However, Bielefeld, das gibt's doch nicht literarily means the town of Bielefeld is a fake, it does not exist. Since 1994 this so-called Bielefeld Conspiracy is a running joke on the Internet and on German television. I was reminded last week when a feature article in the Badische Zeitung came back to it.
Red Baron never was in Bielefeld but I read the name for the first time on July 21, 1944, standing on a platform of the Paderborn station waiting for the train to ... Bielefeld. Why do I remember that particular date? While my family was waiting on the platform my father went to the entrance hall, bought a newspaper, came back, and told us: Yesterday an assassination attempt on Hitler failed. The train drawn by a steam locomotive eventually arrived and dropped us off at Hövelhof, a village with the only feature that a single track to the town of Gütersloh branches off from the double tracks to Bielefeld.
|I am astonished looking at the picture of the Bahnhof in Hövelhof on ©Wikipedia.|
It has not changed over the last seventy years.
|Red Baron's Pacific Lok of 1940|
The other small town in Germany that made it into the Badische Zeitung is Goslar located at the foot of the Harz mountains. Red Baron was there twice so it definitely exists. Goslar is the site of a Kaiserpfalz (Medieval Imperial Palace) and its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|Wilhelm der Große aka Wilhelm I, first Kaiser of the Second Reich, |
in front of the Kaiserpfalz in Goslar.
The glassed windows are from the 20th century.
|Bill Murray, Burkhard Rösner, and George Clooney at Steinberg-Alm (©ARD)|