This is the “about” page, where, generally speaking, one might go into a short quip about how incredibly passionate one is about their craft, mentioning they also sing in the shower and own a Beagle named George who is less pet and more a member of the family.
Had you seen the utter frustration in attempting to write such a thing as the latter, you would understand why I have chosen to tell a bitter-sweet and concise story of the origin of the business name, VonButz & Co.
History has everything to do with who I am. Most people know very little about their roots. And just a few years ago, neither did I until a series of events through divine intervention changed just that. Von Butz happens to be my family’s original last name, originating from a Prussian aristocratic blood-line, during the Russian Czarist rule. Through acts of providence, my great-grandmother fled to Poland escaping the Russian revolution, with my grandfather in tow. Being stripped of her status and wealth, as well as losing her husband, a Russian officer, to an executioners bullet, she took whatever items of worth she could carry with her and sought safety for the life of her son. She raised my grandfather as a Pole with the customs and last name of one who was originally born there and he grew to be a fine young man who became an officer in the elite Polish Cavalry. Six weeks after the outbreak of WWII, Poland came under German occupation and my grandfather resorted in joining the underground resistance. He soon found himself captured and imprisoned in what was known as the “Pawiak” prison, a notoriously cruel interrogation center in Warsaw set up by the Nazi regime. For two months, he endured harsh treatment and severe beatings which caused him to suffer the loss of all of his teeth. Afterwards, he was sent to Mauthausen-gusen, a slave-labor/ concentration camp. He was, to put it mildly, forced to endure inhumane treatment at the hands of the Third Reich, stripped of who he was and what he had earned, becoming merely a number. After 8 months, the camp was liberated and the war was over but sadly, Poland had gone from being occupied by one evil, the Third Reich, to another evil, the Soviet Union. Due to the fact my grandfather had a Russian aristocratic legacy, he could not return to what was once his home regardless of those he had left behind. Instead, he was forced to emigrate to the United States of America where he was to live a simple life, once again, stripped of any wealth, status, and education he had formerly attained, merely for the fact that he was a Pole. Fast forward a few decades and you will find me, his very proud and thankful granddaughter.
This story is not unique, were you to ask most eastern European families about their heritage — that is probably saturated in loss — but there is an element of provision involved that reminds me that my life of relative freedom, in comparison to the life that came before mine and brought mine to fruition, is very unique. Sacrifice weaves the entire tapestry together and I am only a small and insignificant strand. And therefore, I choose to make good on that by cultivating my abilities and gifts for as long and well as I can so that sacrifice does not go in vain. The name VonButz & Co. only solidifies that determination.
“Where much is given, much is required.”
On a lighter note, I sing in the shower… and my bedroom… as well as anywhere else I can be loud. And I have an American Pit Bull Terrier named Sophie who I have regular conversations with about life and frequently kiss on the head and not the lips… I don’t go that far.