Keep the Bunker Closed

First of all, my thanks for an outstanding October issue. On a trip to Germany next summer, I will be visiting eight of the listed UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany, including Goslar. I hope sometime to visit other places in the Harz Mountains, including Quedlinburg.

I do not agree with the opinion that the remains of Hitler's bunker should have been opened up and exhibited to the public.

First, from what I have read, there would be little to see except for broken pieces of concrete, as the Russian occupation forces blew up the bunker before covering it over, shortly after the end of the war.

Second, there are plenty of sites in and around Berlin to remind people of the Nazi era, including those you mentioned.

Third, there is nothing of historical value that can be learned from the remains of Hitler's bunker. The facts of how, where, and when he died are well known from the now-opened Soviet records. Whether or not the site would become a shrine for neo-Nazis, it would satisfy nothing for the rest of us but morbid curiosity.

Keep up the good work. Your newsletter is always interesting and informative.

Jim Mentzer
Los Angeles CA

Unhappy With Munich Story

Since my family came from northern Switzerland in the 1840s, and dates back to the 1100s in southwest Germany, I subscribed to Gemütlichkeit with considerable expectation. I've been disappointed.

Now I've received the latest issue. Munich. München, as you might have told your readers so they wouldn't insult the locals. Perhaps half the visitors to Munich come there by way of the Bahnhof and stay at a hotel nearby; I've stayed at two within the past two summers, one expensive (Eden Wolf, luxurious) and another further down the block at half the price. Of course, this is the west end of the center of town, with everything within walking (or U- or S-bahn) distance, yet you offer no accommodations in this area.

One of the special highlights of Munich is its four opera houses, one an exact replica of Bayreuth. The Cuvillies Theatre (next to the Munich Opera house) is the finest example of rococo architecture anywhere. To not mention these is like telling someone visiting Washington, D.C. to not see the Smithsonian or the White House.

As you see, I'm not impressed by your Munich expert Nick Selby. Maybe if he had to VISIT Munich he'd have written a different article.

The entire line of Storrers, be they Storre, Storer, Stor, Sturah, Zorrer, Zdora, Stohrer, Stohrer, Stoerer or other variant, are from Swabia. Yes, Baden-Württemberg and northeast Switzerland, tho Stuttgartians refuse to accept Baden as truly Swabian. Since I subscribed, there's been nothing on Swabia, and the last article on Stuttgart is half a decade old. If you've never eaten Maultaschen you cannot say you know Swabia. Spätzle is Swabian, also. My family came to America from Siblingen, 10 km from Schaffhausen, and 8 from Neuhausen-am-Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe (and the prettiest). Two years ago I ran a worldwide Storrer treffen/Reunion in Siblingen; Storrers from around Europe, the U S of A and Brazil attended. We had over 300 people at a big outdoor festival in the town of only 740 people. The former Gemeindeprsident was a Storrer, and the contemporary one a seventh cousin Kübler. By now I know my way around the territory, and people know me as I was on Swiss TV regarding the treffen.

Is there any reason I should re-subscribe or recommend your publication to my thousand some US cousins?

William Allin Storrer
Newark NJ

(Ed. Note: Nick Selby did, in fact, mention the Residenz, of which the theater designed by Cuvillies is a part, though to see it one must purchase a separate ticket. To learn more about Mr. Storrer and his family visit his web site at www.storrer.com)

Ballenberg Museum

We average three trips a year to German-speaking countries. Here are two items from a recent trip we thought worthy of passing along.

1. The Swiss Open-Air Museum in Ballenberg. It is an area of 10 square kilometers with buildings brought from all over Switzerland. There must be over 125 different structures of all ages. The exhibits are labeled in German, French and English. The English versions are not as in depth as the German. We have seen many of these types of museums throughout Europe and this is one of the best. The location is not signed well and takes some effort to find, but well worth the trip if you are interested in the Swiss life of old.

2. Finding a last night hotel near Stuttgart has always been a problem. If one has an early flight, there is always the concern of stopped traffic on the Autobahn approaches to the airport. The Landgasthof Hotel Rössle (tel. +49/07157/7380, fax 20326) is a three-star property that may not live up to your normal higher living, but it is clean, friendly and only 20 kilometers south of the airport using the less travel B27. We paid 160 DM ($85) for a double room and breakfast. The village of Waldenbuch is small, but with a well planned walking tour explaining its history. The wall signage is only in German. Also in the town is an interesting Gasthaus called Goldener Ochsen that has a Gast Zimmer right out of the 50s. The food is traditional Swabisch but more important are the people. If you understand and speak German the Stammtisch will provide you a real insight into the way people feel and think. Also the village is the home of the Ritter Sport Chocolate factory.

Pete & Treva Fournier
Phoenix AZ

Passau Hotel

Highly recommend the Hotel Residenz in Passau (Fritz-Schffer-Promenade, D-94032, tel. +49/0851/35005, fax 35008). For 235 DM ($125) per person for four days, we got a huge no smoking room with a view, a boat ride on the Danube, a city tour, and an organ concert. It cost 10 DM ($6) per day for the parking garage.

This is an older hotel but super clean, with a great breakfast buffet.

Renate Kasznia
Universal City TX

* (U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:
* Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
* The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.)

November 1999