|Ernst Janssen with the mystery British motorcycle|
|Ernst, in the late 1920s, on the right|
|Ernst off to war, with his sister, one of his brothers and his parents and his beloved motorcycle|
Early on in the war, he was shot down over the Irish Sea and, after being a P.O.W. in England, was sent to Barton Fields Camp in Canada. After the war ended, Ernst was finally repatriated to Germany in November of 1946, having spent about a fifth of his life as a prisoner. Rolf tells me his whole family loved strawberries, but Ernst never ate them because he had to pick them as a P.O.W. in Canada. Ernst may have been in the Luftwaffe, but he was no Nazi. Rolf remembers that as a young boy he went to a party where the kids given Dinky toys as presents. Rolf was given a tank and, when he showed it to his dad, Ernst said that it was nice that he was given a present, but they didn't have that kind of toy in their household, and the tank disappeared.
Ernst courted Rolf's mom, Antonie, on a motorcycle. One time, when they were returning from a trip, Ernst stopped and told Antonie that if he was going to marry her, she had to know how to ride a motorcycle. He showed her how and she rode him back the rest of the way. Apparently, this was Ernst's way of proposing to Antonie and her way of accepting.
They bought the ruins of a bombed out shop, rebuilt it, and started a motorcycle dealership in Hasselt in far western Germany, some 20 Km from Holland.
|Antonie on the left and Ernst in the middle building their shop out of the rubble.|
|Janssen's Hasselt dealership in Feb. 1953|
|Rolf's mom, Antonie, with her NSU pony|
|Ernst instructing on an NSU Prinz transaxle|
|Another view of the Hasselt dealership with Antonie in the entrance way. The shop morphed into an auto dealership which Rolf's older brother now runs.|
|I don't really have any info on this photo other than that's Ernst and Antonie to the left of #102, which looks to be an NSU Max. There must have been a road race in town.|
So, if anyone can identify the British single in the first and third photo, please add a comment below.