Tagged With "Reiner"

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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

DrFumblefinger ·
Baited, hooked and (almost) landed, like I'm some kind of reading marlin! Can't wait for the next installment! Wonderfully done, HistoryDigger! Thanks so much for sharing this story with us!
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

Sarah Towle ·
Fantastic! A WWII story, personal journey and travel story all rolled into one! I'm totally hooked and will be following your unfolding story this summer, Whitney! All luck!
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

vivie ·
Merveilleux!! Un vrai bijou! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing story. Can't wait to read more.
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

HistoryDigger ·
Merci bien, Vivie. À Dimanche.
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

Jessica Meddows ·
This really is a wonderful post, Whitney. I love the family history you have there. And fantastic photos! I'm looking forward to reading more of your writing.
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

HistoryDigger ·
Thanks, Jessica, for your kind words. I'll check out your blog as well.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

GarryRF ·
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!"
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

HistoryDigger ·
GarryRF, Thanks for your response. I'd like to hear those stories, despite the horror in them. What a way to teach kids math. Yikes.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

GarryRF ·
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.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

HistoryDigger ·
Yes, I love the Great Escape! Let's talk more.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

GarryRF ·
Just having lunch - what subject you interested in ? Prison Camps, What was untrue in the Great Escape or what was true ? Vanishing guard dogs ?
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

HistoryDigger ·
ALL of those. Wish I could sit down for lunch with you and hear the rest. I'm quite interested in using my Reiner research material for various genres—adult lit, young adult lit, and film.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

GarryRF ·
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 ?
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

HistoryDigger ·
GarryRF. Yes please send that email. Or DM me on Twitter @whitneystewart2. My uncle was shot down by Germans, but was saved and mended by Partisans. See Finding Reiner #2.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

PHeymont ·
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...
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

HistoryDigger ·
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.
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Re: Finding Reiner #5: Behind the Veil of Time

PHeymont ·
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...
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Re: Finding Reiner #5: Behind the Veil of Time

HistoryDigger ·
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.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

Carlin Scherer ·
It is a sad - difficult story. I want to meet Reiner too. Your work and research and photos of the land where he was "found" bring his story alive - right here, right now!
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

Travel Rob ·
Very powerful. I keep thinking of that local man's mothers story and it's similar to stories I've heard from some ,in the the WW2 generation living in Eastern Europe ,about the Russian Army of WW2.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

DrFumblefinger ·
I'm really enjoying this moving series, History Digger. It is a captivating narrative. Admire your dogged determination to find the truth. Thanks for making us all a part of your journey.
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Re: Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

Travel Rob ·
I wanted to add the photography by Pawel Wyszomirski is just wonderful and timeless. Really captures your journey.
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

PHeymont ·
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.
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Re: Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

Travel Rob ·
What a discovery! And thanks for taking us along. I can't wait to hear what happens.
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

vivie ·
what a great way to start a Sunday! can't wait to read more. I'm with you in spirit Merci pour ce beau partage historique et familial.
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

HistoryDigger ·
Merci encore une fois, Vivie. Je suis sur le point de partir. Thanks for reading. I'm about to depart. Hope you'll follow along.
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

Travel Rob ·
I found myself racing to the computer this morning to read Part 2 of your incredible and moving series. It's made me reflect on what war does to a family .
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

DrFumblefinger ·
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...
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

Bluragger ·
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.
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

HistoryDigger ·
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.
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Re: Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

Bluragger ·
Reiner was such a dutiful letter writer that we have this info allowing us to retrace these steps. Amazing resources - Reiner's letters and Whit's dogged research. Loving this story more each day.
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Re: Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

Mac ·
This makes a fascinating read, well done! My father-in-law Hans Esser was from Cologne (had sung as part of the choir in Cologne cathedral) and served on submarines (unwillingly) during the 2nd W.W. war. Their sub was attacked several times and finally they were forced to surrender. He was taken prisoner and interned in England. The prisoners then helped on the local farms which was where he met his future wife Vera. They married just after the end of the war and had the difficult privilege...
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Re: Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

HistoryDigger ·
Mac-TG Guru--Fascinating story, yours. Your parents' romance reminds me of such fictional stories in the British series Foyle's War . Have you seen that? The show highlights romance between German POWs and English farm girls. I would love to know more of your father's history. I also wish I could interview your father or find other elderly residents who remember life here during the war. So much better when it comes from a resident than from a historian who was not here then. How long were...
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Re: Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

PHeymont ·
Thank you for the continuing story, and especially to the link for the Stolpersteine. It is so important (I keep saying this!) for us to remember the people more than the "leaders," and not allow them to become mere numbers.
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Re: Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

Travel Rob ·
Whitney your story about Reiner and retracing his steps gets people thinking about their own life and family too, so beyond being fascinating history, it's very relevant to us all.25 years ago this summer I went through an incredible ordeal in Europe. Your journey for Reiner has me thinking back to that time and has me thinking of retracing some steps too.Keep it up and thank you!
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Re: Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

HistoryDigger ·
Travel Rob, I hope we will hear more about your ordeal. You've got me hooked with that teaser line.
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Re: Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

Sarah Towle ·
So compelling! Keep the posts coming. I'm hooked! Absolutely.
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Re: Finding Reiner 4: Who Was He?

Travel Rob ·
Thanks for another moving piece. Those illustrations by Maria Lebedeva are museum quality!
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Re: 'Finding Reiner' letters now available as book

HistoryDigger ·
Thank you for posting this update. What an honor to find these letters and collaborate on this book with Denis Havel. The travel adventure will always inspire me to look beyond the ordinary.
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Re: 'Finding Reiner' letters now available as book

DrFumblefinger ·
Congratulations Whitney! Need to get my Kindle copy ordered.
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Re: 'Finding Reiner' letters now available as book

Travel Rob ·
So glad this is a book! Congratulations Whitney and Denis!
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Finding Reiner #2: Chasing Ghosts

HistoryDigger ·
I'm deep into last-minute research for my "Finding Reiner" adventure. My suitcase is  packed with device chargers, plug adaptors, Swiss Army knives, bandaids, spare batteries, and clip-on, flat water flasks for the trail. But, my desk is covered...
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Finding Reiner #3: Inside Old Shadows

HistoryDigger ·
My “Finding Reiner” blog continues to be a challenge in crossing historical time zones. Reiner’s old letters describe his school and neighborhood, and I search 1940s maps and the Internet to find my route to his past. If I had...
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Finding Reiner 4: Who Was He?

HistoryDigger ·
After a brief holiday, I am back to Finding Reiner. I am writing this family mystery as a travelogue ( and as a graphic book illustrated by the fabulous Maria Lebedeva whose illustrations I include here ) for two reasons. First, war stories mean...
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Finding Reiner #7: Shrapnel & Bones

HistoryDigger ·
    Paweł and I are back in his little red car on one-lane Polish roads behind tractors. Google Maps underestimates our driving time, and we’re going nowhere fast. Nothing fazes Paweł though, and he's ready with cameras for any kind of...
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Finding Reiner #8: Trail's End?

HistoryDigger ·
  I’m reluctant to say goodbye to Łukasz and his family because now I want to buy my own metal detector and continue digging in Poland. But, Paweł and I have a long drive ahead to Świeradów Zdrój , a Polish spa town in the...
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Finding Reiner: Disaster to Discovery

HistoryDigger ·
On Monday August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. My son, my elderly German mother-in-law, Lütte, and I were hunkered down in my husband’s office at Tulane Medical School. Our decision to stay seemed smart at the time. My...
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Finding Reiner #6: Frozen Grave

HistoryDigger ·
" To be honest, I no longer try to calculate how things are going to turn out in this war. No one is going to escape unscathed. One must not be miserly with the little life that we have. Those who are anxious and fearful, they will be struck first....
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Finding Reiner #5: Behind the Veil of Time

HistoryDigger ·
Reiner’s grave in Poland used to be unmarked, but I’ve made three trips to this beautiful country to fix that one error of war. My upcoming posts will highlight the progression of my research here to learn Reiner’s fate.   In...
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TravelGumbo Blogger HistoryDigger Wins National Travel Journalism Award

PHeymont ·
We at TravelGumbo are incredibly proud and pleased to announce that Whitney Stewart, HistoryDigger on Gumbo, has won a Bronze Award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for the 8-part series Finding Reiner, which ran  in 2014....
 
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