All over the world, the 14th of February is celebrated as St. Valentine's Day. The Day of Love. There is a famous song about Love, 'I Lost my Heart in Heidelberg'. (Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren) The first time I heard it, it was during a snowy winter in Upstate New York during the Christmas season. The song was on a cassette I got from a distant relative whom I'd soon call Uncle Fritz. We came into contact when he was researching his genealogy and looking for my paternal grandmother.
Uncle Fritz originally came from a small village in the Palatinate and was a pilot in World War II. There were penpal programs ran by the Government at that time, but also by aid organizations to make the soldiers on the front feel less lonely. * It was through one of these programs that this young man met a young woman from Heidelberg. Her name was Anneliese and she came from Heidelberg.
Their letters helped them get closer and closer until one day Uncle Fritz appeared before the hair salon where she worked. And then, he told me, he fell in love with her-just as in the song-"bis über beiden Ohren" literally meaning up to his ears. I would say he fell for her hook, line and sinker.
The cassette that Uncle Fritz sent me included letter that changed my life. I have always been curious about Germany because I have German roots. Even though he and his wife only knew me through my letters, they sent me an invitation to Germany and 100 USD-which was a lot of money for me at that time-to visit them in the coming summer. I accepted the invitation immediately, planned the trip and arrived on the Fourth of July.
That was just after my 17th birthday.
At that time my Uncle Fritz was bound to a wheelchair because of a serious illness, but his son and his wife took care of me and showed me the sights of Heidelberg: The Heidelberg Castle, the city centre, the church and the Philisophenweg. And I'd made many friends that summer. We went to the municipal pool, joked around, and rough-housed in the garden. That summer I fell in love with the German way of life and the city of Heidelberg.
Nine years later I met my husband in Café Heidelberg (where else in the world?) in New York City. So the song is true for me, too. (Only that you have to quickly insert the word 'cafè' into the lyrics when singing it). For me, Heidelberg means love.
There are many forms of love. Love of your partner. Love for your child. Love for your passion, such as music or art or sports. And there is Love between friends, just because they know each other for so long.
I'm giving you a search and find picture puzzle: Here are a few examples of love from my wimmelbook. Can you guess where they are? As I have said, there are many forms of love. How many examples of love can you find in my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt' and where? And how many forms of love do you experience every day? Write your solutions and stories in the comments below.
Playing the game is easier if you have the fun search and find book, ‚Heidelberg wimmelt‘ which you get from your favorite bookstore, the Silberburg-Verlag Publishing House or the online booksellers of your choice.
(* I would like to make it clear here that I am only reporting about the past. The atrocities, destruction and hatred that were spread by the Nazis cannot be justified and should never be repeated – although if I fear that the world is currently back to this point of its cycle. The world needs more Love)
Because I have decided to teach my readers how to draw and develop these Wimmelpicture stories, I want to give you the unique chance of participating and being drawn in my 'Wimmel mit! Online Wimmelpicture Project'. Apply here.
Don't let the formalities scare you off. Your privacy is important to me (and I try to comply with the strictest interpretations of European law). I will not share your email address. You will receive an email with a download link from me. The linked form explains legal stuff and has room for you to write about yourself.
Download it, fill it out and send it along with your photos back to me. There are no costs for the selected participants. That's it. Pretty simple. Become part of Wimmel mit! The Online Wimmelpicture Project!
See you next week!