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Posted on Aug 17, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

In the Footsteps of Heroes

By Chad Weisensel

Day 12. Tuesday May 22nd. Dachau, Germany.

Today was going to be one of those days when you asked yourself, why did all this happen? We had the chance to visit Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. There are still some of the buildings in which these men were held. We were able to see many photos of this work camp and some of the conditions these men had to endure. It was certainly a very sobering experience and certainly one that still makes you angry.

Words cannot describe the horror of many of these camps, some were worse than others. Today as I walked around the camp there were many younger school children touring the site. For these kids it was quite apparent that this was another day off from school, many of them just running around and having fun. At first it upset me but after a while I realized this was just the innocence of youth at its best. I pray that when they are older they understand what happened here and that it never happens again.


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We also had to say goodbye to one of our tour guides. We dropped off Jake Powers at a hotel outside of Munich. We shook hands took a few quick pictures and Jake was heading back to the States.

Day 13. Wednesday May 23rd. Berchtesgaden, Germany.

As we checked into our final hotel on the trip you couldn’t help but notice the breathtaking views in every direction. Last year I had the opportunity to see the first mountains of my life in Colorado, the views in Breckenridge were excellent but this was something different. In every direction there were mountains and views beyond description. Today deep in the Alps we were going to tour some of Adolph Hitler’s and high ranking Nazi Generals’ Bunkers in Obersalzberg, Germany. A local tour guide hopped onto our bus early in the morning and we headed to Obersalzberg. She did an excellent job of explaining everything to us. Here we drove by some of the most notorious Third Reich leaders homes or at least what is remaining. Most of these homes were destroyed by the Allied Bombing Raids in 1945 and some have been converted into hotels. Just to know that Adolph Hitler spent a lot of time in this area gave you chills. We went to the Bunkers and toured the museum as well, the bunkers are dug deep into the mountains. Inside an elaborate design of machine gun emplacements guarded the entrances. There are some areas inside the complex that were never completed, I am glad that men did not have to fight their way through these bunkers.

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We also had an entire afternoon to enjoy the city before dinner at the hotel. From our hotel we could see a crystal clear river running through the city and some shops. Ron and Judy Drez joined a handful of us as we toured the area. Ron took us to an old train station in which Adolph Hitler had used then some of us went to a local pub while others enjoyed the free time to catch up on sleep.

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  1. Hi, this is a great page and i was in the same museum: bastogne Historical Center
    it was the greatest museum ever!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hello Chad glad you enjoyed your tour! I,m the Brit who has Harold Webb’s helmet,(to jog your memory) That your veteran kindly added his name to, He
    was a good man and i bet very entertaining company, Also in ,y collection is the jeep cap and shoulder eagle belonging to Ed pepping one of the medics
    from BoB bye for now Chris Freeman.

  3. Hello, this site is exactly what I have been searching for. I share your passion for these heroes and especially their campaigns. I know that Stephen Ambrose passed away, however, are these tours still going on or are people on their own when they visit these sites. Our WWII veterans are getting up there and I am not sure if they are still a part of the tours. In any event, thank you for publishing these wonderful comments and pics as well.


  4. Kathy please contact me on the forums. My name is Chad and I am under the name creeping death. Thanks for your interest and I can answer all your questions.

  5. I am trying to find out if my Grandfather is in the jake Power’s book about the 101st airborne in Normandy. My grandfather is now deceased but I do know that we was there that day and part of that unit. Can anyone help me check and validate and let me know if my Grandfather is in the book before i spend this kinbd of money on it that I really don’t have at this time. Thanks
    I can be emailed at Thanks

  6. Chad,

    What a great briefing you gave, thank you! My wife and I want to go on this tour this May, but we were wondering if anyone has been on the tour this past year 2009?? I talked to the folks at Stephen Ambrose tours and was told that they may not have an Easy Co veteran going this May, and they have Ron dong the tour by himself. So I wonder if the tour woudl still be a good thing?
    Thank you for any feedback.

  7. Hi Chad,

    Do you have an email address or better yet, a phone number where I can reach you to discuss a band of brothers trip? I heard from you some time ago but the email address that you used wouldn’t let me contact you again.