Letter to the Editor

Speaking Frankly

Monday, June 4, 2018

Dear Editor,

Many early settlers of Nebraska can trace their family tree back to the Franks (they were Germanic people).

The family of an acquaintance of mine were Franks who went to Frank, Russia, in the 1500s to farm the land. They fled from bad conditions and farmed in Nebraskans.

The January 2018 National Geographic magazine offered an opportunity for its readers to trace their DNA. In 2018, we are fortunate to be able to trace the migrations of our ancestors, including the Franks.

France received its name from Germanic conquerors known as Franks. Normandy, France, was settled by Norsemen from Scandinavia. Italians, Poles, Belgians and Spaniards also came to France. It was a melting pot for people from various parts of Europe and Africa.

A number of Jewish people who had fled from persecution also settled there.

The Franks were Germanic tribes that were divided into two groups that settled near the Rhine River and the North Sea.

Charlemagne was king of the Franks from 761 A.D. - 814 A.D. invaded the Frankish empire, which broke up into France, Germany and Italy.

There is a map in the World Book Encyclopedia which shows a Frankish kingdom in the area that we call France in modern times.

Frankfurt, Germany, is located along in the Main River, about 100 miles southeast of Cologne, Germany. There is a river and canal system that links it with the North Sea.

There is a shallow crossing in the Main River. This can be crossed quite easily.

During World War II, allied bombers leveled nearly half of Frankfurt, including the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang Goethe. A university was named for him.

Frankfurt means “ford of the Franks.” It was an important geographic location during the time of the Roman Empire.

Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who wrote the diary of Anne Frank during World War II, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929.

Her family moved to the Netherlands in 1933. During the Nazi occupation, they hid in a secret attic in Amsterdam. She died in a concentration camp in 1945.

The Franks truly left their mark from the time they invaded Roman Gaul (now France).

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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