Just got off the phone with my dad, who's in Berlin. That's not so incredible these days; that he's there with three of his brothers is. Lothar (dad), Hans, Ingo, and Wolfgang met up in Denver two days ago and flew Lufthansa to Berlin, from where they'll make numerous excursions over the next week or so. The other important tidbit is that the last time the four of them were together in Europe at all was when they left as a family of eight in 1952 on the transport General M.L. Hersey
. Since then, my dad has been back once, but only a few years back. Ingo is there all the time, as he works for an Austrian company that makes power-grid scale transformers, as a U.S. representative out of Reno, NV. Hans and Ingo haven't been back until now.
Yesterday they went to Wriezen, about and hour northeast of Berlin where their grandparents lived and where my dad got separated from his mom, dad, and siblings during the war — and for about two years after. The house still stands, is a total wreck, but according to the guy across the street, hasn't been occupied since 1962. But that same gentleman used to live in the house himself, and had a collection of photos that had been left there. Yep: all kinds of photos of my dad's cousins, uncles, aunts, even some of him and siblings. THose would be pre-WWII, and they survived in the hands of a stranger, survived the commies all these years to be placed in the hands of those who ought to have them. Just wow. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on them for digitizing purposes.
Tomorrow, they'll all take the train to Szczecin, Poland, which was known as Stettin, Germany when my dad was born there in 1938. Hope he sends along some photos.