Freiburg, Germany, April 24, 2006
Met Sarah at breakfast. She had taken the train from Berlin and had reached Freiburg much earlier than me. We then drove into Freiburg and found the Bundesarchiv without too much difficulty. It’s a strange place – tiny really – and slightly chaotic, with shelves full of bulging files and a computerised search engine that seems fantastically out of date. We quickly went through MSg1 and MSg2, the part of the archive in which personal accounts and memoirs are stored, and soon drew up a long list of those that looked as though they might have potential. We then had to wait for the rest of the day before anything turned up, which was deeply frustrating. I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long. We found other files to look at in the meantime, but I hadn’t realised that getting to see what I really wanted to look at was going to be such a palaver. When the archives closed that evening we both felt as though we’d wasted half the day. Still, we found some good material in the 16th SS files, and also a photograph of the 16th SS veteran we met two months ago.
In the evening, we had a look around the town. It’s lovely – very pretty and just what I’d imagined Black Forest towns would look like.