Baden Baden. The German Wagga Wagga? For the non-Australians among you, the latter is a town in western New South Wales which does not derive its name from “the Aboriginal word for Italians” (an old joke based on the no longer so insulting term “wog”). But what of […]
A bilingual German-Australian, who spent many years exploring in and around every German castle ruin he could find, and many more non-ruined castles and palaces than you could poke a selfie stick at. Although I lived and studied in Berlin and Northern Germany for many years, I also visited Bavaria, the Rhine and Swabia, the scene of our series, even understanding a bit more than a mere muggelseggele of Swabian, a somewhat bawdy term I prefer not to translate because children may be reading this. After enduring years of having to read classic German literature, from the poems of Walther von details Vogelweide to works such as Simplicissimus and on to those of Goethe, Schiller, Berthold Brecht and Guenther Grass, I could, without any doubt, be described as an avid German Kulturbanause. Just the kind of person who would have got on well with Sylvanus Cobb.
Trying to get a desperate message through to possibly avoid a looming disaster, a dangerous journey through a dark expanse. Where had I heard that before? It was also in Germany, but not in the Black Forest. This particular journey started from an airfield just outside Munich. The […]
Inheritances. There’s an old German saying, “Wenn’s ums Erben geht, besser frueh handeln, als zu spaet…” (“When it’s a matter of inheritance, it’s better to act early, than too late …”) There’s a fairytale castle Iocked in a bitter dispute about the matter of who inherited it. A […]
A bit of a coincidence, more names. And Cobb even explains their origins in detail. How do we respond to and interpret them? Now we hear of Irene and Wolfgang. In English, we pronounce Irene as in “serene”, with an emphasis on the second syllable. In German, it […]
Strange, that Electra’s beloved should say of Thorbrand that he may be “evil” but not “dreadful“, and that he would “never take a penny from a man he knew to be poor”. A German Robin Hood? Some say that the before-mentioned Eppelein von Gailingen was one; however, there […]
Arme Ritter (“Poor Knights”) is a fourteenth century recipe for pan fried French toast served with sweets which is still very popular in Germany today. Watch this video to see how you can fry your own Sir Lancelot. We don’t know for sure how the name Arme Ritter […]
THE FALSE KNIGHT or ROBBER OF THE BLACK FOREST A Story of Love, Mystery, and Adventure by SYLVANUS COBB, JR. Foreword The images the word “knight” conjures up might all be similar for most of us: Shining armour, bravery, jousting, glorious, bloody battles, castles, saving distressed damsels […]