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TWO CONTRASTS, 1932

Two fascinating photos appear in my Uncle's second album towards the end of his stay in Heidelberg. They are given a whole page, stuck side by side and labelled: 'Ruhe' and 'Unruhe' - 'Far From The Madding Crowd' and 'In the Midst of The Madding Crowd.

The left-hand photo is described as 'A Village in The Black Forest', and unfortunately despite some searching I have been unable to discover the name of this pretty place. It is, as he describes, deserted.

The second photo is more interesting from a historical and political perspective. Image the amazement for a seventeen-year-old of looking out of the window and seeing 'A Communist Procession through the Main Street (Hauptstrasse), Heidelberg'. In later life when he talked of his stay in the city he would often refer to this sight, firmly impressed upon his memory. I hope they will be of interest now, and if anyone recognises the village I would love to know its identity!
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29/01/2017
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Just one of life's strange coincidences... this is a link to my Blog, where I recount the story of finding a little souvenir from Heidelberg when I was on holiday in France. It's not related to my Uncle or 1931, but you might find it of interest :)
THE HEIDELBERG GLASS

Something a little different for my June blog...

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NECKARSTEINACH

Whitsuntide 1932 and my Uncle took this photo which he describes as 'Neckarsteinach showing castle and ferry'. I have struggled to improve the quality of the tiny old original, but I cannot take it any further, and there is a serenity in the slightly astigmatic focus which I love.

Modern photos show a beautiful view, more buildings yet essentially the same lovely place, located about 10 miles east of Heidelberg.

The album page is headed: 'NECKARSTEINACH WHERE THE STUDENTS DUEL' - but I have not been able to discover anything further about this intriguing fact! I would welcome any contributions.
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EASTER 1932

In 1932 Easter fell on exactly the same dates as it does this year. This is such a coincidence, that I felt bound to mention it in my Heidelberg Collection! Sure enough, there are several pages of the album devoted to what my Uncle calls: “Easter Vac: 1932”. Some of these photos I have already posted, showing the arrival of my father and my aunt who stayed with him over Easter.

It felt appropriate to post this particular photograph  in Easter Week, showing Speyer Cathedral which they visited at the time. Alongside, courtesy of Klaus Landry, is a more recent photo showing this beautiful cathedral in all its glory.
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2016-03-24
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A stroke of luck occurred today when my husband found this 1937 Guide-Book to Heidelberg in a charity shop! It was published only five years on from my Uncle's time there, and I will be able to use some of the content in this collection.
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2016-02-19
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'IN THE EASTER VAC'

My Uncle's brother and sister paid a visit in the 'Easter Vac' of 1932. I can only imagine how lovely this must have been for my Uncle, who despite settling in well, marks in the album: 'A Bit of England on a Foreign Field'. These photos show the shared pleasure of the trip, and a glimpse of life in the 1930s.
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2016-02-19
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STUTTGART

Four photos of Stuttgart taken in the Autumn of 1931 when my Uncle was travelling with Herr and Frau Ripper on his way to Heidelberg. They show:

The castle (Konig Schloss) - with Herr and Frau Ripper
A Statue of Kaiser Wilhelm on horseback - with a note stating: 'in the background is the Old Castle since burnt down'
The Column (Saule)
The Garden Square with Frau Ripper and my Uncle

A strange thing has occurred during the processing of the photo of The Column. You should be able to make out the ghostly figure of a young woman, standing and looking slightly to one side. A mystery!
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2016-02-17
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CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN ALASSIO
Christmas 1931 was spent in Alassio, a town on the western coast of Liguria, Italy. It would have been pointless to make the long journey home after so short a time in Europe, and my grandfather’s sister lived in this genteel town, so at least a week was spent here. At this time there was quite a little community of English people resident in Alassio. It would have been warmer than Heidelberg, and probably very welcoming, but when reminiscing about the stay my Uncle complained of being very bored. My great aunt and her friends were all retired, over fifty and stuck in their ways. She was an avid bridge player and card games played a big part in this last year of her life. Not too keen to be sitting around in such company, my uncle preferred to wander off and explore the area.
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Heidelberg 1931_2
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At Böblingen my Uncle and his companions on this journey visited Stuttgart  Böblingen aerodrome.

