Herbert Grimm’s personal accounts about war, friendship, camaraderie and survival were the highlight of the weekly Stammtisch April 24 at the Zum Stern restaurant in Baumholder.
Grimm, who was injured while serving as a paratrooper in Africa during World War II, is a long-time supporter of the U.S. military community and author of two books about Baumholder. At least 20 U.S. community members attended the Stammtisch.
Grimm, 89, is a local historian and author of the book “50 Years of Americans at Baumholder.”
His overarching theme at the Stammtisch was about the presence of Americans in Baumholder for the last 50 years and about his personal experiences with the Baumholder military community.
A “Stammtisch” is an informal gathering of locals who meet on a regular basis for conversation and camaraderie. This particular Stammtisch is regularly frequented by local and U.S. community members. It was founded by Chaplain (Capt.) Donald Smith from the 16th Sustainment Brigade. The group meets at 6 p.m. every Wednesday at the Zum Stern restaurant. The gatherings are open to everyone and feature one special guest each month.
The April 24 Stammtisch was exactly 70 years to the day when Grimm was severely injured for the third time during World War II in Africa while battling British troops.
“It took 28 hours until I was treated by the first medic,” he said.
His injuries were so severe that he was transported to the U.S., as a prisoner of war, for treatment.
“I had to undergo surgery five times,” Grimm said. “The U.S. doctors saved my life, and I am very thankful for this.”
Grimm also talked about the history of Americans in Baumholder and explained the economic and social impact Americans have had on Baumholder.
After the war, Grimm returned to Baumholder and worked for the local administration. He was so impressed by how the Americans treated him that he has focused on making Baumholder a second home for American Soldiers and their families for the last 50 plus years.
The profits from the sale of his books find their way back to the U.S. military community. Grimm is a supporter of the youth in the community and has frequently donated funds that select high school seniors may apply toward furthering their education.
When his wife died recently, Grimm established an account for people to deposit funds in lieu of flowers. Grimm then donated all of this money to support the welcome home celebration of Baumholder’s former 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
During the Stammtisch, Grimm conducted a drawing for one of his personally signed books. The lucky winner was CW1 Scott Fether.