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Essays Written for The Plantation News

I wrote essays for The Plantation News, our family newspaper, between 1983 and 2003. Some essays recorded actual events, while others were humor, satire or fiction. The Plantation News transitioned from paper to blog and continues online here.

Ruppert Lindner, Builder of Germany

Note: Mom has recently sent us translations of old German documents heralding the lifetime accomplishments of famous family members. Somehow, she has omitted this obscure report from her genealogy project … Why?!
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Ruppert Lindner (?-1065 AD) is a very famous Lindner in the family line now traced back almost to Noah’s son, Hamm. What we know of Ruppert comes down to us from church records, family legends, German mythology, and discussions with Ruppert’s great, great aunt Tanti (who is still alive).

Ruppert, pronounced Rrrrieuppart (two dots over the u), is well known as the builder of the entire land of Germany. At that time (in the early eleventh century), the Eurasian continent extended only as far as Poland, and the Atlantic Ocean lapped at the shores of modern-day Austria. Beginning alone with a horse and barrow, Ruppert mined good soil from the Alps, and began extending the borders of his small farm by reclaiming land from the sea. Soon hundreds had joined the enterprise, and dirt was being brought by horse-drawn caravan from as far away as what is now the Black Sea. Within ten years Ruppert had reached the French border, where he sold the enterprise for 600 marks (this was before inflation) to a Frenchman, who completed the continent. Ruppert’s methods are still practiced today in Holland.

Ruppert’s childhood in the former seaport city of Floss was uneventful. He married his childhood sweetheart and they had only twenty-seven children (some of whom did not survive). When he was twenty-five, he heard legends from the sailors of a land called Iceland, and vowed to make his way there. But, as he could not swim, and was easily seasick, he conceived of building a land bridge. The rest is history.

Ruppert seemed rich, and lived oppulently, but he always sold the newest land parcels to pay for creating the next one. Thus, late in life he lived as a pauper, roaming from town to village trying to raise funds for his projects in Luxembourg, and the digging of the Rhine.

Near the end, there was the planned linkage to Scandinavia – Denmark is all that remains of that, Ruppert’s last land-building enterprise. Ruppert died in vain trying to stop his impatient cousin Normann from invading England, as Ruppert had planned to someday extend land from Germany to the British islands.


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December 18, 2018
06:00:23 PM