Here in Dresden, I went hunting for the former head office of Robert Thode & Co, which, until 1891, had stood at Wilsdruffer Strasse number 1. Robert Thode himself was my great-great-great uncle, legal guardian of my great-grandfather, and brother of Edmund Thode (see blog: Visit to leafy Loschwitz). This morning, I believed I had identified the spot, but, following a chat with a lady in a very small demountable history museum where Wilsdruffer Strasse meets St Petersburg Strasse, and who had a map of Dresden in 1894, I learned that this particular end of Wilsdruffer Strasse had formerly been known as Koenig Johann Strasse. Then I realised I needed to go to the opposite end. I’ll do this another day. The opposite end of Wilsdruffer Strasse is situated right near the Sophienkirche (Sophie Church), which was completely destroyed during the war. So, I feel pretty certain there will be nothing left of the original building. Robert Thode & Co was taken over by the Dresdner Bank in 1891. The latter was taken over by the Commerzbank during the Global Financial Crisis in 2009.
Small world. One of Robert Thode’s business partners was a guy called Gustav Klemperer. The lady in the museum and her husband happen to have known the Klemperers, and are today in contact with Gustav Klemperer’s grandson who lives in Australia! I have his email address now, and will contact him soon to see if he has any useful information for me.