The Golden Lion Bed & Breakfast
The League of Nations 25 Jul 2014, 8:04 amA visit to Switzerland in 1946 involved touring a number of venues. On a "G.I." tour my Dad collected a number of post cards. "Le Palais des Nations" was included in his collection.
Geneva (Switzerland) it reads on the back. Mont-Blanc is pictured above the horizon. An impressive site it must have been coming from Winchester, KY with a population of 8,000 souls.
The Bureau of International Travail is pictured next. There must have been lots of folks visiting this place around the League of Nations. International travel would certainly be involved, but it looks like "Le Palais des Nations" takes up a little more space.
Chateau de Chillon 1946 13 Jul 2014, 7:36 amPast postcards filled a box kept by my father since 1946. The "Great War" had just ended, and he was part of the "Army of Occupation" that resided in Germany after the war. On leave, he visited Switzerland, and collected a number of postcards. The following are two of the "Chateau de Chillion".
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, near Montreux, it has occupied a place in history since the Bishops of Sion found a site many years ago.
The dungeon has been home to a number of distinguished guest. In 1946, my Dad was at least a visitor.
88 Birthdays 8 Jul 2014, 8:13 amMy Dad is 88 years old today. As a child growing up in the 1950's, I thought reaching the age of 60 years was getting "really old". Now reaching the age of 88 is not that usual, and not that "really old" since I have passed the age of 60! How times change. The following is a picture of Dad some 88 years ago.
Facing the world in is walker. Let's get going into these 88 years he seems to be saying. Happy Birthday Dad this July 8, 88 Birthdays later. Let's keep going.
On Leave 3 Jul 2014, 6:46 amBeing in Germany 1946, must have had its unique experiences. To have a weeks "leave" would certainly bring all the smiles to the faces. Here are some.
The back row certainly seems all smiling where my Dad stands back row left (looking forward at the picture). Heading to Switzerland is the plan for these fellows of the 9th Army Air Force.
My Dad collected a lot of post cards from this visit in 1946. The following is one.
Basel, Munster it says in the lower right. On the back in small print it reads: "Bale, La Cathedrale". It would certainly be a place you might want to visit on leave.
The Black Widow 22 Jun 2014, 7:20 amToward the end of WWII, Northrop produced a night fighter called the P-61. It was given the name "Black Widow" after the venomous spider. Wikipedia writes that no P-61 ever engaged in combat with a German jet fighter. The following photograph of my Dad standing beside a P-61 is shown below.
It was 1946. It was taken at an airfield near Munch. On the back of the photo my Dad wrote:
"P-61 with a Jet-German Plane to its credit. Also called "Black Widow". Send more pictures in next letter."
Trying to enlarge the picture, I could only produce the following:
It is not very clear, but he is pointing to a marking on the plane that he interpreted as a "Jet-German Plane". This would seem to suggest that this P-61 took credit for a German jet fighter? The picture is a clear documentation that at least one P-61 took credit for this activity.
The 424th Night Fighter Squadron, Oberpfaffenhofen Air Depot, near Munich used the P-61. Does any one out there have information regarding this squadron of the 9th Air Force. My Dad seemed to think that this P-61 took down a jet. He was there.
Hotel Jura 1946 17 Jun 2014, 6:31 amArriving Basle, Switzerland after months in war ravaged Germany 1946, must have been a delight. My Dad kept a shoe box full of post cards and pictures of the days spent here. Hotel Jura must have been one special stop over since the following was kept:
It must have been a hotel card to write your name and room number, but you can see that Dad did neither. It is stated "Opposite main railway station"...well here is a post card he kept...
I assume it is the main railway station at this time. Very impressive indeed it is...just across the German border.
Now if you needed a watch just "turn over please"...
Here is a list of "qualified watch maker's shop", and a list of the members of the Swiss Watchmaker's Association of 1946. There are lots of names here, and there must have been lots of watches. If you could not afford a watch, the card suggested buying "Swiss Postage Stamps as Souvenir". Also, there were two "Movie-Houses" that presented "the best Original American Films in your own lingo." Wonder what was showing in 1946 for the Hotel Jura?
Government Issue 7 Jun 2014, 6:40 amWhat you wear, what you eat, what you shoot, what you sleep upon...etc...etc...are all government issue in this army of occupation 1946. This theme became the word "G.I." which was applied to all those in this army.
Now who would have thought a few days off would also be G.I. issue. The above is a copy of such a offer. It was in a group of post cards that were collected during a visit to Switzerland. Montreux was one option. There were five tour options given by the tourist-office Montreux (in the center of the town). You just had to ask at the hotel where you were staying.
The small pamphlet contained a page shown above.
"Does not the sweat smiles of these lovely girls tempt you to take the motor-boat to Montreux-Plague?"
Duh...what do you think...Mr. Tour Guide...
Still on Earth 2 Jun 2014, 6:17 amSnow had fallen when this picture was taken in 1946.
The central figure on the shield is the eagle.
In the book "A Guide to Heraldry" by Ottfried Neubecker, it states that the eagle and related species are the most widely used symbols for God and heaven. (p.110) He states that the Hittites used the double eagle as a symbols of sovereignty. He goes on to state that Emperor Charlemagne (800 AD) used an "imperial eagle" to symbolize his sovereignty, and it would seem that ever since this time it had become the emblem of Germany.
Well on this snow covered day in 1946, I wonder how many folks were between "God and heaven". At least these two fellas were still on earth.
Angel of Peace 28 May 2014, 12:11 pm
My Dad took this photo in 1946. He was part of the Army of Occupation (Germany) which officially began May 5, 1945 and spent almost two years in southwest Germany. On the back of the picture is written:
"Angel of Peace - can't you see this in Germany."
It must have been with some sense of irony to find anything still standing [see last post "No Pot to Pee In"] little lone a statue titled "Angle of Peace". Dad states he does not remember exactly where this statue was located, but his hand written note still strikes a cord on the strings of history. Does anyone know the location of this statue if it still exist? There is a single individual sitting at the base...I wonder if he is thinking is peace really here.
"No Pot to Pee In" 4 May 2014, 6:06 am
It would have been Germany 1946. My Dad took this picture and written on the back is:
" This bathroom is all left of a bombed building. Look for yourself - "
For most of Germany, the War had left not much standing. The Army of Occupation was arriving, and trying to make some order out of the chaos was the job. "No pot to pee in..." as they would say in Kentucky. It is had to imagine such a world with only a few walls standing. Ironically it would have to be a bathroom...urinals still attached to the wall...but no pot to pee in!