Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacations At The Platterhoff Hotel - Garmisch Germany

As a military brat (read dependent of career military man) I was very fortunate to travel a lot. Most of my childhood until age 11 was spent in Italy and Germany. We did a lot of traveling and one of our more common destinations was Garmisch and Berchtesgarden in the Bavarian Alps. The U.S. military had several places that had been converted into hotels for both officers and enlisted men and their families. One of those places was the Platterhoff Hotel later renamed the General Walker Hotel in the mountains of Obersalzberg.

This one time retreat of the Nazi elite had survived WWII although heavily damaged in bombing raid. The area was eventually rebuilt and in the late 50's through the late 90's and served as an R and R stop off for American troops and their families.

As a kid the place was both great and eerie at the same time. Wide open views of the German Alps were seen from virtually every spot in the hotel. But at the same time the hotel sat under the shadow of the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's mountain hideway. Walking down the long corridors with antlers mounted the entire length definitely gave the place an old world "huntsman" feel. At night you could sit on the terrace and see lightening off in the distance. Looking down over the ledge were the ruins of the SS barracks.

One of my memories is of an old Bavarian zither player in the restaurant who would sit a full large bottle of beer on his head and play his zither while rocking back and forth. Why that has stuck in my head after all these years is beyond me. I have found a few photos online of the Platterhoff Hotel which are included here. They came from www.USArmyGermany.com and www.ThirdReichRuins.com

I will have to dig deep in our footlocker of memories and see what I can find to scan in and show here.

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