German Granddaughter Emotional on Presentation of 101-Old Message in a Bottle
By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | April 10, 2014 3:51 PM EST
Angela Erdmann, granddaughter of the German letter sender, could not hide her tears that trickled down her face when the 101-old message in a bottle was presented to her at the Hamburg museum in Germany.
"It's almost unbelievable," 62-year-old granddaughter said the very first time she grasped the intact bottle. She told DPA, the German news agency, "That was a very moving moment."
Known as the oldest note, the brown bottle was unexpectedly fished from Baltic Sea which is about 2 miles from Kiel lighthouse. Tree fishermen such as Konrad Fischer, Klaus Matthiesen and Thomas Buick retrieved it from their nets.
The record-breaking discovery, which looked like a discarded beer bottle at the first glance, is now being displayed at the museum until May 1. It contained a simple postcard with two German stamps inside dated May 17, 1913.
Cited in the message was a request that whoever would find the note would return it to her hometown. While the author's original plan maybe cost-cutting on fees for international postage, the note took more than a century to finally find its way home.
Based on the address in the note, researchers found it belonged to German baker's son named Richard Platz who was then 20. He scribbled the note and tossed it in the Baltic during a walk with a nature lover's group.
Edmann who now lives in Berlin never met her grandfather who died at the age of 56 in 1946. But the penmanship on the note strongly resembles the Platz' handwriting later in life therefore erasing any doubt on his authorship on the postcard.
The entire message will take some time for experts to decipher though since time and wetness have rendered much of the writings unreadable.
Even so, Edmann revealed to local newspapers the surprisingly find prompted her to learn from her Social democrat grandfather by pouring through the family scrapbook. She found the grandfather she never met was a voracious reader.
Two years ago, Guinness World Record listed a 97-year-old message in a bottle so Edmann's emotional reception of this recent discovery of his grandfather's note is fitting.
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