Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WWII Reminder

We weren't informed of this until this past weekend from our dinner guests, since we live in non-local-news-reading-or-listening-land here most of the time, and we felt kinda dumb for living under a rock, but...

They've been doing construction on our main train station for months and just two Fridays ago, workers uncovered a bomb from WWII while digging...dropped by British fighter jets in the mid-40's.  They had to evacuate a kilometer radius around the train station and detonate it! Nobody was hurt, but windows shattered, the train station clock lost a hand and some fragments flew several hundred meters.  Dang. Art now remembers hearing it that Friday evening and thinking it was thunder...which rarely occurs here and was not followed by any rain or storm. {Article here.}

Of course I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to this stuff and asked Art how in the heck that thing could still function, picturing it to look like a black ball with one rope wick.  Think coyote and the roadrunner style. 

I mean...kinda crazy.  And, while on this topic, I have to recommend this book:

I read this book in two days.  It's over 400 pages and if you knew my tendency to read a book here and there over the course of months and then maybe never finish it, you'd be impressed.  It's testament to how good it is and how in need of a substantial and well-written story (instead of another crap rom-com movie from the internet) I was.  

I don't read enough real books these days...don't make the time for it and instead most reading takes place on the internet or in magazines in short form where nothing requires too much thought or goes too deep.  I had sort of forgotten how wonderful it is to get lost in a book and what a great use of leisure time reading is.  It's good for the soul.  And it's not bad for the brain either.  

My friend, Lindsey, gave me this book after devouring it during our down time in the hotel in Prague almost two years ago.  I just now picked it up.  I recommend it.   It hits closer to home when you are living over here (or when you are traveling through Germany like she was when she read it).  I understood all of the German vocab scattered throughout.  I had a better feel for the culture she describes even though it was almost 70 years ago and obviously different.  

The book's a bit different since it's told from the German perspective and how everyday German women and families were impacted.  Not to compare to what the Jews suffered, but life for the German civilians wasn't so great either.  This story shows the sacrifices a German mother made for her daughter..and for prisoners of the camp

It made me grateful for the wonderful life we have and ashamed that sometimes I complain that we don't have a car or haven't gotten to travel much.  It wasn't so long ago that people right in this very spot were starving to death..or worse.  
It's not something people like to talk about, but it really wasn't that long ago and it's important to remember.  You can get much more of a reminder than a bomb.


Brooke said...

I'll have to check out that book. I read a similar book recently. My mom gave it to me and it sat on my dresser for months until I finally picked it up and then a read it in about 2 days.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - you should read it!

Jessica said...

Officially added to my Amazon wishlist. I love book recommendations. Thanks!

Lindsey Lenig said...

Yay for the shout out!! I have been re-reading some classics lately - Pride & Prejuduce and To Kill a Mockingbird, plan to read Catcher in the Rye next.

I can't believe there was a bomb under the train station...insane!!

Niki said...

I'll have to add that book to my list. I find WWII stories really interesting. I haven't read many though. Most WWII stories I hear are in documetaries and war movies. If I lived in Europe I would have to visit WWII sites and memorials and so on, such as Bastogne and the beaches of Normandy. I love stuff like that.

Juliette said...

I cannot believe they found a bomb, and yet -living in Germany- I can. Adding this book to my list...had been waiting for a good rec. And the spring you're getting there? love! I was in Graz in 2001 for spring and it was soooo pretty; all the old buildings and the beautiful blooms...enjoy!
I owe you an email...sheesh.

Katharina said...

In Germany or around some places were big fights were (france, east europe) it`s quite usual to find bombs. I am an architect and before every new building that is build you have to check on a special card - if on the ground can be bombs. Especially if there were not buildings before (fields etc) If so (which is not rare) the "Kampfmittelräumdienst" has to come and check the entire ground for bombs and will have to detonate it. That was a normal procedure for every new building project in the architecture office I worked in.
Just thought I tell

Kim aus Kanada said...

Don't feel bad, I found out about it on Facebook! Pretty crazy, eh? (the bomb AND my sad source of local news). I too thought it was thunder and was shocked to find out what the noise really was.
Can I borrow that book? Sounds like a good read. I can also recommend The Book Thief by Markus ummm, Zsomething. Don't have the book any more and too lazy to look up the author's last name but it was along the same lines as Those Who Save Us and especially interesting to read while living here.
Do you hear the Saturday 12 noon air raid siren test in your neighbourhood? I suppose it's not for air raids any more but that's what I think of when I hear it. Another little reminder. It's good to have reminders. Lest we forget...

Amy said...

thanks for the book rec. i will definitely check it out... although i am looking for a lighter read after my current book choice.
i like your deeper posts every now and then... :)

Heather said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I just ordered it! I'm now reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet...it's really good!

Can't believe they found a bomb...so scary!

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- Carolyn