Return From Germany

Schortzman, I. "Return From Germany." Scotland Journal, 26 February 1992, page 4.

Left Sioux Falls on February 6, 1992 at 11:30, got to Koln, February 7 at 9:30 a.m. was too foggy to land at Frankfurt. John and Viola Bauder went with us, but we each went our way, so we didn’t see them till we went home the 17th at the airport.

We had a Eurail Train Pass which we could travel all over Europe from Norway down to Spain or Greece etc. We called Marcus Tschirschwitz (Dance Teacher) who was in Menno last October 1-10. we had one of our German girls, Fransiska Schmidt, come with her parents and a beautiful bouquet of fresh cut flowers to the Berlin Train Station. They took us to Guido Kromer’s house at Strausberg. We took the train from Koln to Berlin took six hours. Candle light supper was prepared by Guido’s parents. Weas 80 steps up to their apartment. The Schmidts and Tim & Chris Kochanek and parents were guests also.

The next morning, February 8, the Schmidts and Kromers drove us to Berlin to walk around west and east side of the wall that’s left and through the Pariser Platz where they have a lot of souvenir street markets. Toured the Pergamon Museum, one of the worlds famous. The ten of us had dinner at the Mutter Hoppe Restaurant for pork chops and stake with potatoes and vegetable. Walked to TV tower elevated way up to the revolving restaurant, makes one round every 30 minutes, had coffee and ice cream.

Toured a big church passed McDonalds. Diepken is leader of just Berlin now, and Kuohl is over all Germany. Schmidts showed us their summer home and garden back to the Kromers where we all had supper and went spent the night.

The next morning, Sunday February 9, Marcus and wife, Pedra, picked us up to take in a Berlin Championship Dance Contest. Where Marc-Andre Klebig and Christinne Klebig won first, Nico Lelansky and Jeanette Richs won second, Norman Hab and Karstin Kube third, Daniel Roth and Sandy Peizel fourth and Hieko Hientzach and Maneula Ginter fifth.

After the contest we and all the children and their parents had a big potluck supper for 40 some. Guido Kromer and Sandra Nast brought me each some more fresh flowers. Evening was spent taking pictures and showing slides, video and introduced their parents and they danced and visited, later Marcus took us to their apartment and we called home just as if we called from Scotland. Then they took us to Lichtenberg Natze train station by 11:30 we were on our way to Denmark on the way, we had to cross part ways on a ship, it had rail tracks on they put two train cars, plus regular cars and one Jack Rabbit bus full of people. After we sailed, we got out of the train and toured the ship for

Monday, February 10, we toured the town, had an open fruit market, etc., got on train again on our way to Oslo, Norway on a fairy to Sweden had beautiful marbled floor and walls at the Depot. Countryside some places were covered with evergreens like Black Hills, green field passed one old rock bottom barn with red wood top, a big white wooden country church, small flocks of white geese out in the field in Sweden, long barns, half white with chimney and half red for animals. They have Shell, Mobile and Texaco gas stations. In Oslo, we toured Oslo Plaza went on a glass elevator 34 stories high and back on the train to Beren.

Tuesday, February 11 at 7:30 a.m. walked through tunnel to the square down town. Stored our luggage at train station. It snowed. From Beren on the way back to Oslo the scenery was the most beautiful you can ever imagine houses and trees on the mountain skies. We were up 4,200 feet above sea level, highest ski lodge.

To Copenhagen, Wednesday, February 12 at 6 a.m. crossed water on ship again, backed train car right on the ship tracks and semi-trucks, etc. Toured the ship, had couple fresh carnations on each table in dining room, gift shops, TV to watch, etc. We watched them hookup our train car onto the engine interesting was a German ship now at Puttgarden (island) between Denmark and Germany. We rode on four ships, two going over and two back to Germany. Stopped at Hamburg there is a big super market at the train station. Along the way we saw a few big wind chargers, ponies, sheep, white geese (for all the feather tic’s they need,) green fields, old house barns, manure piles, which they use a little elevator out of the barn. One man out in the field with a small tractor and wagon was pitching it off with a fork by hand, also a combine named, Maxi, a tractor with a honey wagon.

In Kassel by evening, while looking for Guest House visited with a lady who asked us to go along home to her house overnight. Thursday, February 13, she took us to train station, big shopping center. I bought a blonde hatred German Doll with glass eyes. Had breakfast there with our friend and on the train to Frankfurt, where Kuno Handel (my mother’s relatives) picked us up by car to his house for supper and overnight.

