When the past came to visit Klithedegården’s BB - host article

When the past came to visit - host article

During our 11 seasons with Bed and Breakfast, we have been visited by the most amazing people from all over the world. But the greatest experience came not only from another world, but also from another time. One late November night, it knocked on the door, and my husband Morten opened. Outside in the winter darkness stood a middle-aged German gentleman. He had rented a holiday home in the area but had arrived too late to get the key and had to find a lodging for the night. The next morning, I served breakfast and, as I use to do, I talked to him.

What are you doing here - in November - alone? It was a little strange. Yes, I would like to see the area, where my father was trained as a soldier in 1940. I asked him: You mean your father was a soldier here in 1940? No, my father was a recruit at the barracks in Ulfborg. I had to disappoint him with the fact that it was wrong. There are no barracks in nearby Ulfborg. But he was annoyed and pulled out a picture book. Big was my surprise when I opened it and saw black and white images in hundreds from the war, including some from our area. Young German soldiers exercising in front of the school in Ulfborg, practicing in the dunes in Husby and eating cake with Schlagsahne at a café in Ulfborg.

But from where did your dad have all the photos, I asked. He replied that his father had carried a small Kodak Retina camera in his left breast pocket throughout the war. As a writer and scripter, my curiosity was aroused. I asked if he would give me permission to write a book in Danish about his father’s story. No, he said - bullocks, I thought - But you can ask my dad as he pulled out his cellphone, dialed a number and handed me the phone. Germer, Guten Tag, sounded an older, but fresh and cultured voice at the other end of the line. We had a long talk and afterwards, I was on fire. I immediately told my husband, who was a journalist at Danish Broadcast for many years: We are going to Germany. Sir Germer is 96 years old we have to hurry. Less than a month later, I sat and talked to the old German soldier in his living room in Bremen, while Morten recorded the 3 hour conversation on video.

Germer also pulled out a shoe box with over 250 field mail letters. Letters he had written to the family and which his mother had saved as a treasure... which they were too. They were a young man’s straightforward testimony of a horrible time, and they had never been intended to be seen by anyone other than the family. Germer had recovered the letters, when his mother died in 1980. Along with the pictures and the old soldier’s own account, a truly unique historical documentation had walked right into Klithedegården. After seven months of recruiting in Denmark, Heinz wrote to his mother: Now I am a soldier, and i will see you at home.

Heinz and his friends packed their gear and boarded a freight train in Skjern - and then headed south. But as the train crossed the border, it turned left. Heinz wasn’t going home. On the contrary, he and his comrades soon stood at the Russian border. They understood nothing. And the young gardener with the bright mind and the camera in his left breast pocket documented it all with his camera, and with the stedy stream of letters to the family.

On June 22, 1941, his division was the first to be sent across the Russian border. World history’s big-gest and bloodiest battle had begun. Heinz was in the front row on the Eastern Front for one and a half year and a was nearly shot dead repeatedly. He made it home, but most of his comrades did not. The book about Heinz’s life was published in April 2018 and both he and his son participated at the publication. Unfortunately, the German version came 5 days after Heinz died, nearly 98 years old. But he managed to read the manuscript and was satisfied. And I said goodbye to him at the hospital in Bremen, and shortly thereafter his son, Morten and I followed Heinz to his last resting place. We had become family. Such experiences can be gained when you run a Bed and Breakfast, where you let strangers into your world. We have met indescribably many exciting people with exciting stories. However, we do not expect to meet anyone who can outperform the old Eastern Front veteran.

Klithedegårdens BB
6 rooms that can be rented as either double or  single rooms. Shared bath between 2 rooms, access to kitchen, family room and garden with barbecue. Free WIFI and bicycles are available. Our prices are incl. delicious and personally served breakfast with home baking, own jams, linen and towels as well as cleaning and usage.

Klithedegårdens BB
Morten Bergholt
Græmvej 41, Vester Husby
6990 Ulfborg
Phone: +45 30 69 39 75
Phone: +45 40 55 05 25

Kontakt til Bed and Breakfastguide Danmark:
Udgiver: Lone Frost Reklamebureau Aps
Åløkkegården - Åløkkevej 60
5800 Nyborg
CVR 41516232
Bankforbindelse: Fynske Bank, Nyborg