We Are Family

Wini with his family - age 6

When they decided to come to the United States, both Wini and Stefanie obtained visas by having family members who were already citizens in the USA volunteer to be their sponsors. This meant that if either of them committed a crime, tried to go onto public assistance, or otherwise conducted themselves in unlawful ways, the family member that sponsored them would be responsible for sending them back to Germany and paying their way.

Both got jobs right away. While they needed the money to live, their first priority was to start repaying the family members who had taken them into their homes and paid for their tickets to come to the USA. Stefanie got a job as a housekeeper in a private home and Wini worked as a cabinet maker in uptown Manhattan. They also went to night school to improve their English and start to learn the culture.

Hospitality is in the Holderied blood. Before the Second World War, Wini's family owned a Gasthaus (translated directly as "guest house" it is a Bed and Breakfast) in Balderschwang that they were forced to sell. It is now a beautiful upscale resort called the Hubertus Alpine Lodge - named in honor of Wini's father, Hubert. The Holderied family - all 20 members - visited there in 2012.

The original Gasthaus Hubertos – where Wini was born

Stefanie’s family still owns and operates a Gasthaus in Braunlingen called Hotel Lindenhof. It is the largest Gasthaus in the village.