I’m not quite sure when I first heard about my brother, it was either in late high school or college. My sisters had informed me that they thought my father had a child when he was in France named Franz. The only information I could ever find was a picture in my father’s collection that had the words “Your Franz” on the back of it. I’m not sure if the picture was of a woman or of a baby. I never confronted my father about this child, because I didn’t know if my sisters where just joking with me or not.
Learning about my family history has always been an interest of mine. When I was born my grandparents were dead already, so I didn’t get the advantage that most kids have of having family stories shared from two generations past. My parents weren’t much for sharing stories of their childhood, unless you questioned them. This was not something that I tended to do when I was young.
The exception was my father sharing all of his sports exploits with us. It wasn’t until I was much older and started looking for some verification of his claims of playing soccer for a German National team that I discovered that most of his stories were less than truthful.
Most of the information I’ve gathered unfortunately came after my parents had already died. The unfortunate loss of a great source of information.