Old Guesthouse Zum Weissen Ross in Bommersheim, Oberursel

While doing some research on the Gasthaus  ‘Zum Weißen Roß‘ in Oberursel Vorstadt, I also came across this guesthouse with exactly the same name (To the White Horse) in another part of Oberursel, namely Bommersheim.

The guesthouse  ‘Zum Weißen Roß’ in Bommersheim was run by:
* Georg Meister 1925 – listed in the Reichsadreßbuch. d. Wirtschaft (imperial address book of guest houses)
* Hermann Baumann 1937
It has  been added to the list of Cultural Monuments in Bommersheim – you can view the list on Wikipedia.
It closed a long time ago, and is now a residential building.

This postcard belongs to the private collection of  the historian, Bernd Ochs.

70 Years After the Berlin Airlift 1948/49

We, the Research Group Camp King Oberursel, invite everyone to attend our next Open House featuring the following topic:

‘The Berlin Airlift – 70 Years Later’ on 03 February 2019 from 14:00 – 17:00 at the Kinderhaus on Jean-Sauer-Weg 2 in 61440 Oberursel.

The small town of Oberursel and a few of its temporary residents provided a significant contribution to the initiation of the airlift. I bet you didn’t know that.

We will be showing videos, giving presentations, and offering the opportunity for discussions and questions.

On a related note: In June 2013, we had the Berlin Candy Bomber, Colonel Gail Seymour “Hal” Halvorsen,  here in Oberursel for a visit. You can read more here: http://www.pension-sprachschule.de/camp-king-oberursel/the-candy-bomber-visits-camp-king-oberursel/

The Candy Bomber, Col Halvorsen in Oberursel

The ‘Notopfer Berlin’ (Emergency Victims of Berlin) tax stamp sale was an economic aid program to support the Berlin economy during the Soviet Blockade and the post-WWII period. This extra stamp was required on most postal transaction, such as letters and postcards, within Germany until 31 December 1957.

Berlin Tax Stamp on sale until 31 December 1957

Christmas Time Notes from Germany

Pension-Sprachschule would like to wish you a Merry Christmas from Hessen, the heart of Germany.

This year, it is a four-and-a-half-day holiday including the weekend and 25 +26 December. Monday, 24 December, our Christmas, is the one that is only half a day. Everything closes at 2pm that day (except gas stations, fast food restaurants, etc.)

F R O H E  W E I H N A C H T E N !

F R O H E  F E I E R T A G E !

Seen in Zeilitzheim in Lower Franconia

 

Christmas Card Greeting in the Old German Handwriting

This postcard, written in Suetterlin, dates back to a time between 1915 and 1941, when Suetterlin was widely in use.

This form of modern handwriting was introduced by the ministry to be used in offices and schools.

After I learned Latin letters in first grade, the following year (or maybe third grade), we also had to learn to write in Suetterlin style. It is very useful to know now – when browsing archives and old documents in my research.

Gesegnete Weihnacht! = Have a blessed Christmas!

Gesegnete Weihnacht by Margret Savelsberg

 

I wish all my readers a blissful year-end season, filled with bright lights and happy memories to reflect on.

“I am grateful for all the moments that I have, and I’m moving forward one step at a time to the future.”  – Park Bo-gum (박보검)

 

German Christmas: Now and Then

Christmas traditions were quite different while growing up in a northern Bavarian village in the 1960s. Marketing and consumerism have changed the spirit of Christmas since then.

First of all, we never saw any Christmas decorations before Christmas, except for the traditional advent wreath (German: der Adventskranz).

I grew up in a farming family of nine people (parents, grandmother, aunt, and five children). When we kids got in the way, we were told to go outside and play. This was especially the case in the late afternoon to early evening on Christmas Eve. I suppose we played out on the side walk, went sledding, or sneaked around the barn, looking for cats, mice, or trouble.

On Christmas Eve, our day of gift-giving, we had an early and simple dinner – most often Sauerkraut and Bratwurst (fried sausage), or potato salad with Knoblauchwurst (pork sausage seasoned with garlic). Dinner had to be simple and quick, since the older family members had to set up Christmas behind the scenes – all afternoon and up to dinner time.

We younger kids got restless sometimes, and tried to peak through the key hole into the living room. We did this in spite my mother’s warning that if we got caught peaking by the Christkind (Christchild, the angel gift-bringer), she would not bring any presents.

The story we were told was this: The Christkind, an angel-like figure, dressed in white, with long curly blonde hair, would come in flying through the open window to deliver the presents. As a matter of fact, when we finally got called in, the room felt a bit chilly. The family must have been working on overdrive to get the tree decorated, the creche set up, the presents wrapped, and dinner made. They actually had to open the window for some cooling down.

When we walked into the room, we little ones were awestruck by the shining Christmas ornaments on the tree, and real candles lighting up the tree.

Typical presents at that time for me were (at least in our family): new pajamas, a doll, or a wind-up monkey.

I remember being really proud of my shiny new pajamas. 🙂 Note the Venetian Gondola, a souvenir my oldest sister had brought back from her honeymoon to Rimini in 1968.

Christmas Eve 1971

I got this kind of wind-up monkey for Christmas 1966. It did not last very long, unfortunately. The manufacturer is not to blame, just too many busy little hands. This one I found at a flea market in Kronberg in the late 1990s, and it still works. To keep him upright for his first photo opportunity in 50 years, I had to prop him up on a glue stick. Tired little monkey.

In general back then, our Christmas tree sat there from 24 Dec – 6 January (Epiphany). Then it was time to bring this season to a close. There was no Christmas tree pick-up service at that time, and being farmers anyway, my father chopped up the tree, and we burned it in one of the two wood stoves we had in the house (kitchen and bathroom).

Nowadays, in my own German-American family, we have fused both traditions, the German and the American one.

We put up the tree and its trimmings in the first/second week of December (American). We put our Christmas cards on display (American). We celebrate Christmas on 24 Dec (German). We used to make big dinners on Christmas Eve (my American husband liked this), but this year for the first time, we will have an easy and quick one – German potato salad and wieners (German). After sirty years, sis Cherman is finally getting her vay. 🙂

By the time the second Christmas holiday (26 Dec) rolls around, I’ve had it with Christmas. We take the decorations off the Christmas tree before New Year’s Eve (American). The tree rests on the balcony until we throw it off the fourth floor balcony on pick-up day (after Epiphany), and either we, or the Hausmeister, drag it to the side of the road.

Our Christmas tree with some ornaments as old as our marriage certificate (close to 30 years).

Before I forget – the Christkind brings the presents in central and southern Germany. Up in northern Germany, closer in location to the original Sinterklaas version (from the Netherlands) of Santa, there are families who tell stories of the Weihnachtsmann bringing the gifts.

Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten!

Happy Holidays! Schöne Feiertage!

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