Friday, February 14 he (Kuno Handel) took us on a tour, saw a big Catholic Church Am Main and the Rath house (courthouse) where eight to ten couples get married daily. We saw one couple getting ready in a room, another was getting married and the other had just come out to their car which was decorated with ribbons and red rose on each door knob and a huge bouquet of fresh flowers on the hood. The bride was dressed in a suit carrying a small bouquet. They claim if they don’t get married there it isn’t legal, so the next day they get married in church if they want to.

Saw the big room where the Kaiser Saal Kings met President Bush. Saw Kuno Handels church Mathaus Lutheran where they had gotten married will have their 50th anniversary this year. We walked by the Haupt Wachi house and down main street of Frankfurt on one corner three musicians were playing guitars, another was winding a music box all had bowls setting for money a sitting on sidewalk, gypsies asking for money, street people sitting with a big dog and some even had a cat, I guess to catch the mice and watch while they were sleeping, hippies, etc.

Went through a grocery store like S-U-More where they bag their own but it was only half the size of Gemars Market in town. Shopped in Johannas Handel Crystal Store named after his father, is now run by Kuno’s son. Wolfgang Handel as Kuno is retired. Back home to the house where his wife Aneliese made a delicious steak dinner. Left Frankfurt by train to Stuttegart where Theophil Handel met us. Stayed at a guest house hotel. Saturday, February 15 at 9 a.m. Theophil picked us up and toured town of Dittingen where they are going to celebrate 9000 years of the city this year, from April 30 to March 6. May 9, this one day they are having a Handel reunion. The invited all the Handels from America. He showed us his forefather’s old house, as we walked down the streets a lady passed by with an open basket with six loaves of fresh baked bread. She and few other women get together at the Bake House and bake. Was a well with a hand pump on the street which was good like spring water to drink. Alton pumped some for us. Passed the school kids had recess in morning, was a Saturday. They have school only mornings, except for one whole day a week.

Drove to Reutlingen, Tubigen, Ruttenberg, Entringen, saw about 25 chicks on edge of town, deer crossing sign, stopped for noon dinner had Zwiebelrost braten, hand gemachte spatzle, feine salad and beer. One to Herenberg and to HochDorger at Gerhard and Isolde Gaiser (Druckermeister) (Printer) she served us coffee and crescent rolls and beer of course.

Theophil Handel is having a book printed 175 years back on Handels alto he comes from a different branch. On the way back passed an old cement cross by road side where people used to stop and pray. Bioblen town one of the richest cities has IBM and Mercedes Benz car factory etc. See so many Mercedes, Pallas, few Fords.

Sunday, February 16, went to Evangelische Church service at Nellingen. Pastor Eckhard Gartmann invited us to their home an hour visiting could speak English well. In the afternoon Theophil took us to Esslingen, few snowflakes, fell then sunshine, weather is like here.

Passed by Old Courthouse which has a big coo coo clock has menline going around when it strikes. Big church with two high towers and one church has three towers underneath, has been built over three times. Passed a McDonalds saw one Burger King drove way up on Esslingen Burg above the Vineyard fields and could look over the whole city, 90,000 population, Szlo Platz. Walked through Stuttgard main street was full of people on Sunday window shopping, I guess cause all stores are closed Saturday and Sunday, there is entertainment, one playing accordion, other corner four piece band or harmonica, guitar etc. at train station we saw a street person with his dog and bicycle with his back pack on a cart and a lantern hanging on back. Dog watches while he sleeps.

Then took us to train station, we went back to Frankfurt on the fast ICE train, Kuno Handel picked us up, stayed for supper and overnight.

Next morning, Monday, February 17, son Wolfgang Handel took us to the Frankfurt Airport. We met the Bauders, took eight hours to fly to Boston with a DC 10 with seven fly attendance was nine seats wide. Perfect service, food movie etc. best ever. One of our greatest trips, super, perfect. Greetings to all our friends in Florida, California and Arizona.

Marcus and Petra and all the children send greetings to all their host families and all the friends they met while in South Dakota last October 1-10, 1991.

Handel reunion May 9, 1992 at Dettingen, Germany. They invited all the Handels from the states and Canada. They had 250 at their last reunion in 1986. If you are coming, dinner is being catered. Starts at 9 a.m. Write to Theophil Handel, Farmveg 16, 7300 Eslingen, Germany.

Reprinted with permission of The Scotland Journal, Scotland, South Dakota.

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