were over the age of twelve when their mother died suggesting they did not live without the aid of a relative or others. Brother Otto immigrated to Blossburg, Pennsylvania, in 1866 then moved to Hoboken, New Jersey then finally to Jersey City, New Jersey, where he was reunited with his brother John in December 1882. John Stroebele became employed at Villa Hügel, the Krupp estate in Essen after demobilizing from the Prussian Army after seeing combat as an Officer in the Battle of the Lisaine, France, during the Franco-Prussian War from January 15-17, 1871. It was at Villa Hugel that he first met Engelbertha Krupp.

==Banishment conclusion==

Author Stroebel arrived at his banishment conclusion from (but not limited to) five key pieces on information:

1. Fifteen specific revelations passed down by six relatives in Stroebel’s family line.
2. Documents found in the US.
3. A Krupp family photograph dated 1868/69 of Engelbertha Krupp showing an unmistakable and striking resemblance to her parents.
4. John and Engelbertha’s stay at Villa Hugel and Berlin City Palace.
5. Personality and character traits of Alfred Krupp.
6. Three publicly recorded instances in Krupp family lines of using disinheritance as a management tool against Krupp descendants for a desired result.
7. Discovery of a sizable and unexplained trail of money in the US as told by Caroline Marchuck, to have been given to Engelbertha by father Alfred Krupp, estimated to be approximately from $2-$6 million dollars (1.4 – 4.5 million Euros) in 1883 dollars.
8. Late author William Manchester’s description of Alfred Krupp’s banishment of his cousin, Fritz Solling, from the Krupp works for merely suggested Alfred Krupp incorporate. Manchester wrote that Solling’s suggestion was an, “unpardonable sin unforgivable not even at the grave.”

==On Friedrich Krupp’s date of birth==

From a photograph dated 1868-69, and titled, Krupp family with friends, from the book, Pictures of Krupp: Photography and History in the Industrial Age, Author David Stroebel suggests Engelbertha Krupp was born before her brother, Friedrich, since she is obviously taller than he, despite the fact both seem to be sitting-up straight in the photograph. on June 13, 1854, in the Market Church in Essen. Although Engelbertha gave US Census takers three different years of birth (1850, 1851, 1854), she was consistent with her month and day of birth being June 13th. This, Stroebel admits, would suggest that the date of birth for Friedrich Krupp may have been altered by Alfred Krupp to facilitate the banishment of his daughter. Engelbertha Krupp’s existence was apparently removed from the memory of her family and from church records by her father, where she was baptized.

==Initial six revelations in 2008==

Author David Stroebel initially came upon the story of his great-grandmother after being given six initial revelations from two elderly relatives he had never met or had knowledge of. The first revelation came in July 2008 for the late Theodore J. Beebe Jr. Beebe had told Stroebel that John and Engelbertha worked for Kaiser Wilhelm I at the Berlin City Palace in Berlin. He went on to say John Stroebele was a boot black there and Engelbertha worked in the kitchen and that she enjoyed making omelets. The next five revelations came in September 2008 from Caroline Marchuck, the granddaughter of Adolf Stroebele who was one of Engelbertha’s sons. She gave these five revelations:

1. John Joseph Stroebele married Engelbertha Krupp, from the famous steel and munitions manufacturer in Essen. And that he met her at the Krupp estate in Essen. And that when Engelbertha approached her parents about marrying Stroebele, they forbade her from doing so and threatened to disinherit.
2. After departing Villa Hugel for the last time, John and Engelbertha stayed for a short time in, “a city by the sea,” somewhere in Germany.
3. John and Engelbertha brought $10,000 to the United States which was given to them by the Krupp’s. Engelbertha accepted a payment from Alfred Krupp with his words: “never darken my door again.”
4. John Joseph Stroebele operated a shoemaking business on Palisade Avenue in Jersey City after he immigrated to Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1882.
5. There was a famous jeweler from New York that became friendly with John Joseph Stroebele because the jeweler frequently rented a room next to Stroebele’s saloon in Jersey City.

