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Monday, 2 January 2012

A Pniower Map

This map hung on my mother's wall for as long as I can remember. It was drawn by her father, the landscape architect Georg Pniower, and I always assumed it was a map of gardens he'd designed, as indicated by the 'P' shaped spade handles.

Looking at it again yesterday I noticed for the first time that the writing on the left is in verse. Now I wonder if it was some sort of puzzle ('for 1939'). My German isn't good enough for me to be able to transcribe the writing accurately without considerable effort, and even then I've noticed that Google Translate can be very poor when given poetry to work on. I'm posting it here in the hope that someone can one day shed light on it.

In 1939 my grandfather was no longer officially designing parks and gardens, the Nazi regime having long since decided that his Jewish ancestry made him unsuitable for this role. After the war though he became a Professor of Horticulture at Berlin University.