Saturday, September 14, 2013

From Passau

Passau and St Stephan Cathedral as seen from bridge crossing Inn River

I am presently in Passau, a charming city on the Austrian border where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers meet. Yesterday, I stopped in the visit the Herbstdult, the autumn fest, which is like a big Luna park with rides for the kids, bratwurst grilles and, oh yes, a big beer tent. Here I had a liter mug of the local Harklberg fest beer, the best I have had since I arrived in Germany four days ago.

I only had two days in Munich, and the one full day it rained. I had hoped to visit the Perlacherforst cemetery and see the graves of Hans and Sophie Scholl, the heroes of theWhite Rose resistance group executed by the Nazis, but the rain kept me from following through. The cemetery is located near the infamous Stadelheim prison, where they were executed.

Passau is much smaller and more peaceful, and this is my first visit here.

Here is a fun fact: Did you know that Hitler actually lived here between the ages of 3 and 5? It was here that he developed his distinctive German accent. Legend has it that his life was saved when he fell into the Inn river near his home (Kapuzinerstrasse 5). Himmler also lived here for a few years as a child (later in time). I am trying not to drink the local water.

Above- First home of Hitler family in Passau at 
23 Theresienstrasse

Home of Himmler family (in later years) at 22 Theresienstrasse in Passau-almost directly across street

Subsequent home ( in red) of Hitler family at 5 Kapuzinerstrasse (formerly 31 Kapuzinerstrasse)

Two more days here, and it's off to Erlangen. I'll be speaking at a local high school English class Wednesday as a former Erlangen-based GI. I have been told to expect lots of questions about Obama, Syria, etc. I hope to handle them as professionally as possible and not come across as some university professor trying to shove his opinion down their throats. They surely expect more than that.

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