Most of Mr O'Leary's predictions are just attention seeking and looking for free advertising. If you look on you tube you'll see a list of his comedy acts and predictions for Ryanair from the past years. A very successful man with an Irish sense of humour.
I found them very thoughtful and moving memorials. By placing them in the pavement, people keep polishing them with their feet. As I've said before, there's no people I know that have faced the crimes of their past generations the way today's Germans face their Nazi infamy.
I am just now catching up on reading, and I continue to be touched by not only your persistence and care in searching for Reiner, but also helping us search for meaning in so much that has been left behind in our understanding, because it doesn't fit under the grand tags that "simplify" history for posterity. This summer commemorates the start of World War I, important events of the end of World War II...and yet, so little of the individuals and their fates. Even the exhibits we saw this...
I am finding the same is true for all wars I have studied. We know so little about the people in the trenches whose lives meant little to the leaders. I hope this bog series reveals at least one life. The journey to find Reiner has been life-changing for me, his nephew's wife.
Amazing story indeed. I've heard many recollections from veterans of WW2 and all of them beyond belief. When I was a schoolboy (in England) my Math Teacher was in the real "Great Escape" in 1944 and told us boys stories to make your hair stand up ! But when he told us of the Germans making an "example" of repeat escapees his eyes were full of the horrors of war. Then we'd get back to the Math lesson. "Tomorrow we'll found out how we hid the guard dogs!"
Whitney. I was just emailing TravelRob. Maybe you could contact a TV station here in England. The Centenary of WW1 is big news across Europe this year 1914 - 1918 and we have many programmes looking back at all the wars since. Have you seen the "Great Escape" Movie. ( Steve McQueen - James Garner and all ) ? Some facts are true - some "based" on the true story. It's very late here in England. Contact you tomorrow.
As you've seen in the Great Escape, taking prisoners into the forest and killing them wasn't just a Russian idea. It was used against the Allied POWs by the SS. But there were many allied airmen shot down over Germany who returned home after the war with life saving surgery by the "enemy" Metal plates fitted to the skull where the bone had been shot away I remember. Shall I send an email to your website Whitney ?
Just to add a note: on our way to Mont-Saint-Michel this morning, we noticed signs pointing to a Deutschesoldatenfriedhof, or German Soldiers' Cemetery. Curiosity took us to it and we were surprised by its story. It was constructed in 1961 for reburial of soldiers who had been buried in small locations all over Normandy, the Channel Islands and other nearby areas. It is a solemn place, and quiet, and the spirit expressed in the signs and in the design was one of reconciliation and hope for...
Paul, Thanks for that note about the German cemetery in France. I may make a trip to several of these war cemeteries on my next trip overseas. I just heard from the German War Graves Commission this morning with more photos of Reiner's grave.
Thanks for the start of an extraordinary journey, which also reminds us that travel isn't only for pleasure, or even always voluntary. It is also important for us never to reduce history to acts of state and leaders and lose sight of all the Reiners of the world.
Another brilliant post, HistoryDigger! Thanks. I think you've described the situation many young German men were in, and it's a lesson for all of us to fight tyranny at every step and with all we have. It is also a reminder to me how a government that is "a friend of the people" can crush those same people if their power isn't checked. After the Nazis had seized power, there was no tolerance for dissent. You were either with them -- or you were in big big trouble (possibly even fatal...
Here we go! I am so eager to learn more about that old house which is pictured so beautifully in the mountain idyll of Poland. My fantasy is of undiscovered family treasures in the attic which the Polish police, who now occupy that building, would gladly be rid of. Whit, don't forget to search the attic when you get there. Ha! I am sure glad you are Finding Reiner.
Dr. Fumblefinger—yours is a fascinating response. How lucky your father was to have escaped and survived. I'm glad he told you his story, which I would like to hear. Where was he from? Reiner's family members were also born in now Poland. Episode 3 will detail more of the Nazi oppression in Cologne that trapped Reiner and his family.
My curiosity is also piqued about this Italian beer. Not sure if I tried beer in Italy. Wine seems to be flowing out of ever crack in every building, but I'll need to give it a try next time I'm there. Hi praise from a Canadian, I might add.
I can't help thinking, as I read your descriptions, and the memories of the people you met, at the people, old and young, caught up in Palestine and in Iraq in circumstances not very different. It is sad that we continue to live in a world where their wishes and hopes are of so little consequence to those who call the shots. Literally.
Originally Posted by Carlin Scherer: Beautiful image - grabbing on to the spider web and flying into a peaceful land/world. Reiner wrote beautifully!!! Reiner was a great writer, and I'm sure in the original German it's even more elegantly phrased than in this fine translation! PHeymont -- agree with the sentiment. Believe we'll always have evil, power grabbing tyrants in our midst and our challenge is not to keep them from seizing power. Not an easy task. I've been reading Eric Metaxas...
DrFumblefinger—I've been meaning to read that book about Bonhoeffer. In fact, I'll do so, as soon as I finish Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944 by Richard C. Lukas and Norman Davies . My affection for the Polish people I've met has spurred me to deepen my understanding of the German occupation and devastation of Poland.
The picture reminds me of similarly-colorful rows of small buildings in Nyhavn (Copenhagen) and on Bryggen (in Oslo). There must be something to the width-and-taxes idea, because it's certainly been true elsewhere. In New York, from colonial times until the early 20th-century, the number of windows affected the property tax rate, and it was only 2009 when the city ended the practice of basing the water rates on "frontage."
Thanks for the note, Pheymont. I saw the main BANK OF IRELAND building in Dublin a few days, which is windowless. All the window spaces were filled in with rock (in a tasteful manner). Seems the government decided to levy a window tax. The company responded in kind.
I was in Berlin on Saturday, the day of the 25th anniversary of reunification. There were tons of people in the city, as crowded as I've ever seen any major city. The main activities were in the Tiergarten, especially around the Brandenburg gate. By the time we made our way there, the police had closed down the area and were not allowing more people in because it was overcrowded. Still, everyone seemed well behaved and having a nice time. I think most Germans feel reunification was a good...
I remember having the same feeling about Prague. A beautiful city of great architectural variety and all types of style. One of the more memorable views of the city is from up high, say from the observation deck of City Hall. The rooftops and towers are beautiful.
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