Tag Archives: Military family life

Treasures From Germany~Part 5

27 Nov


Judy Wills



In previous postings, I mentioned that one of our very favorite cities in Germany to visit was Rothenburg. It is a walled city, that has existed by name since 1170 A.D. While we didn’t know all the Nazi history of Rothenburg, we still loved the city. Here is an excerpt 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, six public buildings, nine watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet (610 m) of the wall. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of War John J. 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 (Medal of Honor) 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 Major Thömmes gave up the town, ignoring the order of Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division occupied the town on April 17, 1945, and in November 1948, McCloy was named Honorable Protectorate of Rothenburg. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world. The rebuilt walls feature commemorative bricks with donor names. Traffic-reducing measures were put in place in a significant portion of Rothenburg to increase safety and accommodate tourism.

Since our days in Wiesbaden (1967-1970), we had visited Rothenburg, and collected etchings that we liked, and had them framed. Here are some of them.







Here are some recent pictures of Rothenburg that we enjoy:


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Treasures from Germany~Part 3

6 Nov


Judy Wills


More treasures we found in Germany. We discovered, while in Heidelberg, that an art form had started. Sorry, I can’t recall the name of it right now. But artists would take old objects (such as this coal carrier) and paint it. It is now an umbrella stand in our house




Or they would take things like this flan form and paint it. It also hangs on our wall.




It is such a unique, and beautiful form of painting, and we enjoy these items so much. However, with all the crafty things that I do, painting is NOT one of them. Everyone kept saying how easy it was to do – just swirls and commas, and dots. But I knew I would never be able to duplicate what they did. So I just purchased their wares, and enjoy the end product.

This particular item is loved in our house, but we didn’t pick it up while in Germany. Actually, our Karen found it in downtown Chicago some years ago, and knew that we would enjoy it. Those of you who have visited Heidelberg, know that it is the gate to the old city – another landmark, if you will, other than the castle ruins itself. But it sits on a shelf in our kitchen, fully lit from the inside, 24/7, and reminds us of our time there every time we see it (or dust it!).




And speaking of Heidelberg, shortly after we arrived in that great city, I found this framed photograph, in a shop. I loved it on sight, and purchased it. Through the years, the photo has faded to more yellows and browns, so I had it “restored” to its original colors. We thoroughly enjoy it.




While we were in Heidelberg, I kept seeing a set of porcelain that intrigued me. I had a set of china that my brother had brought back from Japan years before Fred and I married, and I had a set of ironstone that we used every day. And then there was the antique Haviland china set that my Aunt Jessie found at an estate sale in Albuquerque many years ago, that I acquired at her death. But this porcelain set…well, it just kept eating at me. So finally, I told Fred that I would be happy with a tea set of it, and we purchased it.   It is called Burgund, and is produced by Goebel, the same company that produces Hummel figurines. However, before we left Germany, I told Fred that I had lied….I wanted the entire dinner set! Dishes! Plates! Serving pieces! Just ALL of it! And so we purchased it, and we use it quite often. I think it’s a beautiful set. Here is the covered serving bowl, just to give you an idea of the design of the porcelain.




One little side note about the Burgund: as I was unpacking all the dishes, and checking off the invoice, I discovered that the store had not charged me for the 12 saucers. So I took the invoice back to the store and, in my halting German, tried to explain what had happened. They didn’t understand at first, thinking I was saying they had overcharged me. I was finally able to make them understand that, no, I had not paid for those saucers, and I was there to make things right! They were so happy to take my money that they gave me the salt and pepper shakers free! I told Fred that I never wanted anyone to think that ALL Americans were ugly Americans! Perhaps I helped that view in at least one store in Heidelberg!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~



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