After we found “the door,”
we walked some more of the town and found a Jewish area that included a garden and some tombstones. We took pictures of some of them. We had never found this area before in all the times we had visited there.
When we lived in Germany, we were occasionally stopped by Germans on the street and asked for directions – in German! Apparently we looked the part! Made us feel pretty good, not to be ugly Americans. All that to say that, as we walked out on the “Pinocchio” part of Rothenburg, I heard “Entschuldigen…Entschuldigen!” (Excuse me…excuse me!). A German couple wanted directions to a café. They seemed a bit put-off when I said – in German – that I only knew it a little German. After they moved on I turned to Fred and said, “we’ve still got it!” Yea!
Rothenberg is part of the “Romantic Road” through southern Germany…”linking a number of picturesque towns and castles. In medieval times it was a trade route that connected the center of Germany with the south. Today this region is thought by many international travelers to possess “quintessentially German” scenery and culture, in towns and cities such as Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl and in castles such as Burg Harburg and the famous Neuschwanstein.” (courtesy Wikipedia)
Again from Wikipedia: In March 1945 in World War II, German soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg to defend it. On March 31, bombs were dropped over Rothenburg by 16 planes, killing 37 people and destroying 306 houses, 6 public buildings, 9 watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet of the wall. The U.S Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so he ordered US Army General Jacob L. Devers not to use artillery in taking Rothenburg. Battalion commander Frank Burke ordered six soldiers of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division to march into Rothenburg on a three-hour mission and negotiate the surrender of the town. When stopped by a German soldier, Private Lichey who spoke fluent German and served as the group’s translator, held up a white flag and explained, “We are representatives of our division commander. We bring you his offer to spare the city of Rothenburg from shelling and bombing if you agree not to defend it. We have been given three hours to get this message to you. If we haven’t returned to our lines by 1800 hours, the town will be bombed and shelled to the ground.” The local military commander gave up the town, ignoring the order of Adolf Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops occupied the town on April 17, 1945. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world.
We walked back to the bus and drove back to Würtzburg.
As it had been a rather long day, I decided to go back with the bus to the ship, while Fred toured the Würtzburg Residence. Fred said later that, while it was most interesting, there were a lot of stairs, and I would have been uncomfortable. So, again, it’s a good thing I did not go on that excursion.
Dinner with the Richard, Judy and Lucy again. 10 o’clock to bed.
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~
Here are some interesting shots of Rothenburg: