Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1945-1949 - Die ersten Jahre nach Diktatur und Krieg

 

 

 

 

Herbert Levere Snapp -
erster Militärgouverneur in Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Mai/Juni 1945

 

"Herbert Levere Snapp was born in December of 1901 in Champaign County, Ohio, the son of Leonard and Clara Belle Snapp. He was of German descent, his surname originally being Schnepff. He was an only child. His father was an engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and also had a nursery business in his later years, with son Herbert.

Snapp was a graduate of the Class of 1920, East High School, in Columbus, Ohio, where he grew up on St.Clair Avenue. However, he spent many summers and happy times during his youth near St. Paris in Champaign County, the home of both his parents.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the Ohio State University in 1924. Fourteen years later he graduated with his Masters Degree in Education from the same institution.

As a young man after his graduation from college, Snapp entered a career in education. From 1925 to 1940, he served as a teacher and superintendent of schools of districts within Union County, Ohio. Concurrently, he served his country in the Ohio National Guard. He was Captain of Company E, 166th Infantry, 37th Division from 1928 to 1943.

Herbert Snapp married Vergie Hammack of Virginia in 1929. They had one child, Nancy, born in 1931.

With mobilization of the guard for World War II, Snapp was assigned to Ft. Benning Infantry School and Military Government School at the University of Virginia. He was sent to the European Theatre, spending duty in England, France and Germany. Near the end of the war and after the German surrender, Snapp assumed duties, commensurate with his training, to command military government administrations in several areas of Germany. These included the cities of Donauwörth, Garmisch, and Passau. He served in this capacity with the rank of Major from 1945 to 1947.  Despite the horrors of war and an enemy of the Nazi regime, Snapp had a genuine respect and affection for the German people. As a military governor, his chief desire was to re-establish order and a general harmony so that the people could rebuild their great country with their own talents and labor, and heal from the wounds of years of terrible warfare.

After the war, he returned home to Columbus, Ohio. He worked for the government at the Defense Construction Supply Center, a US military depot. He retired from the Army in 1957 as a Lt. Colonel, and from civil service in the early1960’s.

Snapp was an outdoorsman, and enjoyed hunting forays in Germany while stationed in Garmisch by the Alps. He also read extensively, with a deep self-taught grasp of history and the natural sciences.

Snapp died in October of 1991 after a debilitating stroke."

This short biography was submitted by his grandson, Jeffrey P. Yoest, 2012.

   
  1943 - Herbert L. Snapp mit Ehefrau Vergie
und Tochter Nancy
Büroschild für den US-Militärgouverneur Major Herbert S. Snapp
im Rathaus Garmisch-Partenkirchen
 
   
  1945 - Sitz des US-Militärgouverneurs im Rathaus Garmisch-Partenkirchen Ölbild von Herbert L. Snapp  

"From 1940 to 1944 his military service was in the United States. He attended four sessions of Military Government School in 1944.

He left for Europe on the ship Queen Mary on 6 June, 1944, arriving in Scotland on the 13th. He was in England until landing at Utah Beach in France on 15 September, 1944. He entered Germany on 25 March, 1945.

In the following order he served as military governor of Landkreis Heppenheim-Munsingen,  Garmisch-Partenkirchen (April 30 to June 1),  Donauwörth,  Deggendorf and Passau.

He departed Europe (LaHavre, France) on December 4, 1945, arriving back in the US on December 13, 1945.

He was re-assigned and returned to LeHavre 18 March, 1946, departing Germany in November, 1946."
This short biography was submitted by his grandson, Jeffrey P. Yoest, 2012.

 

“Interesting Accomplishments and Facts”

 "While military governor of L.K. Garmisch Partenkirchen received many visits from Richard Strauss, the world famous musician. He composed a musical composition for Nancy Lee Snapp (his daughter, my mother)."

"Received the surrender of Field Marshall Georg Von Kechler."

"Inspected the wood carving school at Garmisch under the direction of Otto Blümel. Found no Nazi influence and gave permission for the opening of the school. This was the first school of its kind to be opened after the close of the war."

"Got the railroad from Garmisch to Munich repaired and put into operation."

"Arranged for the RR and cog lift to Zugspitz put into operation. Rode the first trip up."

"Declared all church heads and clergy to ring church bells and display banners. Was questioned by the commanding general of 10th Armored but proved my point of being correct in the action."

"Requested from 103rd Division at Mittenwald some automobiles. Received 17 cars which were distributed to the .....?"

"Had Oberamergau under my control. Found that the last players of the Passion Play were all affiliated Nazis (including Mary) with the exception of the one who played Judas."

"It was a glorious experience! Made many German friends and on subsequent trips to Germany was treated royally.  Herbert L. Snapp, Lt. Col. (Ret)"
This short biography was submitted by his grandson, Jeffrey P. Yoest, 2012.

 

"Dear Franz,
Yesterday I copied the 26 pages of the official military diary of my grandfather’s time in Garmisch. I’m sure you will find it very interesting about that immediate period of history of Garmisch at the conclusion of the war. I will send it to you in the mail, along with other information I have not yet sorted out and copied. I look forward to giving it to you for your archives.
Jeffrey P. Yoest"

Aus dem Briefwechsel zwischen Jeffrey P. Yoest und Marktarchivar Franz Wörndle (2012). Die Kopien der 26 Seiten des Militärtagebuches von Major Herbert L. Snapp aus seine Zeit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen liegen im Archiv des Marktes.

 

 

Quellen:
Militärtagebuch von Herbert S. Snapp
Marktarchiv Garmisch-Partenkirchen

 

Bilder:
Marktarchiv Garmisch-Partenkirchen
 

 

© Alois Schwarzmüller 2015

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