David G. Stroebel is the author of the non-fiction book available from Barnes & Noble Booksellers titled: The Cannon King's Daughter: Banished from a Dynasty, the True, Untold Story of Engelbertha Krupp. The Ocean Township, New Jersey, man discloses a banishment from within Germany's Krupp steel dynasty through startling revelations, photographs and documents passed down through five generations of his family that his great-grandmother was banished and disinherited from the Krupp 400-year-old steel and munitions dynasty of Essen, Germany. It is the same steel and munitions firm whose artillery defeated Napoleon III's French Army in the Franco-Prussian War and whose steel and armaments were used against the allied powers in two world wars. The author reveals that his great-grandmother was Engelbertha Krupp, the Krupp at the center of the banishment. She is the daughter of Alfred and Bertha (Eichhoff) Krupp from the firm known today as ThyssenKrupp AG.
It was while conducting research on his family lineage that Stroebel's family tree took the most unusual turn. After discovering his great-grandparents' names on census records in Jersey City, New Jersey, he reached out to find out more about them. He had contacted distant relatives he had never known before. They told him that his great-grandparents worked for Wilhelm I, the Emperor of Germany and that the true identity of his great-grandmother was Engelbertha Krupp from the Germany steel and armaments manufacturer in Essen. The author thoroughly investigated the revelations for 18 months and uncovered additional facts along with century-old photographic evidence to corroborate his findings.
Stroebel's research has yielded three published instances when Krupp children were threatened with disinheritance. He hit a brick wall when he failed to locate a baptismal record for his great-grandmother at the Krupp family church in Essen. Given the strength and amount of the evidence he has collected, and the published disinheritance threats in the Krupp family, he came to the logical conclusion that what he was looking at was a banishment.
The author's great-grandfather, John Joseph Stroebele, was a poor shoemaker from Mengen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany who met Engelbertha Krupp somewhere around 1871 while employed as a bootblack at the Krupp estate in Essen. The story is told from revelations passed down from earlier generations in the Stroebele family.
After disobeying her father's orders to break off her engagement with Stroebele, daughter Engelbertha was banished and disinherited from her family dynasty sometime around 1874. It is the author's belief that her banishment and disinheritance was apparently not spoken about in social settings mainly due to anger by her father, and embarassment by her mother, and it is believed that her very existence was stricken from the church books of the Market Church in Essen where she was believed to have been baptized. The author believes her church records were destroyed in retaliation by a violent and abusive father who had a documented history of rage, unforgivness and resentment to those who betrayed him--right to the grave. Engelbertha, a Protestant, married the author's great-grandfather at St. John's Catholic Church in Sigmaringen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, in August 1875 before immigrating to Jersey City, New Jersey, USA in 1883.
Engelbertha's brother, Friedrich Krupp, inherited the vast Krupp works, leaving her completely out of any inheritance. Friedrich's daughter Bertha Krupp eventually inherited the empire upon Friedrich's death in 1902 resulting in an arranged marriage to Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Through his research, Stroebel has discovered that based on German Corporate Law during that time, that it was Engelbertha who was designated to be the sole heiress of the Krupp works based on the fact that she had three male children to carry on the Krupp namesake versus her only other sibling, Friedrich, who had two girls--effectively eliminating him for consideration.
On December 7, 2012, the nations foremost historical detective, Maureen Taylor, compared two photographs believed to be of Engelbertha Krupp. One was taken in 1868 with her Krupp parents in Essen, Germany and one taken in 1906 in Jersey City, New Jersey where she immigrated to in 1883. The analysis showed the two women were one-in-the-same supporting author Stroebel's assertions of the first unrecorded banishment within Germany's Krupp dynasty. Stroebel intends to submit Taylor's photographic analysis to Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, where he is challenging an 1887 inheritance settlement that dethroned his great-grandmother as sole heiress to today's ThyssenKrupp dynasty.
The author's discovery also reveals a third Krupp line living undetected in the United States. The two previously known lines in Germany were the von Wilmowsky and von Bohlen und Halback lines. They were the families of Friedrick Krupp's daughters, Barbara Krupp (1887-1972), and Bertha Krupp (1886-1957).
Going on published accounts by author William Manchester in his book, "The Arms of Krupp," author David Stroebel believes that Alfred Krupp had already decided that he was going with his daughter, Engelbertha, as the sole heiress when he began considering setting his son, Friedrich, up as a gentleman farmer- leaving the only other Krupp family member to assume the role of sole heiress. It was Engelbertha who was tapped for the role when Friedrich did not show any promise to manage the Krupp works due to ill health and laziness. Alfred Krupp had long feared letting the works slip from family control and become an incorported entity of the state. With Engelbertha, although a woman, his fears of state incorporation and control were distant as long as Engelbertha took control of the works.
Author David Stroebel presents these facts to gage the effectiveness of his great-grandmother's business skills: Engelbertha Krupp demonstrated absolutely no interest in her father's Krupp works by turning her back on it. She demonstrated absolutely zero interest in managing any business anywhere in Germany or the United States. From this pattern her great-grandson has determined that if she even had become the sole heiress of the Krupp works, it would have suffered greatly under an uncaring woman married to a husband void of the skills, knowledge or interest in maintaining the production, quality and reputation of a Krupp works that was raised from the ashes by, "The Cannon King," Alfred Krupp. He also strongly believes that she would have ended munitions production and had gone with steel production exclusively. This would have had a great impact forty year-or-so later when Adolf Hitler armed Nazi Germany. The result would have been a less formidable Nazi military that, perhaps, would not have seen the gains it saw during World War II when it unleashed its deadly blitzkrieg courtesy of superior Krupp armaments and weapon systems. Would so many have died in Europe with a less ferocious Nazi war machine?
Which of her three sons would have succeeded Engelbertha after her death in 1911? John Stroebele, Jr? Adolph Stroebele? Otto Stroebele? What characteristics did each demonstrate during the course of their lives that would have made one of them a stronger candidate? Would they have gone the way of munitions in Essen? Was it too late in 1911 with increased competition and the Kaisers who were left angry and embittered at Krupp’s abandonment of munitions decades earlier?The Cannon King's Daughter is truely one of the greatest stories ever told of a young heiress who chose the love of a poor shoemaker over a dynasty and was banished. Could she be Germany's, "Anastasia?"
Change.org Petition for Engelbertha Krupp- https://www.change.org/p/thyssenkrupp-release-documents-on-unrecorded-krupp-banishment-open-your archives-on-the-banishment-of-my-great-grandmother
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Meet the author:
Apr 16, 2013 @ 7pm
World War II Book Club
Millburn Public Library, Millburn, NJ 07041
Jan 31, 2013 @ Noon
Jersey City Rotary Club- 660 Newark Ave.
Oct 23, 2013 @ 7pm
Center for World War II Studies
Brookdale Community College
Lincroft, NJ 07738
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Watch the video of the April 15, 2013
book lecture held at the World War II Book
Club, Millburn Public Library, Millburn,
Watch the expert photo comparison
by "The Nation's Foremost Historical
Photo Detective," Maureen Taylor, of
a photo of Engelbertha Krupp with her
Krupp parents and brother Friedrich
taken in Germany in 1868 against a
photo taken of her in 1906 in Jersey City
Watch the video of the Oct 23, 2012
book talk held at the Center for World
War II Studies and Conflict Resolution
at Brookdale Community College,
Lincroft, New Jersey.
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