Exploring Southern Germany

Trip Start Apr 30, 2006
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Trip End May 12, 2006


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Where I stayed
private home, Lembach, France

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006

      We took off about 8 a.m. with Denise to go to the archives in Otterberg, Germany. The archivist had done some research for us (thanks to Daniel). The GPS system worked wonderfully, but we hit traffic, construction, and detours. Combined with very narrow, winding, mountain roads, we barely made it in time. Carol did get some good information from him, but not everything she wanted. He promised to do more research, saying that he had been sick, and had not had the time to do more. He did have a few documents ready for us.
      From Otterberg we drove to Niederkirchen, where our great-great-great grandparents lived. It is a lovely little town. We went to the Jewish cemetery on a tiny road outside of town. We found the graves of our GGGM's half-brother and some other relatives. The cemetery is mostly in bad shape, with mold on most of the gravestones and the plaster peeling so that the names weren't readable, but some were relatively new, including the half-brother, so somebody has been there in the last 20 or so years-but we don't know who. The city hall wasn't open (only on Wednesday) ask for more information, but we did find out that the city takes care of the cemetery.
      Then we drove to Heiligenmoschel, where GGGM was born. Another nice little city. We also went through Shallodenbach and Schneckenhausen (which means House of Snails). Then back to Lembach. Carol and I walked around Lembach. We found Rue de le synagogue, and a plaque where the synagogue was-put up by the town. We also found a street that some of our relatives lived on. Then back to Lembach. We got back to the house about the time Daniel and Denise got home.
      We had supper of spaghetti and meat sauce (as good as my mother used to make), fresh parmesan, salad, cheese, and yogurt cups (Dannon). We then talked-and argued politics and morals and education-until nearly 11.
 
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Comments

BW on

I lived in Niederkirchen for a year while stationed at Ramstein AB, 1985-1987 time frame. Nice town! visited with Kurt and Emma Frank.

Chris Cain on

I was wondering if whomever posted the comment about Kurt and Emma Frank could drop me a note at speedselect@yahoo.com. I lived with Kurt and Emma Frank from 1983-1985! Was also at RamsteinAB.

Drop me a note please.

Joe Panza, Colonel, USAF (Retired) on

Chris, I lived in Neiderkirchen '86 and '87....can't remember the street name, but we loved it there....had wonderful neighbors, Karl and Hilda Frisch. They moved to the PI after Karl retired and both have passed away. I had an indoor swimming pool and we overlooked a valley with deer being raised across from us.... would love to go back for a visit. I moved on base at Ramstein when I took the job as USAFE Asst. Chief of Staff.

BW on

Hi, I just checked this site again out of the blue and see another comment from yesterday. I was at Ramstein with the Chris listed above. We have since got into contact via email.

I lived one block North of Morbacher Strasse in Niederkirchen (steep short little street) but can't remember the landlords' name. I think his first name was Manfred (possible last name was Hermann?).

The Franks house was on the East end of town along Heimkircher Strasse (the main road). It had a next door apartment building with a balcony overlooking the street below where some more of our Airforce co-workers rented.

Good to see/hear from others familiar with the friendly town of Niederkirchen. I will never forget the times spent over there.

Steve on

Not sure if you'll check this again, lived in Neiderkirchen in 1980 - and our landlord was Manfred! I kid you not! My jaw hit the floor when I read this. I was only in 1st grade (my father was in the military). Would love to go back to visit.

Joe Panza (Col. USAF Ret.) on

Good to see the interest in Niederkirchen. I too miss it.....used to run up the long hill out of town (when I could run!). I can't recall my landlord's name but he tried to tell the people who followed me into the house after I moved on base that we had cracked the huge picture window in the living room. (It was cracked when we moved in and he never followed through on his promise to have it replaced). We used to have office 'swim meets' in the indoor pool while playing "Rocky" ..great fun.

BW on

Wow, I wonder if it was the same Manfred. They had a main house and the little building I rented was just a two room efficiency type of place that was located in their back yard. Small garage underneath the place (near the top of that short road).

Seems that his last name might have been something other than Hermann though. Maybe Manfred Walk? Or something near that? They had one daughter that would have been about 18 years old back in 1986.

It would be nice to visit the town again some day to see how things have changed.

Chris Cain on

Hey art,

Send me your contact info again. I misplaced your number the day you called and would like to catch up. I'm at speedselect@yahoo.com or you can get me on Facebook as well. Cheers, Chris Cain

Chris Cain on

Hey Bart, that was supposed to read. To BW!

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