At the turn of the
century, my parents' hometown was just a small country town on the banks
of the Naab River in northeastern Bavaria.
Across the river on top of the
hill in the neighboring town, there stood the ruins of an old
fortress. These two towns were nestled among the rolling hills of the Oberpfalz
and were surrounded by farmland and the thick stands of the forests of
Their town had been almost totally destroyed by fire in 1848 and was now, in the second half of the 19th century, mostly single-storied homes badly in need of repair. Life was hard. Most of the inhabitants were day laborers of various sorts and people engaged in cottage industries. This little town epitomized the slow awakening of country folk just beginning to experience the effects of an Industrial Revolution that had taken place many years earlier in other parts of Europe.
|"These people were the descendants of earlier serfs who were the servants and mercenaries of the feudal lords, counts and barons of the feudal system of the Middle Ages which had just recently been abolished. Nonetheless, they were not yet totally independent since there were still taxes to be paid on their little piece of real estate ....... to be paid, somehow, yearly to their previous owners." *|
|In 1895, my grandfather took over the lease to the family's gasthof from his father. This successful inn was located near the railroad station and had prospered from its clientele of business travelers and factory workers. There, in the Spring of 1899, in the corner room, my father Fritz Lindner was born.|
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