==Banishment revelations==

Engelbertha Krupp’s banishment apparently went unrecorded by her German family. A total of 15 revelations passed down through six relatives within author David Stroebel’s ancestry giving credence to this banishment theory. Revelations passed down reveal that John Stroebele and Engelbertha Krupp fell in love and intended to marry. When Engelbertha announced her marriage intentions to her parents, they objected and she was warned by her father that if she did, she would lose her inheritance and be cut off from the family forever. When Engelbertha proceeded with her plans to marry Stroebele, her father immediately disinherited her. Their son, Friedrich, became the sole heir upon the death of his father in July 1887. These 15 revelations encompass: revelations regarding events in Germany, Jersey City, and Albany, New York, supporting the banishment. The latest revelation came in January 2013 concerning the Stroebele family of Jersey City being related to Kaiser Wilhelm I, from Engelbertha’s great-niece, Judith Linde living in Florida.

==Locating distant Jersey City relatives for revelations==

Author David Stroebele placed a high value on locating the surviving relatives of John Stroebele’s brother, Otto Stroebele (1843-1924), who was close to John and Engelbertha and who also lived in Jersey City. Of the nine children of Otto Stroebele who lived long enough to marry and have children, he traced each one until he came across the grandchild of Camilla Stroebele. When giving a short explanation why he was seeking information, author Stroebel replied to distant relative, Judith Linde in Florida, only that he was writing his family history. He wanted answers to come without being prompted. He asked Judith if the Stroebele family was related to anyone notable in Germany. “Kaiser Wilhelm,” came the reply. Judith explained further that her Aunt Margaret Hagemann had told her that a wealthy Stroebele family in Jersey City took Otto Stroebele’s children on outings with them-one such time to a large park in New Jersey that had amusement rides.

==German inheritance law==

Friedrich becoming sole heir violated German law that forbade an inheritance to be transferred to just one child of a family while there were other living children. During the timeframe when Engelbertha Krupp Stroebele was banished and disinherited c.1874, there existed a set of laws believed to have governed during that time titled, General Law of Prussia of 1793. The section covering inheritance is Third Title- ”Of the Rights and Obligations of the Other Members of a Family.” German inheritance law has not changed much since then. Today in Germany it is still illegal to leave an entire inheritance to just one child when there were others. An inheritance must be divided equitably between surviving children.

==Passing of inheritance==

Friedrich Krupp had two daughters named Bertha and Barbara Krupp in 1886 and 1887, respectively. Engelbertha gave birth to three sons in the town of Sigmaringen named John, Adolph, and Otto in 1876, 1879, and 1882, respectively. With the sudden death of Friedrich in 1902 at the age of forty-eight, he had no male heir to succeed him. His daughter, Bertha was chosen to be the sole heiress, and sister Barbara received her half of the inheritance by other means. But at age sixteen, Bertha required a man of business experience to manage the operations of the Krupp works. Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach was the man she married through an arranged marriage by Kaiser Wilhelm II who would run Krupp. Gustav would also be allowed to use the Krupp last name.

==Impact of banishment==

It has been suggested by author David Stroebel that the banishment of Engelbertha Krupp had a lasting impact on German history. Her banishment left brother Friedrich as the sole heir while she was shut-out of any inheritance at all-a violation of German Inheritance law then-and now. Ultimately, it set the stage for Friedrich’s daughter, Bertha to inherit the Krupp works in 1902, marry Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach in an arranged marriage by Emperor Wilhelm II and give birth to Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, who was convicted at the Nuremberg Trials for crimes against humanity in World War II. It was Gustav who aligned the Krupp works with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party and greatly expanded the global reach of Hitler’s war machine and who used force slave labor from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in the Berthawerk factory nearest it.

==Krupp works under Stroebele sons==

Engelbertha died from a stroke in 1911 before the start of World War I.3 But would any of her three sons have aligned the works with the Nazis and which son would have been chosen to become the sole heir after Engelbertha’s death? Given the lifestyles and personalities of her three sons John, Adolph and Otto in Jersey City, it is highly unlikely an alignment with the Nazis would probably not have materialized at all if they remained in Germany. John Stroebele Jr in Albany was a very quiet and somewhat timid businessman who preferred being the proprietor of a small family bar and grille. Adolph and Otto were business partners in a transportation business they named Jefferson Trucking and Rigging Company, Inc., but it was Otto who was considered the most responsible, or more willing and capable enough to keep the books on the business and he did.

