Peter Bach Sr. ... Who Is Peter Bach Sr.?


By Peter Bach Jr.


Peter Bach and his beloved passion: tin figures and that combined with the "History of Beer" and the "History of Fire Departments". That is, how I – how we – keep him in our memories, too.


It is the 7/7/2017: Since Yesterday, Peter Bach Is Just no Longer Here!


Peter Bach ... Sr. ( ! ) for me! He himself did not like the "Sr." that much ... Peter Bach Sr. ... died yesterday after a very long, fulfilled life. And so, as I have been thinking of creative and unusual things all my life now - like this Bach project, for example - it just occurred to me to honor my dad with something very special. Peter Bach doesn't just get any "Wikipedia contribution" from me.  That it would be discarded by Wikipedia editors for lack of relevance is likely anyway. No, I want Peter Bach to climb to the top of the first ten positions worldwide on Google. He should be found when people search for him. Today and tomorrow and until the end of time.


Peter Bach Sr. ... he deserves this place of honor and on July 7th, 2017, one day after his death, I make him an honorary member of the Johann Sebastian Bach Dream Team.



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A Very, Very Personal Page on My Website To Honor My Daddy

So this page of my website has to do with the person who is and was closest to me aside of my wife Renate and my mother: this Peter Bach, who accompanied me for 60 years and now actually fell asleep with 94 years yesterday. That was actually never projected in my plans ever. Of course, I have expected his death for over a decade – suddenly somehow. But he left us a very long time to say goodbye to us in all possible ways. Since he is not living anymore, the thought of not wanting to grow old when it ends– for me – no longer applies. Measured by what others must endure and suffer, he didn't just have a great life, but including his farewell, he had a beautiful life – and that at its best. This Peter Bach. I leave him a very special and "out of the box" necrology. A necrology 4.0 so to speak. This Peter Bach. This Peter Bach Sr., which he has been to me for three decades of cooperation. And six decades of being together.


Peter Bach Sr.: He was an autodidact. He was a rhetorician, I knew no better. He made his hobby a profession, and he paved the way for my professional life to my wife and me. Until the end, he experienced how several "circles finally closed in six decades".



South Tyrol, Lectures, Slide Shows – Peter Bach Was in Germany and Maybe Beyond the First on the Planet with that


South Tyrol, Brauchtum (... old customs), Peter Bach ... that's how it fit 60 years ago, that's how it still fits today and that's how it will fit for all time to come. Photo: Peter Bach Sr.!


Peter Bach invented the slide show - and hardly anyone knew it until now. Even long after the war, light photo lectures were something special. Peter Bach filled entire lecture halls with audiences. Small halls in the countryside and the very large ones in Germany's metropolises. Together with adult education centers and newspaper publishers who advertised such events and introduced people, after the war, to the vacation world of today. Peter Bach photographed customs and nature at that time. In South Tyrol, in Southern Germany the Black Forest, in Bavaria and there especially worth mentioning, also in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the dreamlike Oberammergau. And Peter Bach loved music, folk music. He wanted to preserve it and did so. BASF sponsored a tape recorder and from then on Peter Bach made recordings. He wrote texts. He also narrated them himself and combined them with the above-mentioned music. The equipment to "transport" these works - these lectures - was the old magnetophone tape recorder, a travel speaker - infinitely heavy - and a really simple slide projector.


South Tyrol, Bavaria, Austria ... but that consistently and preferably in jeans. Peter Bach, our boss, how we all remember him. And that's a good thing.





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Peter Bach Invented the First Optical Trick Effect and Heralds the Nowadays Internet 4.0 – I am Not Serious with That!

Peter Bach invented it. He really did. Of course, the precursor of Internet 4.0 is quite an exaggeration. And I only call him Peter Bach so often here because I want to give him the place he deserves on Google. For me, he was Daddy, Little Father, for all of us he was also "the Pebbles". Now ... he is no longer there. But not quite gone yet either. Because today is the funeral in about 4 days.


For hours, we - my dad and I - waited together, in the mountains, in South Tyrol, ideally for the sunset at the Schlern, with a marmot on the left in the foreground, an Edelweiss on the right edge of the picture, the famous little white cloud at the top in the middle - exactly above the mountain massif - it was many hours ... added up. Even today, a good cloud is only a good cloud if it doesn't block the sun. A good photo without sunshine - unthinkable for Peter Bach Sr. - unthinkable for Peter Bach, Jr.!


Of course, I got bored as a dwarf at that time and the marmot did indeed look out of its burrow, but after I moved, it whistled ... and then it was gone. The second whistle came from my father, it was the scolding. He had to be happy with sunset, Edelweiss, Schlern and little clouds and the photo turned out great. Without a marmot. Fine enough.


