The Story of Ernstine

My grandmother, Ernstine, was born in Germany in 1922. She was the youngest of seven children and grew up during great turmoil. Her family lost their home and belongings during World War II and were forced to move several times throughout her childhood.

Despite all this, my grandmother always remained positive and grateful for what she had. In this blog post, I will share the story of my grandmother’s life. From her early childhood experiences to her later years living in America, I hope her story will inspire you to never give up despite the hardships you may face.

Ernstine’s Early Life


Ernstine was born in a small town in Germany in 1874. She was the eldest of four children. Her father was a doctor, and her mother was a homemaker. Ernstine’s early life was comfortable, and she had a happy childhood.

However, when Ernstine was eleven years old, her mother died from childbirth complications. This event changed Ernstine’s life forever. She became responsible for caring for her younger siblings and helping her father with his medical practice.

Although she took on a lot of responsibility at a young age, Ernstine did not let it stop her from pursuing her dreams. She attended college and medical school and eventually became a doctor herself.

Ernstine’s story is one of determination and perseverance. Despite the challenges she faced in her early life, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a doctor. She is an inspiration to us all!

Ernstine’s Journey to America


Ernstine arrived in America in 1892 at the age of 21. She traveled alone, leaving her family and friends behind in Germany. Ernstine had big dreams for her new life in America and was determined to make a success of herself.

She started as a domestic servant for a wealthy family in New York City. It was hard work, but she was grateful for the job and the opportunity to start a new life in America. After a few years, Ernstine saved enough money to open her German bakery business.

The bakery quickly became popular with both Germans and Americans alike. Ernstine worked hard to perfect her recipes and soon became known for her delicious cakes and pastries. She even won several awards for her baking!

Today, Ernstine’s bakery is still run by her descendants and is one of the most popular bakeries in New York City. Every year on Ernstine’s birthday, the bakery sells extraordinary “Ernstine’s Journey” cupcakes made with her original recipe.

Ernstine’s New Life in America


Ernstine arrived in America in May 1854. She was only seventeen years old and had never been away from home before. She had never even been on a ship before. Ernstine was scared, but she was also excited. She was going to be able to start a new life in America.

Ernstine didn’t know anyone in America, but she had heard it was a land of opportunity. She was determined to make the most of her new life. Ernstine started working as a maid for a wealthy family in New York City. It wasn’t an easy life, but it was better than the life she had left behind in Germany.

Eventually, Ernstine met a man named John, who was also from Germany. They got married and had two children together. John worked hard to provide for his family, and Ernstine did her best to make their tiny apartment into a home.

Life wasn’t always easy for Ernstine and her family, but they were happy. They were grateful for the opportunity to start over in America and build a better life for themselves.

Ernstine’s Legacy


Ernstine’s Legacy

Ernstine was a fantastic woman who lived an extraordinary life. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was also a businesswoman, philanthropist, and political activist.

Ernstine was born in Germany in 1874. She married Otto Dibelius in 1896, and they had four children: Ernst, Gertrude, Herbert, and Paul. The family moved to the United States in 1903. Ernstine became a naturalized citizen in 1909.

The Dibelius family settled in Chicago, where Ernstine opened a millinery shop. She was very successful, and her business flourished. In addition to her business acumen, Ernstine was also very charitable. She donated money to many different causes and was especially active in helping German immigrants adjust to life in America.

In 1933, the Dibelius family decided to move to California. They bought a ranch in the San Fernando Valley and renamed it “Dibelius Ranch.” They raised chickens and grew various crops on their ranch.

The family enjoyed their idyllic life on the ranch, but they were soon faced with tragedy. In 1939, Otto died suddenly of a heart attack. Ernstine was devastated, but she remained vital for her children.

She continued to run the ranch and also became involved in local politics. In 1940, she ran for and was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Ernstine’s childhood

Ernstine was born in 1879 in Germany. She was the eldest of five children. Her father was a tailor, and her mother was a homemaker. Ernstine’s childhood was happy and carefree. She loved to play with her siblings and explore the forests near her home. As she grew older, Ernstine began to help her mother with household chores and look after her younger brothers and sisters.

In 1892, Ernstine’s family emigrated to the United States for a better life. They settled in New York City, where Ernstine’s father found work as a tailor. Ernstine continued to help her mother with the household chores and began working as a seamstress to help support the family.

Ernstine’s childhood was happy and carefree, spent playing with her siblings and exploring the forests near her home in Germany. When she turned 13, her family immigrated to the United States for a better life, eventually settling in New York City. There, Ernstine took on responsibilities such as helping her mother around the house and working as a seamstress to support the family financially.

Ernstine’s time in the war

Ernstine was drafted into the war in 1944 when she was just 19 years old. She served as a nurse in a field hospital in Germany and saw firsthand the horror of war. Ernstine treated soldiers who had been wounded in battle and sometimes had to amputate their limbs. She also saw many soldiers who were suffering from shell shock and PTSD.

After the war ended, Ernstine returned to her home in Switzerland. She married and had three children, but she never forgot her time in the war. In her later years, she often spoke about her experiences to school groups and veterans organizations.

Ernstine’s life after the war

After the war ended, Ernstine moved to America with her husband and children. They settled in New York City, where she began working as a seamstress. She eventually opened her dress shop and became quite successful.

She stayed in touch with her family back in Germany and often sent them packages of clothes and other items. Her husband died in the early 1950s, but Ernstine continued to run her business until she retired in the late 1960s. She died in 1972 at the age of 84.

Ernstine’s family


When Ernstine was born, her parents lived in a small apartment in the city. Her father was a factory worker, and her mother was a homemaker. They had two other children, a son who was three years older than Ernstine and a daughter who was two years younger.

Ernstine’s family didn’t have much money, but they were happy. Her father would come home from work exhausted every night, but he always had time for his family. He would play with the children, help her mother with the housework, and then sit down to dinner together as a family.

Even though they didn’t have much, Ernstine’s parents ensured their children always had what they needed. They always had food on the table and clothes to wear. And even though they couldn’t afford to go out very often, they ensured their children had enriching experiences like trips to the zoo or museums.

Ernstine’s family was close-knit and supportive of one another. They loved each other unconditionally and stuck together through thick and thin. When Ernstine graduated from high school, her whole family was there to cheer her on – even though they knew she would soon leave them to start her own life.

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