The web page has four sections click here to go to:
Kurier article announcing Reunion 2001
Three Bisch web cam photos of Reunion 2001 gang
Ed's description of Reunion 2001
Kurier article about Reunion 2001
following article appeared in the
"Nordbayerischer Kurier" on 7/8
SPIES WHO SAT In THE COLD
J1" and "Reissmanns": former US soldiers, who were
was a good time with good people," remembers Jerry Davis, who was
history of Schneeberg as a military observation and spy base goes
1945 the US Army took control of the existing facility and added to
the 1960s the base was called "Det J1", whereby Det stands for
base was finally abandoned during Operation Desert Storm. The last
Schneeberg veterans will meet at 10 a.m. on Easter
Saturday in front of the church in Bischofsgruen for a
hike up to the top of Schneeberg. Beginning at around
1 p.m. they will gather at one of the Gasthaeuser on the
Schneeberg on the Internet:
to overhead shot of Det J-1)
compound on Schneeberg between Bischofsgruen and Weissenstadt around
to "unknownlocalsgi3.jpg" from Ken Pelfrey's Scrapbook)
by Ed Railsback)
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I just returned from Bischofsgruen where we enjoyed another successful Easter reunion despite the cold weather. Here is my official report.
MARKTPLATZ 10 a.m.
This year a total of 16 hikers gathered in front of the church around 10a.m. for the pilgrimage to the top of the Hill. The group included two journalists from the "Nordbayerischer Kurier" Andreas Gewinner and PeterEngelbrecht, Gunther Zeissler, Dave Fenwick with wife Nancy and friend Ernie Smith, Juergen Schindler and wife Schu, Fritz Foltz, Elisabeth Brundage, Uwe Mendisch, Heidi Pike-Treute, Sam & Rosie Hays, and Ed &Teresa Railsback. After being officially greeted by the Burgermeister of Bischofsgruen we drove to the "Schlagbaum" above the "Krankenhaus" and setout on foot on the snow-covered road.
The hike began with light snow flurries but half-way up the Hill we found ourselves in the middle of a mild blizzard. Fortunately the storm subsided somewhat by the time we reached the summit and we were able to take some good pictures. A section of the fence around the compound had been blown down by recent storms and we were able to walk right up to the former ops building and peer into the windows. The building is totally empty. A couple of us remembered to bring our binoculars this year, but they proved to be totally worthless. Maximum visibility was roughly 100 meters. After taking numerous photos we sought shelter from the snow at the "Bergwachthuette", the mountain rescue cabin built on the site where the mess hall once stood. From there we called our former commander Larry Medlin via cell phone, but the quality of the connection left a lot to be desired - no doubt due to the adverse weather.
IN THE GASTHAUS
When we returned from the hike we retired to the "Landgasthof Benker" for lunch and a long afternoon of rehashed memories. There we were joined by John & Renate Flood, Ken & Irene Knorr, Hertha Stelzel and Ty Pinney. As the youngest Schneeberger present, Ty bought a round of drinks for everyone. We're all looking forward to seeing Ty at our next get-together! The press coverage we received before the event also attracted some local residents from the surrounding area who were in search of information about former friends. I have already set the wheels in motion to find these people.
Due to the cold weather it was difficult to find anyone willing to go outside and stand in front of the webcam focused on the Marktplatz. Unknown to us Phil Ward was poised at his computer back in Kansas ready to save any and all webcam photos of the "usual suspects." He managed to save two: at 2 p.m. Dave Fenwick and his friend Ernie were caught walking down the street. When the last group emerged from the Benker just before 7 p.m. we found a bunch of well-lubricated (by their own admission) Berlin tourists standing in front of the church in hope of being caught by the webcam at the appointed time. We joined them. The photo saved by Phil (sat1900.jpg) is attached. Phil will post both the 7 p.m. and the 2 p.m. photos on his website soon. Unfortunately, the photo is so dark that it is impossible to recognize anyone. The Berlin tourists are in the back row. In the foreground are: Elisabeth Brundage, Heidi Pike-Treute, Hertha Stelzel, Gunter Zeissler, Sam & Rosie Hays, Ed & Teresa Railsback. Take my word for it. Next time we'll stand closer to the camera.
For those of us living in Germany the four-day Easter weekend has always been a convenient time to meet in Bischofsgruen. But several people back in the states have told me that Easter is a time when they get together with their families and is thus not a convenient time to make the trip across the Big Pond. And we all know that April weather is very fickle: one day it's warm and sunny, the next day it's rainy, snowy, windy, foggy, etc. Summer is not a good time for residents of Germany, because many of us are on vacation in other parts of the world. Gunter suggested that October would be an ideal time for our get-together. Fall weather in Germany is generally pleasant and the tourists are gone. Accommodations in Bischofsgruen and airfare to Europe are also cheaper at that time of year. How does an October reunion sound to those in the USA? We German residents will probably still continue to get together in Bischofsgruen at Easter, but many of us would have nothing against making two treks up the Hill every year.
