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This post is about a 16km walk from Zusmarshausen to Kammeltal. I see the ruins of the Kuno Messerschmitt assembly site.

After resting for a day in the guesthouse in Zusmarshausen, after doing my laundry and watching a few episodes of Party Down, I got up and walked into the forest.

more planes from the woods

It was more than 30 degrees celsius outside. So I felt relieved once I had entered the forest, where the tree tops covered the path and provided me with some shade. Sometimes the way through the woods was a bit hard to find, but that felt like a fair price to pay for the privilege of using nature’s own air-conditioning system.

After a while I reached the ruins of the Kuno secret aircraft assembly site. Towards the end of the war, Nazi Germany had moved parts of their strategic industry to hidden sites like Weingut I, which I had passed two months earlier.

Here, in the forest near Burgau, they were manufacturing the Messerschmitt Me 262, the world’s first mass-produced jet fighter. They would assemble the airplanes under the cover of the forest. They would take off from a stretch of newly constructed highway nearby.ย And of course forced labor and concentration camps were involved, and of course people died miserably in the forest.

Today, the only things left were a few ruins and a few crates with some exhibits about the site.

an unasked question

Before and after the forest, I noticed a bunch of posters that were protesting the construction of a railway line through the area. NO TO THE GREEN VARIANT, the posters said, and they left me wondering: which variant would they rather say yes to? If people and goods had to be moved around anyway, then maybe high speed trains were better than motor vehicles, no?

When I ran into Sepp, a retiree who was riding his bike through the evening breeze, I forgot to ask him about this whole issue. Instead we started talking about the differences between Swabs and Bavarians and other people I was going to meet on the road.

“It’s good what you’re doing,” Sepp said, and before I could ask him what exactly he thought I was doing, he added: “not many people become journeymen anymore. It’s a real pity!”


the walk from Zusmarshausen to Kammeltal:

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