Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Drinking Beer Where Nazis Drank Beer

Santorini Greek Restaurant, Erlangen

Undated photo of Huburtus-Note Berg Brau sign

Last month, when I arrived in Erlangen, I decided to have dinner the first night in a Greek restaurant named Santorini. It is located at 55 Friederichstrasse. I was the first customer in and while ordering and eating, I had a chance to chat with the owner, a Greek lady.  I told her that I was very familiar with the place since during my time as an MP in Erlangen in the 1960s, I had spent considerable time there. At that time, it was known as one of Erlangen's rowdiest GI bars. She told me that she had heard stories about her restaurant's past.

The original name of the establishment was Huburtus, a name that survived up to the time I was there in the late 1960s. It was established in 1928 and quickly became in drinking place for Nazis. In 1931, the local Nazi paper, Kampf, had ads for Huburtus as a place for SA folks to drink. Coincidentally, the beer being served there was Bergbrau, a local brewery from nearby Fuerth. It was still the beer being served when I was there. (The current establishment now serves Kitzmann beer, Erlangen's biggest brewery.) To my knowledge, Bergbrau is no longer in business.

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After the war, Huburtus became a GI bar. In my era, the Americans referred to it as "George's" after the then-current owner. He either died or was divorced, and his wife Renate became the owner. She later married an American officer named Tom. (They have both since passed on.)

Huburtus (George's) during Fasching 1968. That's me in the red sweater. As you can see, I am deeply contemplating sitting and drinking beer where Storm Troopers once sat and drank beer.

Above: This is Gertie, our German waitress. She knew every four-letter word in English, and we loved her.

Since then in the 70s and beyond, the bar went through a succession of names, Cheers, Sports Bar, Schlothex and Mucho Loco before becoming Santorini.

If you happen to be in Erlangen, stop in. The food is good and you may even see my ghost trying to break up a fight.

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