The Great Depression
& Dust Bowl
Ted was enjoying life as an avid Boy Scout when the depression hit North Dakota. The Dust Bowl reached into the farms and ranches of the Hebron area and seared images into Ted's young mind of demonic clouds that could block out the sun and destroy buildings, livestock, and anything in its path. This period would inform his art for the rest of his life. His family soon lost the ability to make a living and decisions would be made that would transform their lives forever.
In 1938, Ted's mother and sisters went back to Eberbach, Germany to work and to collect on an inheritance. Ted stayed with his grandfather, Emil, and joined the National Guard for $2.50 a week. When war broke out, Ted's family was unable to get out of Germany. His mother, Anna, had rented a flat and when the lady came back for it, Anna refused to give it up. She kept a tiger-like gaze on her girls and hid them away from the Nazis. Three times she sent them away, declaring her passport was at first, misplaced, then lost. They never came back. Ted's sister, Caroline, was forced to attend a school for Hitler Youth. She didn't rock the boat, but refused to go to the weekend training sessions. Luckily, she was never found out.
Ted's father, Fred, wasn't as lucky. He was put into a work camp for non-Jewish foreigners. They wouldn't see him again until 1945, when he showed up in Eberbach, barely a hundred pounds.