Editorial Note: The following is a report directly from Ed & LuAnn's vacation time in Central Europe
This has been a very insightful trip and sabbatical for me. LuAnn has gotten to see what I first saw 18 years ago.
I have this deep feeling every American should seek out where their ancestors came from. Why did they venture from their homeland to America?
I am very thankful Heinrich Winkle came to Virginia in the 1700's. His offspring surely had their trials and tribulations but our family missed lots of the peril in Europe.
What these peoples have been through over 2000 years is inexpicable. I have seen the Great Wall of China, Dachau and now the parade grounds where Hitler started his regime in the 30's. Words will never match what the people of those times went through and what really happened.
Grandpa George was left to raise his family and feed the war effort. So was dad. So was I.
America really needs to study their world history and try to avoid what happened to those who didn't leave their homeland for our new homeland. We are bound for some real trials and tribulations ourselves if we don't.
In church this morning it hit me why God put LuAnn and I together. It was so we and our chidlren's families could flourish. They have. I don't want our grandchildren to suffer in the future but we all must learn from mistakes of the past. Somehow we have to get that through to them in our short few years left.
We prayed with some of the most simple and humble people you ever saw today. One grandma made the sign of the cross on her grandchildren's foreheads when they entered the church.
We toured the old Jewish community in Prague that was destroyed after the Nazi Regime by a plan of a Paris archetect chosen to rebuild the encampment. On the walls of the synagogue was the names of the tens of thousands of people who had been killed during that regime. One was a Winkler family. I never knew there were any Jewish in the 2000 year or older Winckel family which became Winkle, Winkel, Winkler, Winklemann, Van Winkle and so many derivations.
There were over 10,000 Jewish people buried in the very small cemetary only a hectare or two in size. They were literally buried them ten deep on top of each other over the 700 year period they lived in this part of Prague.
The astronomical clock I remembered after I saw it. Little wooden figures come out on the hour and a trumpeteer blows the bugle at the top of the clock. Certain buildings and the river and the Charles bridge came back to life in my memory. We have to climb to the old church on the hill on the other side of the river yet. I remember that distinctly from my first trip here.
The Czech people are very simple, hard working people like most of Europe and our ancestors. I wonder if professor Jorge is still alive here in Prague? He was a world renoun scientist on heavy metals, sludge, and environment when I met him 18 years ago. I doubt I can find him.
I found me again though and it has been remarkable.
I am glad I am curious enough to travel, think and study.