When the past came to visit Klithedegården’s BB
During our 11 seasons with Bed and Breakfast,
we have been visited by the most amazing people
from all over the world. But the greatest experience
came not only from another world, but also from
another time. One late November night, it knocked
on the door, and my husband Morten opened.
Outside in the winter darkness stood a middle-aged
German gentleman. He had rented a holiday home
in the area but had arrived too late to get the key
and had to nd a lodging for the night. The next
morning, I served breakfast and, as I use to do, I
talked to him.
What are you doing here - in November - alone? It
was a little strange. Yes, I would like to see the area,
where my father was trained as a soldier in 1940. I
asked him: You mean your father was a soldier here
in 1940? No, my father was a recruit at the barracks in
Ulfborg. I had to disappoint him with the fact that it
was wrong. There are no barracks in nearby Ulfborg.
But he was annoyed and pulled out a picture
book. Big was my surprise when I opened it and
saw black and white images in hundreds from the
war, including some from our area. Young German
soldiers exercising in front of the school in Ulfborg,
practicing in the dunes in Husby and eating cake
with Schlagsahne at a café in Ulfborg.
But from where did your dad have all the photos,
I asked. He replied that his father had carried a
small Kodak Retina camera in his left breast pocket
throughout the war. As a writer and scripter, my
curiosity was aroused. I asked if he would give me
permission to write a book in Danish about his
father’s story. No, he said - bullocks, I thought - But
you can ask my dad as he pulled out his cellphone,
dialed a number and handed me the phone. Germer,
Guten Tag, sounded an older, but fresh and cultured
voice at the other end of the line. We had a long talk
and afterwards, I was on re. I immediately told my
husband, who was a journalist at Danish Broadcast
for many years, we are going to Germany. Sir Germer is
96 years old we have to hurry. Less than a month later,
I sat and talked to the old German soldier in his living
room in Bremen, while Morten recorded the 3 hour
conversation on video.
Germer also pulled out a shoe box with over 250
eld mail letters. Letters he had written to the family
and which his mother had saved as a treasure...
which they were too. They were a young man’s
straightforward testimony of a horrible time, and
they had never been intended to be seen by anyone
other than the family. Germer had recovered the
letters, when his mother died in 1980. Along with
the pictures and the old soldier’s own account, a
truly unique historical documentation had walked
right into Klithedegården. After seven months of
recruiting in Denmark, Heinz wrote to his mother:
Now I am a soldier, and i will see you at home.
Heinz and his friends packed their gear and boarded
a freight train in Skjern - and then headed south.
But as the train crossed the border, it turned left.
Heinz wasn’t going home. On the contrary, he and
his comrades soon stood at the Russian border. They
understood nothing. And the young gardener with
the bright mind and the camera in his left breast
pocket documented it all with his camera, and with
the stedy stream of letters to the family.
On June 22, 1941, his division was the rst to be
sent across the Russian border. World history’s biggest
and bloodiest battle had begun. Heinz was
in the front row on the Eastern Front for one and
a half year and a was nearly shot dead repeatedly.
He made it home, but most of his comrades did not.
The book about Heinz’s life was published in April
2018 and both he and his son participated at the publication.
Unfortunately, the German version came
5 days after Heinz died, nearly 98 years old. But he
managed to read the manuscript and was satised.
And I said goodbye to him at the hospital in Bremen,
and shortly thereafter his son, Morten and I followed
Heinz to his last resting place. We had become family.
Such experiences can be gained when you run a Bed
and Breakfast, where you let strangers into your world.
We have met indescribably many exciting people
with exciting stories. However, we do not expect to
meet anyone who can outperform the old Eastern
6 rooms that can be rented as either double
or single rooms. Shared bath between
2 rooms, access to kitchen, family room
and garden with barbecue. Free WIFI and
bicycles are available. Our prices are incl.
delicious and personally served breakfast
with home baking, own jams, linen and
towels as well as cleaning and usage.
Græmvej 41, Vester Husby
Phone: +45 30 69 39 75 • +45 40 55 05 25