I have only been in this city for two days, and already my heart is full.
Munich is where the bulk of the information I'm looking for resides, so I will be here for a full week. Im staying in this place called 'the tent' - which is an adventure in itself. The tent consists of two circus sized tents with bunk beds and floor mats, lots of grass for actual camping tents, showers, cheap food, and cheap beer. Travelers and backpackers from all over come to stay here, and I am constantly meeting new people and hearing crazy stories. It is interesting that the majority of solo travelers are men so I find myself the only female in a sea of crazy guys - but all is well.
I've been blown away with how many people are willing and able to help with my research into the Wallach family. Everyone has been so generous with their time and have been putting insane amounts of effort into helping mw find who / what I am looking for.
Yesterday I spent my time wandering the city and visiting museums. I've been in contact with the museums - but the staff is limited on the weekends so I will have to go back, still people knew what I was talking about when I mentioned 'Wallach,' and even helped me find a catalog with tons of useful information ( I will meet the author later in the week) .
I brought the catalog (in english and german) back to the tent, and showed my two german friends - both old men who have lived here for years. They were ecstatic, which was funny to see because they are usually so calm and nonchalant. They read the entire thing while I was sitting with them, and they both said they would go home and do some research, and contact people I should talk to (so helpful). One of the men when reading the book was explaining how fundamental Wallach history is to the history of Munich- that they go hand in hand.
Tomorrow I am visiting a man in Rhummansfelden, with the help of Michael Westerholz, who has been a reporter for many years. He is taking me to see one of the last remaning people who worked for my great grandfather. His name is Josef Fromholzer, he is well into his 90's, and he was the one who did most of the fabric printing for the Wallach company. Mr. Westerholz has meet with him once already, and says that he has many stories and is very much looking forward to meeting me.
My biggest hurtle is that both of these men only speak german, so I've been spending days trying to find a translator. I'm bringing someone who speaks german but not super well, so we will see how it goes. I'm going to record the conversation so I can bring it to a native german speaker who works at the tent, and he will help me understand further.
I feel like I need to spend years here to really comprehend what I'm diving into - one week in this city is not nearly enough. Every person I talk to has more and more to tell me, I wish I had the ability to stay as long as necessary - but there are other cities to see, and other people to meet.
I cant help but feel so happy and grateful to be able to explore my families history in this way. I feel like it is just the beginning to something much bigger and greater - I cant wait to see what is in store!!!