Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Torgau was a small town I had never heard of before...but it was where the Soviet and the American forces met on April 25, 1945 and a few days later Hitler committed suicide...of course a lot of other stuff happened in between. At first the village was held by the Americans, but by July, 1945, it was given to the Soviets in order to be in compliance with the Yalta agreement.

There’s a huge Russian Memorial at Torgau celebrating the meeting of the two armies. Nowadays, Torgau is no longer part of East Germany--Russian is not being taught in the schools--and people are wondering if they should take down this monument to the 40+ year occupation of Russia in this little corner of Germany. Since there are few reminders of the horrors of World War II in this part of Germany, the people have decided to let the memorial remain, even though it is written in Russian and no one can read it any more! It still reminds folks that one time there was a ruler even worse than the Soviets!

Long before World War II, there was a castle in Torgau, called Schloss Hartenfels. It was renovated during the Renaissance! A huge set of stairs and windows were added to the Schloss, and apparently they have not been changed since then. Our guide said the windows still have their original blue paint on them. Is there a way we can manufacture paint that will last 400 years?

The Schloss was built on a slight hill, surrounded by a moat, and in the old days, the moat had 16 brown bears living in it, protecting the castle. A few years back, the citizens of Torgau decided they wanted their bears back and today 2 brown bears live in the moat. They are cared for by “Bear Mamas” local volunteers who make sure the bears are fed well (with bear food, not human food) and are given a stimulating environment to keep them active. Our guide said that many people volunteer to be Bear Mamas, but only a few get the chance.

I’m out of room for pictures! Who knew there was a limit. So I set up another blog. It’s called CruzTalking Two and it’s located at Maybe it will allow me to post pictures. If not, I’ll have to think of another way to post pictures online. I will not be allowed to add any more pictures to this, the original Cruztalking blog.

I hope to see you at my new blog! Thanks for reading!

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