Join 3,513 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I thought you died alone, a long, long time ago.
March 10, 2010 3:55 PM   Subscribe

The man with no identity. [via]
posted by Caduceus (31 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the kind of post that makes me want to re-up my Ancestry.com subscription and start tearing up the internets trying to figure out the guy's story. There's not much to work with here, but we've got a few states of residence, a couple of fairly unique names (Mary/Marie Jascola, for instance) and a putative DOB. It's almost certainly not enough to yield up real information, but it's more than adequate for putting me in a delirious, drooling, John Forbes Nash-style fugue state, logged into the archives of twelve different state and provincial governments and cross-referencing myself stupid for about 17 hours. Good times.

Alas, I have tons of work to do, so I will not tear up the internets today. I will not.

Man, this post should have a trigger warning for compulsive web detectives. Good find, Caduceus!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:32 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I like it better as a mystery. That way, he could be someone who rescued Jews in the Holocaust and believes that Nazis are after him, or something else equally heroic, instead of who he likely is: someone just like the rest of us.
posted by emilyd22222 at 4:37 PM on March 10, 2010


So did he come from Germany or not? It seems odd that he would make that confession and yet everybody would still keep looking for his past in Pennsylvania. Unless by "from Germany" he only means at some remove, like a generation or two.
posted by Sova at 4:39 PM on March 10, 2010


That way, he could be someone who rescued Jews in the Holocaust and believes that Nazis are after him, or something else equally heroic,

Or he could be a nazi on the run from mossad.
posted by empath at 4:47 PM on March 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


During the autopsy they can cut him in half so we can count the rings.

An accurate age would be a good start.
posted by codswallop at 4:54 PM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ancestry.com is (maybe all but) owned and operated by LDS. Just so you understand who your dollars are going to, and who owns the data you enter.
posted by TomStampy at 4:55 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I like it better as a mystery.

Does he?
posted by DU at 5:03 PM on March 10, 2010


empath: "Or he could be a nazi"

Yeah there isn't much reason to keep heroic tales of your prosecution by everyone's favorite villains a closely guarded secret. A history with the Nazi party or the Mafia or somesuch, on the other hand...
posted by idiopath at 5:11 PM on March 10, 2010


This may sound strange, but this is why I do not want to get a tattoo. I want to be able to melt into the background community of temporary workers, if the USA becomes a fascist state.

Now, at my advanced age, this might be difficult, what with all the mortgages and credit card history and so on. But you younger people might think twice about being permanently identified with an indelible mark on your body.

Sorry for the potential thread derail.
posted by kozad at 5:17 PM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've met people in Texas who spoke only German until they went to school at age six. Also, someone from Louisiana who only spoke French until school, someone from Minnesota who only spoke Swedish, etc. They didn't lose the language as they grew up because they continued to speak it at home. One German-speaking woman I'm thinking of would be in her '80's now. So it's possible he was born in the U.S.
posted by zinfandel at 5:30 PM on March 10, 2010


.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:40 PM on March 10, 2010


I've met people in Texas who spoke only German until they went to school at age six.

That's exactly my (Mennonite) Grandfather's story, and he'd be about Mr. George's age, if he were still alive.

Mr. Geroge spoke of growing up on a farm: it could have easily been in an Amish or Mennonite community. Other clues also point to it: his mother being buried with a family Bible, and buried on the farm itself. Also that the closest big city was Pitsburgh PA, which is the closest metropolis to PA Dutch country.

He may have left the faith under bad circumstances and been avoiding discovery. Perhaps he was implicated in a murder or death that wasn't known on the outside, but for which the Volk still wanted him to answer.

Leaving one of those clans in the early 1900s would be the same as emigrating from another country.
posted by clarknova at 5:43 PM on March 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


.
posted by limeonaire at 6:50 PM on March 10, 2010


For what it's worth, the [via] is a pretty nice little story; well worth reading.
posted by Caduceus at 6:52 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


> > You know, I like it better as a mystery.
> Does he?


He's no longer in a state to have an opinion.
posted by ardgedee at 8:04 PM on March 10, 2010


Eleanor Rigby
Died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came

Father McKenzie
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved
posted by Nelson at 8:31 PM on March 10, 2010


If he was hiding from the Amish or Mennonites, it would be surprising that he was worried about being recognized as an extra in a movie.
posted by ErWenn at 9:04 PM on March 10, 2010


.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:21 PM on March 10, 2010


For some reason, this reminds me of Bernie Krigstein's story "MASTER RACE" from EC's IMPACT #1...
posted by Ron Thanagar at 9:32 PM on March 10, 2010


You know, I like it better as a mystery. That way, he could be someone who rescued Jews in the Holocaust and believes that Nazis are after him, or something else equally heroic, instead of who he likely is: someone just like the rest of us.

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us

OMG! He's God!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:13 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or he could be a nazi on the run from mossad.

Florida seems like the wrong place to move to if you're a former Nazi official worried about being recognized.
posted by Tsuga at 10:15 PM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


If he was hiding from the Amish or Mennonites, it would be surprising that he was worried about being recognized as an extra in a movie.

You might think so, but people who've developed a lifetime of exile's paranoia are prone to all kinds of irrational hangups and complexes.

I've known a few political refugees and marked men people. The Amish/movie irony didn't escape me, but also doesn't surprise.
posted by clarknova at 11:09 PM on March 10, 2010


Ancestry.com is (maybe all but) owned and operated by LDS. Just so you understand who your dollars are going to, and who owns the data you enter.

Ancestry.com is a publicly traded company.

It certainly has a Mormon related history on an individual level (one that I briefly touched when its predecessor Folio and iCentral, the company I was working for in 1998, were both bought by OpenMarket for reasons that still don't make sense to me), and it's all but certain that they swap data with the LDS church and its members, but its pieces have been essentially grown by independent entrepreneurs and hobbyists, and it's even had its disagreements with the LDS Church.

So, if you'd feel uneasy about giving your money to the church as an official organization, you can probably rest easy. If, however, you've decided want to make sure you don't give your money to any business in which Mormons are involved, well, I'm not sure paying Ancestry.com is the only thing you should be uneasy about.
posted by weston at 11:24 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


There aren't a lot of Jewish retirees in Sun City, relatively speaking.
posted by lunasol at 11:32 PM on March 10, 2010


Er, my comment was meant as a response to this:

Florida seems like the wrong place to move to if you're a former Nazi official worried about being recognized.

posted by lunasol at 11:32 PM on March 10, 2010


You know, it would have been relatively easy to figure out if he spoke modern German of the sort one would have grown up speaking in Germany or weather he spoke the Plattsdeutsch German favored by the Amish.

That's an impressive mystery, though: there aren't that many people anymore who can go through life in the USA without leaving a trace.
posted by deanc at 8:55 AM on March 11, 2010


Caduceus, I see what you did there. But that was not the man who sold the world!
posted by VikingSword at 10:02 AM on March 11, 2010


Caduceus, I see what you did there. But that was not the man who sold the world!

You hope.
posted by Caduceus at 10:54 AM on March 11, 2010


I envy that man more than words can say.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 11:20 AM on March 11, 2010


If you're squeamish about working with the Mormon Church, you should probably give up on genealogy.
posted by ErWenn at 3:10 PM on March 11, 2010


TomStampy: "Ancestry.com is (maybe all but) owned and operated by LDS."

Ah, that would explain why the early version of the site I came across circa 2000 traced all lineages back to Abel bin Adam. (No joke)
posted by Rhaomi at 6:03 PM on March 11, 2010


« Older "He was so high," says Lucille Gathers Cheeseboro,...  |  The Shining Cuckoo Clock. The... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments