Steve and I did a bit of research and learned that St. Ottilien is where many of the Jews were sent after they were released from the Nazi concentration camps. St. Ottiliens' is the location where the U.S. Army had a camp that housed the survivors. Two American soldiers, Edward Herman and Robert Hilliard, who were stationed in Germany at the close of World War II, discovered the "horrendous treatment of displaced Jews," in this camp. They stole rations from their own mess hall and smuggled it to the camp. Next, they started a letter writing campaign that caught the attention of President Truman. He ordered an investigation and it let to the end of the abuse. Hilliard wrote a memoir about his experiences at it became a film. You can read about the film here: http://www2.bc.edu/~michalcj/displaced.html This film was recently featured at the Toronto and Boston Jewish Film Festivals.
Here is Steve along the bike path leading our way through meadows and forests of the German countryside. All of Germany has such bike paths making biking anywhere a pleasure. We were just outside of St. Ottillilien when I took Steve's photo. Below is a photo of the abbey from the same bike path.
You can listen to the bells at St. Ottiliens on You Tube by clicking on this link:://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4_wI5zyzI
After leaving St. Ottilien, we headed South to Windach, a small town of 3,636 people. It was here that Steve and I had lunch outdoors at the Guesthouse of Johann Saxenhammer. The meal was beyond description. He recommended that we start with a cream of asparagus soup and then try the restaurants' famous schnitzel that everyone in Bavaria travels miles to taste.
After our meal, we noticed a church across the street. Steve saw a graveyard on the grounds so we spent some time reading the headstones.
We came to the conclusion that most of the people buried here were probably prominent citizens of this small town. What we saw next was something neither of us can explain.
BONES!! They were encased in a shrine on either side of the churches door. We have no idea why, nor whom they belong to. Just one of those mysteries you find on a days' bike ride! Below are photos of the inside of the church--truly spectacular!! There were frescoes, gilded statues, art, and religious icons that were so grand you would hardly expect to see them in a small town in Bavaria.