The Wikipedia entry for this is as follows:
'During the First World War an airbase was established. It went into service on 16 August 1915. It had a significant impact on the further development of the city. In 1925 the airbase became the Landesflughafen (state airport) of Baden-Württemberg called Böblingen Airport. The aircraft pioneer Hanns Klemm (1885–1961) established his company "Klemm Leichtflugzeugbau GmbH" ("Klemm Light Aircraft Company") next to it. Until the Second World War it was the major employer in Böblingen.
During the Second World War the town had a Luftwaffe airbase and military barracks. On September 1, 1939 (the day the war began) the airbase was the home station for the  I/JG 52 (1st Group of the Jagdgeschwader 52) flying the Bf109 E-1 fighter aircraft.'

His photos are fascinating. One is of an ‘aeroplane with engine behind’ and another ‘aeroplane of brother of first man to fly the Channel in a glider’. The main building housed a café with outdoor seating. The little boy accompanying them was obviously as delighted as my Uncle to be shown these planes. He is photographed twice in front of a Junker passenger plane, and they watched the arrival of a flight from Switzerland. How innocent it all looks. How short time was until everything would change!
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2015-12-22
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THE JOURNEY – GERMANY IN 1931

I became slightly distracted by my Uncle’s journey to Heidelberg when I realised that I have no idea how he got there. Initially – stupidly – my first thought was: where is the nearest airport?  Then it hit me that in 1931 he would not have been flying from Oxfordshire to Germany! It is eleven years too late to ask him. So I am forced to assume that he crossed the Channel by boat and travelled most of the way by train.
The final stage would have used the Heilbronn-Wimpfen-Heidelberg railway, given that there are photos of both Wimpfen and Heilbronn.

At this time, the backdrop to what must have been a beautiful journey is the sinister world stage of events:
  
  Sep 21 The Bank of England quits the gold standard. Britain's currency, the pound, will no longer be backed by gold. Britain's gold supply had been dwindling and Britain had been suffering from a trade imbalance, and, on the gold standard, countries with little gold had difficulty buying British goods. Creating a cheaper pound should make British goods more competitive on the world market and as a result thre can be more business done with other countries.
  Oct 9  In the US deflation, not inflation, is a problem. High interest rates will be a tool used to end inflation. The Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates in order to end more withdrawals of funds and gold from the US by Europeans.
  Oct 10  Adolf Hitler meets President Hindenburg for the first time. Hindenburg does not like Hitler but he dislikes Social Democrats more. To prevent them from forming a government in Germany's parliamentary system, he is considering adding the Nazi party to an anti-left anti-Marxist, coalition.
  Oct 17  In the US, Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.
  Oct 25   In New York the George Washington Bridge is dedicated and opens for traffic.
  Oct 27  In Britain a national coalition government drawn from all political parties forms under the previous prime minister, Ramsey MacDonald. The bulk of the Labour party does not follow MacDonald into the coalition government.
  Nov 20  AT&T begins its teletype service.
  Nov 29 The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany holds that it is impossible to defeat fascism without first defeating the Social Democrats. Comintern policy has denounced the Social Democrats as "social fascists." The Social Democrats are under attack by Hitler and his party for being Marxists and traitors. And the Social Democrats are seeking an anti-fascist alliance. *

Just reading of these events in the Autumn of 1931 sends a shiver of unease down my spine. The area around Heidelberg sat ready and waiting for the rise of Germany under Hitler, and visitors innocently passed through what in less than twenty years would become a war zone and a defeated, occupied country.

*Thanks to http://www.fsmitha.com/time/1931.htm
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