==Discovery of photograph==

A discovery was made by author Stroebel in 2009 of what may be the only photograph to exist of Engelbertha Krupp with her parents and brother, Friedrich. The photograph titled, Krupp family with friends, appears on page 209 in the book by the late Klaus Tenfelde titled, Pictures of Krupp: Photography and history in the industrial Age. The photograph shows a remarkably strong resemblance to both parents Bertha and Alfred Krupp, but the caption identifies the young girl as Clara Bruch, but this theory was debunked by English conductor and classical music historian and musicologist Christopher Fifield of London, author of the book, Max Bruch: His Life and Works. It is the author’s opinion that the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation has been unable to account for this young girl.

==Engelbertha as sole heiress==

Author David Stroebel contends that if Alfred Krupp had permitted Engelbertha to marry her Catholic shoemaker husband and remain in Germany, it would be highly unlikely that her sons John, Adolph and Otto Stroebele — legal and rightful heirs to the Krupp Dynasty — and it’s lineage, would have aligned themselves with Hitler given the kind, compassionate lives they led as devoted family men in the United States. Stroebel also hypothesizes that Engelbertha would have ended the production of munitions but maintained the steel apparatus long before Adolf Hitler knocked on their door.

==Third Krupp family line==

When Engelbertha Krupp emigrated from Germany in March 1883 it left Germany with only her brother Friedrich to carry on the Krupp name and family line. Friedrich’s two daughters married men named von Wilmosky and von Bohlen und Halbach, but there was a third Krupp family descendant line living quietly and unnoticed in the United States, and it was the Stroebele family in Jersey City. When John and Engelbertha arrived in Jersey City they were a family of five. Today, there are approximately 50-60 surviving descendants of John and Engelbertha with the surnames: Ahlers, Armstrong, Barton, Beebe, Bekker, Bildstein, Blomfield-Brown, Borchers, Brown, Camadine, Cornell, Dumpert, Englebrecht, Goldberg, Harlow, Hursh, Hunter, King, Kelly, Marchuck, McClure, McClurg, McCormick, Metcalf, Need, Paschall, Ramirez, Robb, Rostami, Schrader, Schumitz, Shaver, Simone, Strobel, Stroebel, Stroebele, Tallman, Trentacosta, Varela, Verses, Weiss, Wilkes and Wilmouth.

== References ==

* Marc Pitzke, der Spiegel news magazine, “Alleged Krupp Daughter: The enigmatic Engelbertha,”
* Manchester, William (1968). ”The Arms of Krupp: 1587 – 1968”. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. Paperback edition 2003: ISBN 0-316-52940-0. (Unpopular with German Revisionists and received negative reviews by Time Magazine for many factual errors)

* Tenfelde, Klaus (ed.): Pictures of Krupp: Photography and History in the Industrial Age, London/New York 2005
* Fifield, Christopher: Max Bruch: His Life and Works. New York: George Braziller. ISBN 0-8076-1204-9
* Stroebel, David: The Cannon King’s Daughter: Banished from a Dynasty, the True Untold Story of Engelbertha Krupp, CreateSpace Publishing/South Carolina. Published 1 November 2010. First Revision May 2012: ISBN 978-0-615-46528-9
* Taylor, Maureen, “The Nation’s Foremost Historical Detective”- Wall Street Journal,, expert historical photo comparison of photo of Engelbertha Krupp pictured in 1868 with her Krupp parents and brother Friedrich titled, Krupp family with friends, and a photo of Engelbertha Krupp taken in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA in 1906,
* Lubetkin, Steven, Brookdale College Center for World War II Studies: The Cannon King’s Daughter, published November 17, 2012. Lubetkin Global Communications,

== External links ==
* Web site of author David Stroebel
* Engelbertha Krupp Foundation

1. Caroline Marchuck, telephone conversation with author, 18 September 2008.
2. Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints film, 896138, Sigmaringen, Baden-Wurttemberg Kirchenbuch taufen (Catholic Church book of baptisms) 1790-1868, entry 39.
3. Certificate of Death: Bertha Stroebele. Filed 28 January 1911. State of New Jersey, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Record of Death, Reg. No. 9187. Informant: John J. Stroebele, husband of deceased], Jersey City, New Jersey.
4. Theodore J. Beebe, Sr., telephone conversation with author. 18 July 2008.


Written by Dave Stroebel

September 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with