Posts Tagged ‘Jauer (Jawor) 2010’ 

Wroclaw (Breslau) 2010 

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Along the Autobahn on our return to Wroclaw from Jelenia Gora via Jawor, we again marveled at the many fields overflowing with yellow rapeseed blossoms. There are several advantages to growing rapeseeds over the previous crop of sugar beets. Rapeseed is harvested during the dry summer months, not during the wet, cold, months late in the year. The crop can be cut easily with a combine, not like sugar beets which were dug out of the ground manually. Once off the Autobahn, we realized that we hadn’t yet photographed this colorful crop. Jackie, the adventurous one among us, set out through the muddy fields and ditches, and Erwin captured the moment in a wonderful photograph. We arrived in Wroclaw a little after midday, returning to the Radisson Blu Hotel. And again, we got upgraded to business rooms that were large and comfortable. Our friend Uwe Strehlow, my old German Navy colleague, had mentioned that he might meet us at the hotel, and when we arrived, there he was, sitting at the bar with a beer. We had a joyous reunion, and from then on, we became a group of six. (more…)

Jelenia Gora (Hirschberg) 2010 

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

We departed Jawor the next day, may 17th, a Monday, driving south toward Jelenia Gora, formerly the German city of Hirschberg. Erik and Erwin were interested in the route I described in Boy Soldier, where the front line had been, the no-man’s land, the minefields. Thus, a short way south of Jawor we ventured toward the foothills of the Sudeten Mountains: the Riesengebirge.

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Return to Jauer – 2010 

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Since I had joined the American Army and become an intelligence agent (See Making of a Spy, my second book), my security clearances prohibited my traveling behind the Iron Curtain. But even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, after the demise of the Soviet Union, I had felt no desire to return to Silesia. Periodically I toyed with the idea, generally after a family gathering where lots of different narratives of the Old Days tickled my curiosity bone and made me wonder how things had changed under the Polish regime. But I generally concluded that Jauer and Silesia were parts of my past that were best preserved in memories.

Some two or three years ago, my older son Erik suggested that we ought to visit Jauer. He and his younger brother Erwin wanted to see the place my parents and I had so often described. Undoubtedly, from stories told by my parents, my sons, especially Erwin, had romanticized Jauer. He mentioned wanting to visit the old wine cellars that my grandfather had patronized, and the blacksmith shop to which I had often led horses to be shoed. He wanted to see the family manor house on Vorwerkstrasse, the fields that my grandfather had cultivated for so many years, and the road to the sugar refinery in Altjauer, the destination to which I had driven the horse-drawn wagon loaded with sugar beets, and the residue “Schnitzel” — shredded and reprocessed sugar beets — loaded for the return trip. (more…)