Little Willy playing in his carDuring the depression, Willy was lucky enough to continue working and investing in rental properties while raising his family. His son Willy is pictured in his toy car above. While the Gehebs in Chicago were thriving, unfortunately life in Germany was not.

Brother Otto Writes to the Chicago Gehebs

In Germany Hitler had a strong grip on Germany, and the people were just getting by. Brother Otto wrote in 1936:

“The political situation in Germany is all right so far. Hitler is a man who has everything in hand. There will still be some who don’t want to cooperate, but he will get them to come around too.” Because Hitler controlled all the media and used his Nazis to control any opposition, the ordinary people in Germany believed that he would help the country get back to its former social andAdolf Hitlereconomic strength. They had experienced hardships along with political and economic instability since 1918 and they longed for peace and prosperity.

“The boys are growing fast, and sometimes Joachim misbehaves. He calls the farm workers who tease him, ‘old dumbass.’ He’s gotten a few whacks for that, but most of the time, the boys are a joy. How are you, dear Irma? I hope you have recovered from the birth of Little Theodore and that the most difficult early weeks are now over. And how is little Willy? I guess he will drive a car soon. Our newspapers show pictures of kids driving little cars. Keep well all of you, and have a Happy Easter.”

Keeping the Faith

The Geheb family in Germany always maintained their faith in God and kept a positive attitude about the future. As they continued on they didn’t realize who Hitler really was and that he was leading them into another world war followed by chaos rather than prosperity.


The American Gehebs thrive while the German Gehebs head toward chaos.

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