TRAVEL with pat and lew

* sights in Munich … some of which will appear in my novel-in-progress

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 12, 2012

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The primary purpose of our trip to Munich was to see the places that will be part of my novel-in-progress. Our excellent guide Chaim Frank took us to Friday night services at the new (orthodox) synagogue, and then took me on a walk to Munich’s Jewish and nazi landmarks. Chaim proved to be both knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with.

Chaim Frank with one of several monuments to Munich’s Jews


On our own, we found the Frauenkirche Cathedral, shown here as it was after WWII, the Wilhemsgymnasium library, pre-war apartment flats, and the Bayerischer Hof hotel. I have written drafts of scenes where Cardinal Faulhaber gives an Easter sermon in the cathedral, my main character Berthold Becker spends an eventful day in a rather biased history class, and a New Years Eve party rings out the year 1923 at Munich’s finest hotel.

4 locations that will appear in my novel-in-progress


Oskar Holl is a friend of my Princeton classmate Charles McClelland, and now a friend of ours. Oskar knows Munich, he is the mayor of a section of the city with a population of 50,000, and he provided a wealth of background material that I am still absorbing. When I asked him if he knew a “liberal” Jew in Munich, he called Terry Swartzberg and we all got together for a delightful Bavarian dinner. Terry, born in Connecticut, a long-time business reporter for the International Herald Tribune, explained what it meant to him to be a Jew in Munich. He is active in a program to place small memorials (called stolpersteins) in the pavement in front of every home in Germany from which a Jew was taken to the ovens. He is also about to be Bar Mitzvah.

Terry, me, Oskar and a stolperstein


We were warned by our friends Simone and Viviane that “there are naked people in the English Garden.” They didn’t lie.

in Munich’s English Garden



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