What’s in a Name?


I’m getting ready to go to The Netherlands to do research. Two days ago I suddenly thought of a place I hadn’t considered visiting yet.

My mother and her family went into hiding for a short time during the war. My mother had told me that they were hiding in the attic of Bobby and Adele Klopfer. I have looked them up before, but always have hit a dead end.

In a flash of insight I reviewed a set of information I had from my friend, Myriam. In her research she had listed a “L. Klopfer” as working for the same company as my grandfather. Could L. Klopfer and Bobby Klopfer be related?

I looked up Klopfer in the on-line Amsterdam archives and indeed there was an “L.” I scanned the page for 30 cents and the paper listed Klopfer as being Leopold. His wife’s name was Elisabeth Anna Adele! Now, Bobby is not typically a nickname for Leopold, but who am I to judge? I have already run into many seemingly nonsensical nicknames in this adventure. My mother, Ruth, is known as Tutti. Mom’s Uncle Bobby was really Franz. My mother’s Aunt Gerta was known as Drucki. My mother even named me Karen Heidi only to ignore the Karen on everything except my birth certificate and passport.

The next step was to check out the address. I plugged it into Google Maps and switched to streetview. Mom had described the apartment as being near the end of a block and that the street was very wide. The description fit.  A Google search and I find that the apartment on the fourth floor of the building was for sale this year with a very detailed real estate listing – complete with pictures! The listing mentions that there is an unfinished loft above the fourth floor of the building – BINGO!

Last step was to send the pictures to my mother, and she absolutely thinks that I found the right place. When I go to Amsterdam I plan to knock on the door of that apartment and introduce myself.

Published by K Heidi Fishman


5 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Heidi–what a great story! It’s been fascinating reading about your project and learning more of the background of your wonderful mom! I remember her well, and always enjoyed her…she seems like a great editor as well.


  2. Hi Heidi , the room in your photo certainly looks like the room I was living in my younger years , i think I had this room from 1961 till 1970. My parents lived there from i think 1955 in the appartment downstairs at the 3rd floor till 2008 . Frank Vellenga , Amsterdam


    1. Frank
      Thanks for getting in touch. I was able to visit the house last week. Unfortunately it is completely renovated. If you have pictures of the attic I would be very interested in seeing them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: