Der Volksmarch

By  Patrice Armstrong, Army wife

 

“When the Third Armored Division Artillery (DIVARTY) was not in the field, a typical Saturday might involve driving to Hutier Kaserne in Hanau on Lamboy Strasse at about 7 a.m. and getting on board a dark green Army bus for drive to a small, rural town for a volksmarch. This was generally a six-mile walk down farm roads or pathways across the countryside, with checkpoints along the way. A volksmarch was not a race – just a leisurely walk down a marked route. This was an excellent opportunity for American families and soldiers to walk and talk in the fresh air with the German people in a non-military environment. Sometimes the checkpoint would include some people with a grill selling sausages or pork steaks. At the end of the walk, often at a community center, walkers were awarded medals for completing the volksmarch. Some volksmarches, such as one in Hessdorf, had a live band at the termination point, with good German beer and lots of local food to enjoy with the music. ”

 

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