(See previous posts for what this tour is about.) (As always, click on photos to enlarge or play movie.)
A beautiful Halle sunset 9 May will bring dawn on a brand new day.
It was a busy day today. Our guide for the day was Matthias Maurer, founder and president of the Count Von Luckner Society in Halle, Germany. (I thought Wikipedia had a good introductory history on Von Luckner, though his WWII involvement with saving Halle is extremely brief.)
During an extensive morning tour by bus we visited important sites in the history of the Timberwolves involvement in Halle and sparing it WWII bombardment by the Allies. (To ever so briefly summarize, Gen. Terry Allen, commander of the 104th, negotiated with the mayor of Halle and Count Von Luckner to have the town surrender and spare it destruction. After a bit of suspense and interaction this was successful. The details make great reading. is a some information from the Luckner Society website.)
A monument to the Timberwolves in a Halle park.
Tour guide Patrick and Matthias. Matthias has been a driving force in getting recognition, plaques, and monuments for the Timberwolves/Halle negotiations. We appreciate his friendship and hard work.
Our vets at the monument: Tome, Bill, and Bob. (Vet John and his son left the tour in Belgium as planned.)
Nancy gives Matthias WWII photos of her father Keith in Halle.
Anyone have a camera?
On we go.
We stop by a building, now a dental technical institute, where negotiations took place for the surrender of Halle.
Back in Halle we stop by the house where negotiations were handled for the surrender of Halle. The building is now a dental technical institute.
Mid-day we gather in central Halle to view the church from which leaflets were dropped encouraging residents to wave white flags. We have lunch in Halle and do an extensive walking tour afterwards.
HalleMarkt (sp?), the start of our afternoon tour.
Inside the church.
Getting ready for the walking tour.
View from the 7th floor of a nearby store. Two back-to-back churches with two spires each were combined for one church with 4 spires.
7th floor food buffet, lunch for many of us.
Handel wearing a protest t-shirt.
Do you see what I see? Peering into an old salt mine from which Halle prospered centuries ago.
Our Vets in Halle.
A plaque honoring Count Von Luckner and others for their work in 1945.
‘Art’ from the former GDR/East Germany.
The university in Halle where Matthias studied law.
Group shot at the university.
After rest and cleanup at the hotel we are off to yet another VERY special evening on the tour, dinner hosted by the Halle Salt Guild at their museum.
Welcoming group in traditional uniforms.
FOOD will be served. (Obviously one of the first things I look for.)
An enlarged photo reproduction of Gen. Terry Allen (l.), Count Von Luckner (2nd from l.) and others.
The Handel statue in 1945.
There is a bit of ceremonial beer drinking.
In my opinion one thing English, Germans, Dutch, and Belgians all excel in is beer drinking. (Jerry and Harvey didn’t do too badly either.)
We each receive a gift of Halle salt. It’s very salty. I like it!
Are they still doing this?!
The mayor, I believe, wants in on the act.
Millie gets in on it. Will there be any left?
Even Bob has a sip. The end is near. (We do eat eventually. It’s not as bacchanallian as it looks.)
After dinner we have a demonstration of how the salt is produced from brine. They hand-produce about 80-90 tons a year and sell it quite reasonably, in my opinion. I buy extra to take home.
Presentations are made and the evening concludes. Many of us buy a new book about Count Von Luckner and get a personalized autograph from the author.
(See the video sampler for 10 May for a supplement to the entire day as well as videos of the great German singers that started our evening at the Halle Salt Guild.
This was a wonderful, memorable day. Thank you Matthias.