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Mystery in Luxembourg

Artist solves mystery.

About 60 years ago during World War II a group of soldiers was gracefully put up in the back of a tavern in Luxembourg for a few weeks. These young boys were part of the invasion force sent from America to liberate Europe and defeat the Nazis. The owners of the tavern were the  Laroche-Gaviny family. They had  a very pretty daughter named Susie. Sometime during  the time these soldiers where with her family she posed with one of the young American Soldier in front of an army jeep.  

WWII Luxembourg - a young US soldier and the tavern owner's daughter
















For years the identity of this man in the photo remained a mystery. Her son Pol often wondered who this young GI was and set about to find his name. His persistence would pay off. He knew that one of the men was an artist who had made a colored drawing of his mother during their stay.


During their stay the Laroche-Gaviny's had noticed a young soldier making drawings of the men in his unit and asked Ole Olin if he would do a drawing for them. Ole asked his commanding officer if it would possible for him to do so. He wasn’t sure what response he would get to his request, but to his surprise the officer said yes. He told Ole that it was the least they could do to repay the Laroche-Gaviny's for their hospitality and he sure didn’t want to go back to sleeping outdoors as it was a cold part of the year.


So the link was made to Ole because the family knew of the unit and the man who had done the painting and a mystery was about to be solved.  


H J DeAntonio



Through some research he was put in touch with Eldon ‘Ole’ Olin who was a young man in this group of soldiers and had made many sketches of the other men in his unit.


Ole dug through his portfolio of drawings as he knew he had drawn a sketch of this fellow and found the man with Pol’s mother..  The GI (H. J. DeAntonio) had signed his print, so Ole was able to send this young man from Luxembourg the information he wanted.  



Susie oil 1945




And so from a sketch a name was found to go with the photo and the mystery was solved for Susie’s son.

 But that is not the end of the story. A few days ago we received an email from Pol in Luxembourg and attached to that email was the colored drawing Ole had made long ago and had not seen since.


suz photo



Sisy in the dress she wore for the oil painting.







Sisy's husband today.

Arthur lives in a retirement apartment in the building General George Patton used as his headquarters during WWII. As you can see he has the oil painting  of his lovely wife on his wall.

derriere le comptoir

Sisy and her parents


behind le bistrot


wedding 1946

Suzanne and Arthur



Olin crayon 1944


The picture offered by  Eldon Olin.

Frank Marks gave this drawing to my father

May 2003, 30th in the  Tavern "CAFE DE L'ARRĘT" 365, RTE DeLongwy- Luxembourg

cafe avec parents


circa WWII


TAKEN IN 1944/45



365 rte longwy 2003



Some additional notes:


Frank Marks an army buddy of Ole's went over in 2003 to visit with Pol, Susie's son, with his wife Rachel, and their daughter Marilyn. They traveled the route of Co. B. 33rd Signal Const. Battalion. throughout Europe and Luxembourg City, where their outfit stayed in the back of the Tavern owned by the LaRouche-Giveney family, for the latter part of December 1944 through the first two weeks of January 1945, while snow was on the ground.


While there, Sisy's Mother, who did not speak English, and had seen Ole drawing some of the men in his outfit, asked Sisy to ask Ole if he would draw Sisy's picture, which he did, then Sisy's mother asked Sisy to ask Ole if he could put it in color, and that is when he did the oil.  He had to ask his commanding officer first, and that's when the commanding officer told him to go ahead and paint it, as it was the least they could do, for getting to sleep in the dry of their tavern.


Some additional information sent to us from Pol:


The owners of tavern in Luxembourg-Merl : Jean Pierre Laroche-Gaviny (my grand-parents).

My grandmother's first name: ROSALIE 


Their daughter is Sisy Laroche (my mother). She was married to Arthur Konsbruck in 1946.

Jean Pierre Laroche had a little enterprise at the back of the tavern: A carriage builder (wood), therefore the Tavern was called "BEIM WOONER"  (translation  "at the carriage builder's" tavern). The tavern's name now: "CAFE DE L'ARRET" (translation: Bus-Stop Tavern).


The exact name of my grand parents is: Laroche-Gaviny.


My mother's name first name is Suzanne called Sisy. ( the G.I.s obviously changed this to Susie)


The tavern is located in a suburb of Luxembourg-City. The suburb's name is Merl.


The exact address of the tavern:


Cafe de l'Arret

365 route de Longwy

L-1941 Luxembourg-Merl


Webmaster's note:

This was during the Battle of the Bulge. General Patton is buried in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Luxembourg. 2004 is the sixtieth anniversary of this historic battle fought over a 60 mile wide area where Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg meet.





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