THE ULTIMATE NOSTALGIA TRIP
At the reunion I presented 2 CDs with all the familiar tunes spun b yGunther in Tanzcafe Reissmann from 1964 to 1969, and I have plans to complete the 60s set with a third CD featuring hits from 1960 to 63. I found a complete list of all the German hits from the 60s on the Internet, and downloading the tunes via Napster was easy work. These are not songs that appear on the record industry's list of "copyright protected recordings." I will make the CDs available to everyone out there in cyberspace very soon at cost plus postage. Look for an e-mail from me in the very near future. The CDs provided the background music for our get-together in the Benker.
PHOTOS, PHOTOS, PHOTOS Dave Fenwick, Sam Hays and Fred Foltz dug into old shoe boxes and came up with some more interesting photos from the 60s. I will scan, caption and forward them to Phil ASAP. Andreas Gewinner was also kind enough to make available to us a large stack of Schneeberg photos on file at the Nordbayerischer Kurier including the overhead shot that ran with the article. I will also scan these photos and forward them to Phil.
Several Bischofsgruen residents were able to identify the girl in the photo that accompanied the Schneeberg article in the Nordbayerischer Kurier. The attractive woman in the photo ("unknownlocalsgi.jpg" under KenPelfrey's Scrapbook, Reissmann's Tanzcafe) is Helga Zeitler, who now lives near Braunschweig.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE LIST
It was a pleasure to welcome HEIDI PIKE-TREUTE to our reunion group this year. Heidi met and married Bill Pike (a 98G CZ) while Bill was stationed on Schneeberg in 1963-64. Heidi and her second husband Rolf recently retired and moved back to Bischofsgruen. Heidi told us that then Capt. Medlin rented an apartment from her parents back in the mid 60s. They thought Capt. Medlin was a nice enough guy, but they said that the neighbors constantly complained about wild parties that sometimes lasted until dawn. Heidi says that Bill Pike became a social dropout and now lives in seclusion "somewhere beyond the Tatra Mountains" in the Czech Republic.ELISABETH BRUNDAGE and HERTHA STELZEL can now be reached online. JOHN AND RENATE FLOOD are now online in Marktredwitz: In my last update I mentioned a new Schneeberg Website created by ROBERTSMITH but failed to add him to the "new additions" section. Robert ran the Hill during its final days in the late1980s. Check out his Website for some good photos of the site before it was "decommissioned." That's it from Frankfurt. Now it's time to warm up the scanner. Ed
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Bisch cam picture of the 2001 Reunion Gang:
What do you think is this the Reunion 2001Gang????? Next year they have to get closer to the camera ....... Ed confirmed this (19:30) is them and a few drunk Berliners in back of them. The 14:00 hours picture is of Dave Fenwick with his friend Ernie walking across the street. Next year we'll get better pictures.
From Ed: After magnifying the photo (10:30) and consulting my wife, I have been able to identify a few of the people in it. On the left between the two people in white is Heidi Pike-Treute. She was the only one wearing a red jacket. The tall guy with white sleeves next to her (to Heidi's left) is Dave Fenwick. The guy in the white coat on the far left (to Heidi's right) is Gunther. The two guys on the far right in the photo are the journalists Andreas Gewinner and Peter Engelbrecht. The front of my car can be seen on the far left directly behind the station wagon with the open lift gate. This must have been before the Burgermeister's speech. I was down the street buying postcards and Sam was in the bakery buying rolls at the time. Ed
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Here's the picture from the Kurier:
Scroll down for the translation.
Nordbayerischer Kurier – 17 April 2001
SEARCHING IN THE SNOW FOR TRACES OF YEARS GONE BY
Ex-GIs hiked into the past – Special trip from the USA
On Saturday Northern Bavaria’s highest mountain was the destination of an unusual hike amidst snow flurries in below-freezing weather.
A group of Americans, who served in the military on Schneeberg during the 60s, got together again at Easter in Bischofsgrün to return to the place they once worked. They were accompanied by friends and acquaintances from Bischofsgrün and the surrounding area. One of them, Dave Fenwick, traveled all the way from the USA for the occasion.
The also called their former captain in the USA via cell phone to say hello. And even after more than 30 years the now graying veterans still addressed their now retired superior with "sir." Afterward they exchanged memories and photos until the evening hours in a Bischofsgrün Gasthaus. The veterans plan to meet again next Easter.
German-American summit meeting: former US soldiers with friends from years gone by hiked back up Schneeberg to the place where they once worked. Photo: Gewinner
(From Left. Sam & Rosie Hays, Elisabeth Brundage, Fred Foltz, Teresa Railsback, Dave Fenwick, Heidi Pike-Treute, Uwe Mendisch, Ed Railsback, Gunther Zeissler)
Translation: Ed Railsback
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