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Back after 50 years to Garmisch Germany

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My painting, acrylic wash 5" x 5" (C) Delia

My painting, acrylic wash 5" x 5" (C) Delia

In the Alps...Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch nestles in Germany's Alps, a famous resort town and the capital of Alpine Bavaria. Situated at the foot of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain (2,962 m). Close to the border of Austria making it a short trip by train or car...

Originally Garmisch - Partenkirchen were merged in 1936 for the Winter Olympics...these two towns were founded by the Romans (1100-years-old).

Of the two original towns that make up its name....Garmisch is more upmarket, with many boutiques, restaurants and a Casino. Alpine skiing which the area is renowned for is at its best, and of course in the summer the mountains are wonderful for hiking.

Above all this is a dream like town to visit, going back in time for its never ending or changing beauty...I came back after 50 years and it seemed as though I never left. Too bad my visit was so short, I hope someday again I'll be able to go back for a longer visit, I certainly left my heart and childhood memories there.

My Trip

Back to Garmisch after 50 years

Garmisch a town, or call it a village in the Bavarian Alps, this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I was lucky enough to have lived there after the war, until 1950 when my mother, sister and I immigrated to America.

Amazingly 50 years later my husband and I visited Germany and went to Garmisch, and it actually has not changed, even the cows still have their bells around their necks coming into town at 4:00 pm from the valley hills to be milked, knowing with instinct which is their barn...for years I told my husband the story about the cows and how they found their way back every day to the individual houses/barns, he had a hard time believing me, till he saw it for himself.

One of the highlights to my visit there, was to show my husband where we lived. While parking on an off street, we started to walk towards the church that sat in the background, knowing I lived across the street from that church.. we proceeded walking in that direction. Without realizing it, I started to walk quite fast leaving my husband Al and cousin Trixi behind...I had transcended back into my childhood I was walking in familiar alleyways'... then all of a sudden there was the street, straight ahead to the building I once lived in. We walked through the breezeway of the building and immediately went into a Jewelry shop which was on the street floor of this building. The man that owned the store gave my sister and me going away gifts, gold necklaces with Angles on them ... in my excitement I was not thinking about the man already being old when we left, so obviously he would not be here anymore...I asked the woman in the shop if she knew anyone that was familiar about this building, she said, "yes, the clothing store owner next door knows everything"

continued below.......

I brought a photo along to find "the boys"

L. to R. my sister Alex, the boys sister, me Delia, the two boys and the rest their cousins.

L. to R. my sister Alex, the boys sister, me Delia, the two boys and the rest their cousins.

The reunion was like a dream

As we walked next door, we passed the arched doorway to the entrance of the house/building where we had lived...someone was going inside and I could see the stairs, I wanted to run and go inside...I had a flashback! (New Photo of the arched door below)

In the alleyway both sides had windows to the shops, the Jewelry store and across the Isle the very trendy Ostler shop. We went to the front entrance and with my copy of the 50+ year old photograph in hand, we walked in. A young man approached us and asked if he could help us. I explained to him in my broken German the situation, showing him the photocopy of the boys, and that I was looking for them because I lived in this building and knew them when I was a child. He looked at the photo and said, "why that's my Father and my Uncle!" Oh my Gosh my heart was pounding, I was so excited! Within minutes I was reunited with Karl and his brother..."the boys"...who now where grown men my age. Karl Ostler (in New photo gallery below) owner of the clothing shop and the other one was the city architect. They both remembered me and my sister, even our nicknames! Ironically they had just recently talked about us, wondering what ever happened to the twins.

Continued to the next day


An invitation

Then the next day we where invited back to the shop, this is when I found out that he owned a large portion of the building if not the the whole. We where invited upstairs to his place for breakfast, this was next door to where we once lived, which he also now owned and incorporated into his living was absolutely beautiful, the breakfast room was just as it was 50 years ago, very authentic Bavarian, beautiful beyond description. I had coffee and cake and got to spend the morning with the brothers.

Karl who owned the building once was the Mayor as was his father at one time. He made arrangements for me to go and visit my fathers grave site which was not there anymore, but dad is still in the same grave only 6' deeper. I found the spot where my dad is, now just grass, that's because you have to pay yearly to maintain a grave, if no payment is made, they bury someone on top. I even found my way to the cemetery and even the area my dad was buried...the trees had grown large over 50 years and made the appearance different, but my instinct told me where the grave site was...I actually had only been there a few times as a young girl, but the memory was ingrained.

This was a day to remember and one of the happiest days of my life, because I got to relive a memory, even though painful it was so cathartic....I never thought of it at the time, but wished I had visited my grandmother's grave (dad's mom) at the same cemetery...she died a year before him.

We lived upstairs where the X is...

We lived upstairs where the X is...

A friend visiting Garmisch

A friend named Gary Wachter whom I met on Facebook was going to go back to Garmisch Germany where he also once lived with his mom...he asked me if he could look up anyone or do something for me while there. I was very surprised, because I have never met him...I thought, what a kind gesture!

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He took photos of the building (X) balcony where I lived and went to the Ostler Clothing Shop (X) street level, to say hello to Karl Ostler for me (Karl is one of the middle boys in the photo around 8-9 years old.)

Gary also went to the house he use to live in...and would you believe it was right across the street from our house! What a small world!

I'm very thankful for Gary's kind gesture and going out of his way not to only say hello to a friend, but to take these photos for me.

Visiting - during special celebrations