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Nothing stays the same. Only change is constant. A long time ago, in 1866, Christian Gerlach the Third built the Gerlachs’ ancestral home here in Niederwerbe. In the meantime, more than 150 years have passed in the Waldecker Land. Today, the ancestral home and the later inn have been transformed into a modern flair hotel. The world, Germany, Hesse and our village have changed completely since then – both in terms of the landscape and, above all, politically.

Hotel Werbetal

From crises to continuity

Peace is such a great good that even in the realm of earthly and transient things, nothing more pleasant can be heard, nothing more desirable can be desired, and ultimately nothing better can be found.

Augustinos 354 – 430

A clever mind, this Augustinos. What he knew and wrote back then still applies today. After all, what could be better than living in peace, freedom, justice and prosperity? To be surrounded by friends and friendly neighbors in the heart of Europe. It was not always like this. Here you can read about what our ancestors have had to go through over the last few decades … A look back from the perspective of my father, Christian Gerlach VI, on the day of his golden wedding anniversary, which he celebrated with my mother Lydia in 2006 …

It is chiseled in stone at the entrance to our house:


A century in the life of the Gerlach family

The marriage between Christian Gerlach and his wife Eliese, née Weinreich, produced 6 children: 3 sons and 3 daughters. In 1899 Christian Gerlach, my grandfather, a farmer and innkeeper, took over the inheritance. He died in 1915, aged 51, leaving behind 5 children: our father, aged 14, and Aunt Lieschen, aged 2, the youngest. Those were hard times for his widow Marie, née Schulze from Rhadern: World War II, inflation and the Great Depression.

In 1926, our mother Margarete, née Waid, married into the Gerlach family. She was the hard-working and skillful daughter of the district forester Karl Waid from Kleinern and his wife, née Wiesemann from Waldeck. Two children were born, my sister Marlies and myself. The main focus was on farming, but at the same time business was going well. As all profits were reinvested in the business, not a year went by without building work and additional facilities. In the 1930s there were already rooms with washbasins and running water, cold of course.

The favorable development was interrupted by the 2nd World War. After the end of the war, however, and especially after the currency reform in 1948, guests began to arrive again. People were slaughtered because they had to do without a lot and were very hungry. We didn’t have a menu – but we served good food. In the spring of 1950, we modernized our dining room and a new bar with electric refrigeration was purchased. And so it went on.

In 1956, I married Lydia, the eldest daughter of master butcher Otto Scherf and his wife Anna, née Mann. Our children Annegret and Christian (now the seventh) were born. In 1971, our father died at the age of 70. This led to some changes: Dairy farming was discontinued and the business shifted more and more to catering. In 1988, our mother Margarete died, almost 81 years old. It was her wish, and she lived to see it, that our barn was demolished and the new guest rooms were built in its place.

As the children of our hard-working parents, we also inherited and lived their attitude to life: always forwards, never backwards, working hard ourselves, looking after customers and guests, at least as well as our colleagues. Paying attention, recognizing potential sources of error at an early stage and trying to eliminate them quickly. This self-commitment has brought us forward and we have achieved a lot.

Building on the achievements of our parents and the constant help of our children Annegret and Christian as well as our children-in-law Heike and Norbert, we were able, with God’s protection and help, to expand our village inn to its current importance. Our five grandchildren Dana, Jan, Christian VIII, Lisa and Johannes are now part of the next generation.

The future-oriented extension that our children have now completed is proof of this: They also have confidence in the future and in their ability to work. We wish them health, happiness and God’s blessing. Blessed are those who remember their fathers with pleasure, who investigate their nature, their customs, who walk the paths they once trod.

Christian Gerlach the VI