Weissach — From A Decorated War Pilot To The Porsche

While Weissach has a long history, it is the story of one of its hometown boys that really needs to be told.

Weissach was the boyhood home of the “most successful military pilot in the history of aviation.”

No, it wasn’t Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) it was Erich Hartmann.

Scratching your head?

Mr. Hartmann was a fighter pilot with the German Luftwaffe during World War II with a total of 352 confirmed kills (I’m not making light of it, it was just an unprecedented number that thankfully has never been surpassed).

He served more than 10 years in a Siberian detention camp as a war criminal; a conviction that was overturned by authorities three years after his death in 1997.

I’d gander to say that on those cold, Siberian nights Herr Hartmann must have been dreaming about Weissach’s many festivals. The Nicholas Market takes place every year in early December and its annual Church Festival is always on the last weekend of October. Even possibly the yearly Wine Festival (mid-November) or all the music concerts held every Autumn.

One fun festival is the Soap Box Derby every October.

Sorry, it ain’t as quick the Porsche, who maintains a Research Facility and Development Center west of Weissach, bringing prosperity to town.

Then again, he could have been thinking about the old fortified church from the Middle Ages and the nearby manor house, and how the old Tithe Barn is now the local library. Or, maybe thinking about how close Weissach is to the city of Leonberg (only 8km away) or Stuttgart (18km).

Hey, anything’s possible. ;-)

A lot of Weissach’s history can be found at the Heritage Museum located at Leonberger Straße 2, and there’s a wonderful art gallery housing the work of Sepp Vees. But, the funnest (I know that’s not a real word) museum is the Museum Train on the Strohgäubahn. It’s a real steam locomotive!

Mr. Hartmann, your hometown is just lovely, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I have.

 

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