[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Baby illness term

Otto otto at schienke.com
Thu Apr 9 12:29:08 PDT 2009

Diagnosing a word without physical symptoms is difficult at the least.
I'm afraid my jury is still out on the vitamin D deficiency. It seems  
that it would be a rare disorder among farm people with cows to milk  
every day... No calcium deficiency there. But then again, I was not  
there to witness the event... I could be wrong.

Rose-Marie did indicate to me that the occurrence was around 1921 or  
during post war years.

There did exist a less common disorder named "Kraempfe" that could be  
categorized a post-war malady due to food scarcity. The eating of  
grain contaminated with ergot fungus results in ergot poisoning and  
had reached epidemic stages in the middle ages. It was first described  
in the 1800's. It was not understood.

"Kraempfe" (cramps) is one of those catch-all phrases that say "I  
don't know" what it is. Cramps is what I get out of bed with every  
morning.   Perhaps more examples or recorded cases could be submitted  
on the "kaempfe" disorder.

I had a young cousin that died from "pernicious anemia" (fatal anemia)  
and upon reading the report thought to myself, "Were the parents that  
destitute that they could not feed her properly?" The disorder was not  
understood at the time, hence a death sentence. She had a genetic  
disorder not allowing her to assimilate certain nutrients in her food  
that in turn she evacuated daily until she died. Today a simple  
vitamin B12 injection would save her life. Not much is to be said for  
our ignorance.

On Apr 9, 2009, at 12:03 PM, Günther Böhm wrote:

> F&RM Haddad schrieb:
>> My grandmother had three children who died in infancy in Volhynia.  
>> I just
>> heard from one of my aunts, that my grandmother had told her that  
>> they had
>> died of "Kraempfe" - and please excuse the spelling, if it is  
>> incorrect. I'm
>> not too fluent in German - and the thought that comes to mind is  
>> "cramps?"
>> Can anyone enlighten me as to what this might mean? Was it a non- 
>> technical
>> term for a medical condition? Or . . . ?
>> Rose-Marie
> Hello Rose-Marie,
> the cause of death "Krämpfe" was also called "Fraisen" which in most
> cases ment tetany (see
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetany_(medical_sign) ) resulting from
> frequent (annual) pregancies of the mother. A good explanation -
> unfortunately in German - is under www.genealogie-kiening.de/todesurs.htm 
>  .
> Günther

. . .   Otto
          " The Zen moment..." wk. of January 04, 2009-
                 "The future. . . . always catches up."

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