This brief post has little to do with the topics I usually write about, save the WWII connection. Yet who can resist any historical tidbit related to one’s personal ancestry?
All American Gulicks have a common ancestor, Hendrick Van Gulick—born in the Duchy of Jülich in 1625; died in 1653 in Gravesend, Brooklyn, a Dutch colonial town—and thus trace their European heritage to Jülich in Western Germany (Gulick/Van Gulick is technically a Dutch name). In November, 1944 Allied bombers nearly annihilated the town. This photo shows troops of the 29th Infantry Division (aka “Blue and Gray”) who have attached a sign to one of the only town structures still standing, the Jülich Hexenturm, or witch tower. The sign reads: ‘This is Julich, Germany. Sorry it is so messed up but we were in a hurry! – 29th Infantry Division’
Jülich was reconstructed in the 1950s according to its Renaissance city plan. Today it is home to an esteemed research center, the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. I am thinking about a trip to Jülich this summer.