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Oral History Interview with Gordon Kramm

Gordon Kramm has lived all his life in Church Street, in Hahndorf. He was born on 8 September 1928. His father, Lawrence William Edger Kramm, born 1904, married Elizabeth Mary Gallasch, who was born in Verdun. Gordon’s great grandparents are the Herbig family -Johann Friedrich and Caroline- who lived in a big gum tree near Springton in the late 1850s.

In the interview Gordon talks about his childhood memories of everyday life in Hahndorf and his memories of going to primary school. Another topic is the family grocery store in Church Street which closed in 1994. He also talks about the hospital in the Hahndorf Academy and mentions the other uses of the Academy building and that Walter Wotzke saved the Acadmey from demolition. Furthermore, Gordon talks about the Hahndorf Town Band where he started to play the cornet at the age of seven. His father started the band in 1926.

This oral history is part of a research project undertaken by Dr Birgit Heilmann in winter 2010. After Birgit completed her PhD in history at the University of Goettingen, Germany she has worked as a historical consultant in Adelaide since late 2008. She became a member of the PHA SA in 2009. Birgit now lives in Newcastle and was appointed as the curator of the Harry Daly Museum at the Australian Society of Anaesthetists in Sydney. The purpose of the Hahndorf project was to undertake and compile research and to produce a practical material collection for the Hahndorf Academy Project with its main focus on the redevelopment of the Academy museum’s display about Hahndorf and its German heritage. The project was funded by an History SA Community Museums Program grant and the District Council of Mount Barker. The written report includes information on relevant themes to tell stories about Hahndorf derived from primary and secondary sources. Three oral history interviews with Hahndorf residents were recorded and audio CDs produced. The audio material is available at the Hahndorf Academy and the State Library South Australia (SLSA, OH 947, 1–3).

Tags: anti-German sentiment, , German language, German settlers, grocery shop, Hahndorf, Hahndorf Academy, Hahndorf Town Band, Heysen (Sir) Hans, Kramm family, Kramm Gordon, , Lutheran Church, school days, , Wotzke Walter