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Urban Agriculture: A True WWII Story from Mannheim, Germany

Stollenwörthweiher community gardens, second largest garden colony in all of Germany. See map here.

My great grandfather said Hitler could just kiss his ass

By Patty Cantrell
Regional Food Solutions
Oct. 5, 2010
Patty Cantrell founded the Michigan Land Use Institute’s entrepreneurial agriculture program in 1998.


My family here in Germany, where I’m visiting this week and next, has a favorite story about my great grandfather, Karl Bader. After already fighting in World War I, he stayed on the home front during the next war, taking care of his wife and two daughters. He did the best he could with a cellar for bomb shelter and a garden for what food they could raise there in the industrial city of Mannheim on the Rhine, one of the most bombed parts of the country during WWII.

In the chaotic last weeks of the war, the Nazi government called on all the older men not yet fighting to take up arms and defend the country. The story goes that my great grandfather said Hitler could just kiss his ass, and he started planting another garden that spring instead.

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October 16, 2010   2 Comments