Trip Diary – Day Two – Pocking, Bad Griesbach

Pocking and my grandparents’ old house

Ami and I (we were sharing a room, as were Mom and Yehudit) woke up around 7:30am, showered, dressed and waited for our mothers, and headed down for breakfast around 9am. At 10:30, with church bells ringing (it was a holiday in Bavaria, Father’s Day, and everyone was dressed up and going to Church – many children were dressed up in native clothes), we went for another walk around Pocking, stopped by the main square (where the main church is located) and walking around some residential neighborhoods. We then decided to find the house where Mom, Yehudit and their parents lived right after WW2 (from the end of 1945 to May, 1949 when they moved to Israel). After a number of wrong turns, we found it, having passed it a few times (they had added a front section to the building around 8 years ago, adding commercial space for a grocery store).
 
There was a woman, Monika, cleaning the store. She told us that she didn’t have the key for the upstairs, but showed us around the back of the store – which had been part of the house. The storeroom was where the prayers had taken place (as Rabbi of the town, services were held downstairs in the house), and what had been a small study was now a large bathroom area. Monika gave us the phone # of the family that owned the building so that we could possibly get a key to look upstairs.

I asked how they got the house so quickly after World War Two, and my mother explained that there was a DP camp outside of town where many of the Jews lived while they figured out where they would go. My grandfather, in addition to reburying the mass graves, worked to find homes for the 8000 refugees. The allied command confiscated the house (it had been owned by the town) and gave it to my grandfather to use while doing this work. After the last refugee found a home (most ended up in Israel, US or Canada), my grandfather and the family left as well and the house was returned to the town.
 
Bad Griesbach

After this, we got the mini-bus and Ami drove us to Bad Griesbach. Bad Griesbach is Europe’s largest mineral baths. We went in and went among the various areas – all of different temperatures, some like jacuzzi’s, some with waterfalls, etc. Very relaxing afternoon. We were there from around 3pm to 5:30pm. We then walked and drove around the grounds (lots of resorts and golf courses for those coming for the baths).
 
Dinner in Pocking

Around 6:30pm, we drove the 12 kilometers back to Pocking and had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Excellent Napoli-like pizza, and I had a great Caprese salad. We then drove around the area for an hour, looking to see if my mother and Yehudit could find the location of the old DP camp, but we couldn’t – we think it’s no longer there (note: later in the week, the mayor of Pocking took us to where the camp stood). We then returned to the hotel where I was asleep by 9pm.

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The photos are as follows:

  • Bad Griesbach – central square
  • Entrance to the baths
  • Yehudit and my mother in front of their old house in Poking
  • Ami and Monika

 

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