Thursday, July 22, 2010

My last stop on my Germany tour was Bremen, where I visited my dear friend Karl-Ludwig Sommer and his family. They live near Lilienthal, located east of Bremen in Niedersachsen in what is called the Spechgurtel, or “fat belt”, surrounding Bremen where many commuters who work in Bremen live. My friends live in an old farm house. I stayed with them while I conducted research on the shipbuilding industry that once drove Bremen’s economy.

I have many connections with Bremen. My grandfather, Eldon Burke, was the shipping expeditor for the Council of Relief Agencies Licensed to Operate in Germany (CRALOG) from 1946-1951. He eventually married his former secretary from those days, a Bremen woman named Marie-Louise Brill. I have come to know “Tante Marli’s” relatives, the Boeme family and keep in touch with them. I should point out that my mother also lived in Bremen for a time in the 1940s and I visited her old friend from those days, Brigitte Lauth.

As you can see, Bremen is a wonderful city, and the surrounding country side is simply beautiful. I always feel like I am walking through a painting by Hans am Ende or other painters of the Worpeswede school which is near where my friend Lu lives.

After my time in Bremen, I took an early morning train to Frankfurt Airport, via Hannover, and flew to Chicago and from there to Milwaukee. In all, my travel time was 22 hours.

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