People of the Meuse-Argonne: Stefan Schweitzer

 

Even today French locals , other Europeans and Americans find themselves drawn to the Meuse-Argonne region of France. Once drawn there, many return time and again; often working on a multi-year research or preservation project.  In this irregular interview series, the webmaster hopes to introduce readers to some of these individuals and their labors of love.

 

1) What are your name, nationality and occupation?

Stefan Schweitzer, German, attorney at law

 

2) Which languages do you speak, and how fluently do you speak them?

German (native), English (fluent), French (well)

 

3) When was your first visit to the Meuse-Argonne?

1988 (battlefield of Verdun)

 

4) When did you really find yourself drawn to the Meuse-Argonne?

1988 on my first visit

 

5) What is your primary interest in the region?

Fightings and strategics from german perspective, military and civilian life in the “Etappe/Hinterland”

 

6) Approximately how many times and/or how often do you visit the Meuse-Argonne?

5- 10 times a year

 

7) What do you do when you visit?

Tours with friends, military-geografic researches by using prepared contemporary informations from personal sources, archives, regimental-histories, trench-maps etc., using special GPS-software for preparing and using the geographic informations (Quo Vadis 7, Locus Map Pro/TwoNav)

 

8) What research or preservation projects are you working on currently?

Construction of my private homepage www.morthomme.com

 

9) What research or preservation projects have you completed in the past?

www.morthomme.com

 

10) What is your favorite spot in the Meuse-Argonne, and why?

Saint-Mihiel Salient – very friendly and helpful locals, very lovely landscape, freely accessible forest- and field-districts, well preserved trench-systems, very interesting military-historical aspects, many accessible sources such as the state-archives in Munich and Stuttgart

 

11) History aside, what is your favorite thing to do in the Meuse-Argonne?

Meeting and talking to local friends

 

12) Schedule permitting, would you consider being a tour guide for individuals or groups traveling to the sector?

Not really in a professional way. I did guiding some times in the past for smaller private groups or members of several internet-forums. But because of my job, I can usually plan trips only at very short notice.

 

13) How can readers contact you for assistance or for more details?

www.morthomme.com

morthomme@outlook.com

 

14) Any other comments?

Even after more than 25 years I´ve never lost the melancholy, wistful, overwhelming and incredible feeling when I arrive back at the former battlefields.