Tag: Germany

Armistice Day

I remember an evening sitting through one of those ghastly, self-righteous arguments about the Vietnam War that seemed to plague any attempt at serious conversation in the 1970s. The wild-eyed beard next to me showed no interest whatsoever and seemed to regard all the hot air as little […]

Sleepers

We’ve now traveled by sleeper coach train through every major west European country except Spain, and it’s uncanny how the experience has reflected the culture of the train’s country of origin. The French sleeper was dignified and correct, if a bit prim. The Italian was a wonderfully stylish mess. […]

Der Rhein

Everything has to start somewhere. This bridge in Konstanz on the Swiss border marks the official start of the Rhein River, or point zero on the 1939 Rheinkilometer scale. From here, the Rhein flows west and north through Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands to de Hoek van […]

Worms

The 38-year-old giant Martin Luther kicked the Protestant Reformation into high gear on this spot when he stood before the 1521 Diet of Worms to defend his Ninety-Five Theses. Like Jan Hus before him in1415, he was guaranteed safe passage by the Catholic Church fathers, only this time […]

Friedrichshafen

The 1937 Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst, New Jersey, was only the most famous of the mishaps to befall the airships produced by the Graf Zeppelin Works here at Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. Several never made it out of the hanger. LZ2 and LZ44 lost their engines and collided […]

Konstanz

In 1415, the Roman Catholic faith had sunk into complete moral and political collapse. With no answers for more than a century of famine, plague, pestilence, and nonstop warfare, the church authorities instead exhausted themselves fighting over the meagre spoils of a civilization gone rotten. Three different Popes […]

Remagen am Rhein

In 2000 years, the only invaders to cross the middle Rhein River were Caesar’s Romans and Napoleon’s French. Then on the afternoon of 7 March,1945, Sgt. Alex Drabik, a Polish-American from Toledo, Ohio, led his squad in a lunatic sprint across the creaking Ludendorff Bridge under withering German […]