LOG BOOK NOVEMBER 1938 – Eddie Knight P1167
Wednesday 2nd November
We have made a log before so I guess I must keep the ball rolling. I should have caught the 12:55 pm boat on Tuesday, November 1st but was too late, so had to go on the same time boat next day, which I caught in good time. Arrived at Calais and decided to ride to Arras and stay at an hotel which we stayed at before. Arrived at Arras (incidentally it had rained all way from Calais) hunted around for half an hour but our previous hotel could not be found. I was feeling terrible by then, and looking worse as I was smothered in mud and manure from the filthy French roads. I stayed at a decent hotel but they could not supply me with any food, so I had to go out to find a restaurant and had a really good feed. Had a jolly good room and bed at the hotel and soon fell off to sleep. At 2:30 am in the early morn I was awakened by loud bangings and rattles. I had not mentioned that my room overlooked a huge railway junction. They were shunting and that finished my sleep for the night.
Thursday 3rd November
Started off about 9:30 am – still raining. Staying at Longwy – good food but rotten bed. I shall be in Germany in the morning so hope for better luck there. I must say I’m feeling very lonely and wish I had finished my holiday when Tom and I were here before.
Friday 4th November
Luxembourg I sat in my hotel and listened to the Luxembourg announcer on the radio say that it was fine here. Liar, it was raining like the devil. Came into Germany and had the misfortune to take the wrong road into forbidden territory. After being detained for about one hour the Police very kindly escorted me on my way and found me a jolly decent hotel. A good dinner, a short walk, then to bed.
Saturday 5th November
I must put my thinking cap on as I’m writing this on Tuesday night, 8th November. I reached Heidelberg Saturday afternoon and again made the acquaintance of our good English speaking friend Willi Reinig. He gave me a wonderful reception. We had lots of wine and got to bed about 2 am.
Sunday 6th November
Rather felt the effects of the night before but had a very busy day. In the afternoon I went with Willi and a lot of new friends to a football match. A little different to ours, but quite good sport. It was a draw. We came back to the ‘Gasthof Baren’ for tea (or beer) and the Burgermeister (Mayor) came in and I was introduced. He made a speech for me. Willi interpreted and I replied in English. There were about 50 people present. We then drank the health of the German and English people. In the evening we went to a dance. There were about 40 couples there. We had to pay 50 Pfennings to go in and they put an indelible stamp on your arm to prove that you had paid. A friend paid for me. We drank quite a lot of wine and cherry brandy. Two girls asked for the honour of dancing with the Englishman, which I gave them. One chap asked me to do him the honour of kissing his young lady. She was quite nice, so I did. I had to say goodbye to all my good friends that night as I was leaving in the morning. I felt very sad as it was like leaving home.
Monday 7th November
Got up about nine. I was having breakfast when a friend came to take some photos before I left. Eventually got away at 11:15 am. Nothing eventful happened and I stopped at a place called Deining. It looked all right outside but the place was awful. I had to have candles to go to bed with. They charged me five Marks.
Tuesday 8th November
Got up at 7:15am. Away soon after eight. It was freezing cold but it was alright when the sun came out at midday. Stopped as a decent place for lunch at Passau. While I was in there someone pinched my ignition key and I had to pay half a mark for a new one. Tonight I’m staying at a decent hotel in Amstetten which is almost 80 miles from Vienna. Tomorrow I shall go to Vienna and stay for a few days. It will make a pleasant change not to ride for a couple of days. It is 9:30pm. I am going to sleep.
Wednesday 9th November
I am in Vienna and what a fine city it is. It will take a fortnight to see everything worthwhile here. It is very cold and there is an open air ice skating. I shall have to have a go at that. Would like to mention the trams which run all over the city for miles. You buy a ticket and you can keep getting on and off the trams again with it so long as you keep going in the same direction as when you started. There are English films shown here I must go tomorrow.
Thursday 10th November
Wandered around seeing the sights etc. In the evening I went to see a film in English called “The Ice King” with Sonja Henie. Went with two young friends – one who can speak English very well. Got back to the hotel very late and the chambermaid opened the door for me in her nightgown.
Friday 11th November
Had a very enjoyable day with the young lady (Susi Singer) who is an artist and speaks perfect English. We went sightseeing then we had tea at a nice hotel and went to the cinema to see an English speaking film “In Old Chicago”. Had supper together and more talking. Left very late and had to catch a taxi home.
Saturday 12th November
Left Vienna. Rode very hard and arrived very early in Munich. Put up at a jolly good hotel, had a long walk then to bed.
Sunday 13th November
Left Munich very late. It was a beautiful day in places with the sun and sky like summer but at times it was so misty that I was forced to ride at 15 mph and was frozen stiff. Stopped and adjusted my tappets, and reached a very good hotel near the German frontier at Kiel. There is dancing but I have a headache so I am lying in bed. I can hear the band and it sounds very English which reminds me; the gentleman who runs this hotel speaks better English than I do. I will try to get up early in the morning and I would like to get home about Wednesday next.
Monday 14th November
I have decided to stay on here another day as it is such a good hotel and I have a few marks left, which I must spend as we are not allowed to take money out of the country. I have walked a very long way and have seen some wonderful views of the Black Forest, also the ruins of a very old castle here at Oberkirch. I must remember to recommend this hotel to the RAC. Hotel Obere Linde, Oberkirch.
Tuesday 15th November
It is another very beautiful day, just like midsummer. The sun is very hot but the only thing is the days are very short. It does not get light until 7:30am and is dark again by 4:30pm. I am having some very nice walks but I’m feeling lonely. The owner of the Hotel speaks perfect English but of course he is very busy with his work. It is very strange, but I have not seen a single English person since I left Dover.
Wednesday 16th November
Left Oberkirch just after eight this morning. The weather is getting bad. Soon leave the German and French customs behind. After I left Strasbourg it was very foggy. This cleared and it poured with rain. I am in a filthy state again. Called on our friends at Hermonville. They were very pleased to see me and I had a very good lunch. I am staying tonight at the Hotel de France in Cambrai. I have done over 320 miles in bad weather and feel very tired. I have ordered supper to be served in my room then to bed early. I will get to Calais as soon as possible in the morning. Maybe the RAC can fix me up to sail then I shall be home tomorrow and very pleased I shall be. The BMW has behaved wonderfully the whole trip although I have well and truly caned it. It is miles ahead of any other machine I have ever ridden.
(Original script from log written in pencil)
As can be seen from the U.S.A. Census of 16th April 1940, Susi Singer-Schinnerl, age 38 and her son Peter, age 2 were living in Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, where she was working as a sculptress. The trip to Vienna, taking diamonds from friends in London was worthwhile, enabling Susi to buy a passage to a new life and escape from Germany. The fate of her husband and family left behind can only be guessed at.