Monday, 28 July 1952:
After getting up at 6:30 a.m. in Munich, I had a quick bath using the basin. My keys to the suitcase and hangers were still missing. I guess I’ll leave them In Germany for a souvenir for someone else. Again I had a continental breakfast. The hotel had a couple of lobbies and it was raining outside. I retrieved my raincoat which was folded neatly in my bag.
Then I walked across to Tele-tel to mail four postcards air mail for 50 pfennies each. We gathered the crew up and took the long way to American Express through Konigsplatz Square. However, I didn’t receive any letters. Dorothy was back from Heidelberg by now. I’ve had it here and I’m ready to move on.
We headed out of Munich through Starnberg and then on to Oberammergau, in the Bavarian Alps. Then we ate chow in Alte Post. I had wienerschnitzel and strawberry pie. Oberammergau was famous for its Passion play that has been performed for over 300 years. It included a cast of over 1400 people who were made up of German natives or people who have lived here for over 20 years.
The Passion story was about Christ and had no pause in the play. It ran from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a two hour lunch from noon to 2 p.m. There were no artificial effects or makeup in the play and natural light was only used. If it rained, the play would go on.
A middle stage and sliding stage was used. A set was prepared and then slid forward. The supposed Last Supper table had been used in the play for over 200 years. We saw a showcase of costumes that had been last used in 1720 and Oriental costumes 120 years old. All other costumes were still in use. Swords and other objects were in different dressing rooms for each group of characters.
Afterwards I ran down to the café where we ate at the Gasthaus Alter Post Hotel owned by Anton Preisinger, the owner, who had played Christ in the theater in 1950. I got an autograph of Stak at the famous White Horse Inn. We hurried through a typical graveyard to a church. It was a Rococo Baroque church which was ornate and elaborate for such a small church. St. Amanda’s bones had been taken from the catacombs and buried there. The Trinity picture hung above.
Then we wandered around shops and at 4:30 p.m. we met the whole gang at the bus. It was still raining and little kids were there to meet us and take us to their homes. We drew cards to determine which house we were going to stay at. I drew a little girl named Betty Eder that had long dark pigtails and a cute smile. Henry and Dick were in the same house with some of us girls. We met her mother as she greeted us at the door.
As we talked with the little girl in our broken German, she was very hospitable. Alicia and Henry took the lead in the conversation, but I managed to get out a few words now and then. The little girl, Betty, showed us a picture of the surrounding country we would be seeing and explained some of the things to us. Alicia asked her about the Bible and she brought out a catechism book which was a summary or exposition of their doctrine.
There were pictures of the family in the living room. Unfortunately her father had been killed in Russia during World War II. Horns from animals that her father had killed made up decorations around the pictures. They had a beautiful stove with carving on the outside of it. I felt that I had received a really good lesson with the opportunity to stay with these people. I saw the suffering of this German family and their needs were just like anyone else.
My bedroom on the second story was clean as a pin with big feather comforters and two huge pillows. I spotted a huge wash basin and pitchers with a big tall square varnished stove in the corner. The modern toilette downstairs had a picture of an open window and a poem on the wall that said “Machs Fenster auf Lass frische auft herein der nachste wirddin dankbar sein!” At 6:30 p.m. we bid them adieu to go to the hotel post to eat. It was still raining and I had on my Vesuvius Sandles for a free foot bath.
As we arrived we discovered there was a private dining room just for us. Everyone reported each of our own experiences and good fortune. Eloise and Virginia claimed to have had ein bad or a bath. My meal was kind of like a hamburger steak, but it wasn’t cooked quite thoroughly. Sadly there was no dessert but otherwise it wasn’t too bad.
We scrambled off to the Oberammergan, the Passion play. It turned out to be in a cute little theatre dealy with our own theatre Passion play guide. He came over to sit by us and tried to explain what was going on. He said it was in a German dialect so we wouldn’t be able to understand it even if we knew German. Since we didn’t know German, we were left to decipher for ourselves with the guide’s help. However, the first part was typical music with three musicians. One person had a double guitar and another had a Zither. Two little girls and four boys sang and yodeled a cuckoo clock among other sounds. Then three funny guys in typical dress with leather shorts did likewise.
Then came the play. The play turned out to be a political brawl and I couldn’t understand any of the jokes so I napped now and then. Our small Oberammergan guide thought we didn’t enjoy it very much cause we were catching up on our sleep. We just couldn’t understand it.
Outside again the rain greeted us as we left the little theatre and headed for the bus. Some of the kids were left off along the way. They were bragging about the baths they had had and we didn’t know whether to believe them or not. Then we stopped in bar for a drink where I got a really nasty orange drink. Those of us staying at the Eder house had a dark trail to walk along to get to the house. Mrs. Eder was still waiting up for us and showed us where the kitchen was located.