National Geographic : 1948 Oct
Rothenburg, Exquisite Example of a Medieval City, Is a Favorite with GI Sight-seers For centuries this now serene picture city figured in some of the great events of Teutonic history. One of the most dramatic was during the Thirty Years' War, when Tilly, commander of the Catholic forces, agreed to spare Rothenburg * provided any councilman could empty a three-and-a-half quart goblet of wine at one gulp. Burgomaster Nusch won the bet! To honor this feat, mechanical figures appear each day at noon high up on the gabled wall of the city's "Drinking Hall," and in pantomime re-enact the stunt. Douglas debates, no traditions of Pilgrim Fathers, Puritans, or Quakers. In plain Yankee slang, they've had too much Hock der Kaiser or Heil Hitler, and not enough hurrah for Hoover, Roosevelt, Tru man, or Dewey, or hurrah for any other candidate who can take defeat at the polls with a smile and then buckle down to help his victorious opponent run the nation's affairs. After three years of Army's hard GYA work some Germans still say we have failed. They're sick of the word "democracy." At heart some still are Nazis. Others who now try to help in our youth training programs say that if we should pull out, Russia will come in, and every German who has worked with the Americans will be shot. But over and over, in addressing schools, girls' and boys' clubs, or in talking with adult Germans, when I Americans to get alarmed chorus of asked, "Do you want the out?" there arose a loud, "No's." Air Force's Work with German Youth "How many of you can speak some Eng lish?" I asked at a country school near Konig stein. Of the 34 pupils, 24 held up their hands. Just then an American Air Force mobile library truck drove up, and all the youngsters who had borrowed books on the truck's pre vious delivery ran out with them to exchange for others. Air Force, commanded by Lt. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, runs six such book trucks, and up to the day photographer Joe Roberts and I were in Wiesbaden, its headquarters, it had * See "Rothenburg, the City Time Forgot," by Charles W. Beck, Jr., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, February, 1926.