Jena-Auerstadt

Losers rarely advertise their losses, so it came as no surprise that it took us three hours, one speeding ticket, a schnitzel-and-wine break, and a 19th century map to find this intersection in Saxon Germany on the road from Jena to Auerstadt. On this spot on the morning […]

Geisa

At one time, the hottest of points in the iciest of cold wars. The Soviets planned to send their tanks across the East German border here and down through the Fulda Gap to Frankfurt. The Americans responded by bringing up their Davy Crocket tactical nuclear weapons. All that […]

Gliwice

The lunacy all started here. On the night of 31 August, 1939, when Gliwice was still the German town of Gliewitz, a Nazi thug named Alfred Naujocks murdered and scattered an assortment of concentration camp inmates around this radio tower, all dressed in stolen Polish Army uniforms, their […]

Kazimierz

We’re all happy again in Kazimierz, the ancient Jewish neighborhood of Kraków. After the German invasion in 1939, the Nazis forced the Jews out of here and across the river into the hideous ghetto and killing ground most people associate with wartime Kraków. This once wealthy neighborhood fell […]

Praha

One of ancient Bohemia’s gifts to the language of the world was the concept of “defenestration”–the throwing of political enemies out of multi-story windows. The practice got underway in 1419 with the tossing of 15 local political leaders through the windows of this castle. The Second Defenestration of […]

Slavkov U Brna

We were driving along a Czech highway at German speed–that’s the other side of 100MPH–when we spotted these unmistakable cement silos dressed up as unmistakably grouchy French artillery. Suddenly it dawned on us that the nearby village of Slavkov U Brna had to be the former Austrian settlement […]

Bouillabaisse

Waiter! There’s a crab in my bouillabaisse! But fortunately for the purist, this little guy is only there for decoration. The true bouillabaisse contains no shellfish, not even mussels–in fact, it contains nothing fish-wise but Rascasse (a pungent Marseillaise rockfish), Chapon (a Scorpion Fish), Mullett, John Dory, and Conger […]