Opava River, Czech Republic - Erich Hartmann
I spent my early childhood in Troppau, Opava in the Czech Republic by a river called the Opava. The Opava ran through the city surrounded by dams. From those, you could go down to the river, for swimming in the summer and skating in the winter. One time, I slid down a dam on a sled, all the way onto the ice. The ice was too weak and I broke through it. Thank god the Opava wasn’t deep, and I was able to stumble back through the ice to the riverbank. A friendly neighbour had observed me from the window, and brought me back home to my mother.
Later, my parents and I lived in beautiful Bavaria, in Prien am Chiemsee. That’s where I met my wife, Inge, and where I married her. The two of us often went on walks along the Prien River, swam long distances in the Chiemsee, and were pushed across it by the wind in sailboats. Later, we moved to Munich with our son. We lived near the Isar River. We swam in it a lot, and went for walks through the parks along its banks. That’s where I taught my son to swim.