How two travelers from East Bufu Reno …
Connect with Nigerian priests, Bavarian beer drinkers and Syrian refugees and the ghosts of WWII
My husband, Jim, and I are sitting at the kitchen table of friends, a couple of weeks ago, in a small, 800-year-old village of Poppenhausen , about an hour and a half northeast of Frankfurt. Their extended family has occupied this exact plot of land for much longer than our nation is old. Over traditional afternoon coffee and apple dessert, I’m asking questions of our friend’s parents, both in their 80’s, who speak only German, about what their life was like during WWII and their relationship with the Americans during the occupation. Their teenage grandkids are my interpreters.
I guess I should back up a bit as to how we ended up at that table.
Back in 1990, I was working for an international import company. I enthusiastically volunteered to make housing arrangements for a German intern who would be working for us for three months.
Her name was Doris. Her family had owned a candle making factory since 1899, which was destroyed in WWII by the Allies and then rebuilt. The summer of her arrival, the East German military officially began dismantling the Berlin Wall.
We were both 24.
My then boyfriend (the same Jim) helped her find wheels (a 74 VW Beetle of all things). One of my first memories is of her looking at our washer and dryer and confessing that she’d never done her own laundry. Jim, always ever so direct, nicknamed her the “German Princess,” and despite that, and making her watch, what she thought was a ridiculous skit on Saturday Night Live called Sprockets about Germans, the three of us immediately resembled long-lost siblings. Click here to read the full article