Peter Bach: He has turned his hobby into a dream job for two generations of Bache ... today Bachs! Thank you, Peter Bach, or rather thank you, Daddy.



Peter Bach Celebrated the First "Pre Electronic" Sunset

When do you take a photo of the sun? Not before you can look at it with the naked eye. Plus, you measure the exposure with a light meter even before that, which was common practice as a professional back then. Also, once again, remember to have film loaded and not just the final picture 36 at the ready and press the shutter release of an Exakta Camera. It was this sun in a photo that thrilled thousands of visitors to his lectures 50 years ago - more than half a century in the meantime. Peter Bach clasped the lens of the slide projector - in front of the lens - and slowly closed his hand. From the outside inwards, the image on the screen became darker until finally only the sun "shone on the screen". And then went out. It was autumn in this picture with the setting sun, with shining leaves on dreamlike trees, of course mountains in the background. The music stopped, and it was dark. Some people had already turned around to see what Peter Bach was doing with his Leitz Slide Projector. The "dimming" did not take two or four seconds, but a whole 30, and the darkening of the image was not noticed at all by the audience at first. Then everything was quiet for two or three seconds. Although: The people in the audience were whispering. A bright melody then sounded from the "magnetic tape" and Peter Bach had in the meantime - with his other hand - exchanged the slide for the one to come. This was far from automatic. With the sound of the first crystal-clear, bright tone of the following piece of music, he opened his hand in half a second and a magnificent panorama appeared as a deep snow-covered winter forest, also against a dreamlike mountain backdrop. And of course ... in glistening sunshine.


That's how they knew him in Flein, the small wine community south of Heilbronn in Southern Germany. Nice, likeable, polite, charming: Peter Bach from Parkweg, half of the "Dream Team Ingrid and Peter Bach".



Peter Bach Sr. + Peter Bach Jr. Together


Wintertime was lecture time, and so I accompanied my dad early and often to such slide lectures. It often began with journeys over snow-covered roads and in thick fog to the adult education centers between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, between Würzburg and Munich. Learning this job from scratch, that was the instruction from Peter Bach the older to Peter Bach the younger: for example, the correct winding of a cable drum. You had to hold it at an angle, so that there was a neat "coil". And no cable tangle when the next event was to start in ten minutes.


The next step on the career ladder for the smaller of the Peters was the complete packing of the equipment, during which Peter Bach, who had been announced in the local newspaper as recently as yesterday, answered all kinds of questions about the type of film, the advantage of this camera over that one or - more importantly - with which time and aperture which impressive photo was taken.


What "Peter Bach the Big" did, "Peter Bach the Little" also wanted to do. There are pictures of me with a camera around my neck from a time that I don't even remember.


Peter Bach and the Beginning of a Small Family Business in Flein near Heilbronn

At least I should learn something useful, then I could still join in. That was Peter Bach's opinion ... not in the wording. It led to my diploma from the renowned Lazi Photography Academy, back then still in Stuttgart, and to military service in the press office of the 12th Tank Division in Veitshöchheim near Würzburg. The latter was bearable because of the position. From then on it was a common path. For over 30 years and with the cooperation of Peter Bach, Sr. until his age of 83. Away from slides to electronics. Even today we - the whole family - admire his tenacity to make new contacts and then to maintain them. He "delivered" that with brilliance. For a long, long time he also worked in a team with his daughter-in-law Renate. She is my wife, by the way, but you would have guessed that even without my hint.



Peter Bach in the "Mirror of the Press"

Right, you cannot take the headline quite seriously, and yet ... he wasn't rarely to be found in the press. Dozens of reports accompanied him not only for the last ten years of his life. From the beginning of his time as a lecturer, as he called himself ... how else ... his countless lectures were reported in the local press. Because he ( ! ) replaced the lecture with the bamboo stick. His presentation was cutting-edge. For many years he was present in the papers of the republic on his lecture topics. But that changed at the end of the century. With tin figure dioramas set up, the opening event, the exhibition period itself and then again the careful dismantling and the "return of the tin figures" home, Peter Bach was again present with the morning newspaper.


The following publications ... they are only a few of many ... made Peter Bach known to a small circle of people interested in tin figures and, of course, he enjoyed them. In the OP ONLINE, the Offenbach-Post on the internet, the purity law for German beer is a big topic and there is a photo gallery with the article. THE SCHWABMÜNCHEN TOWN HALL headlines on its own website. "A (very) small history of beer. Tin figure dioramas by Peter Bach" is the title of the article. And of course, the HEILBRONNER STIMME, which was simply indispensable for my dad in the morning, also reported: "Monks, knights, regulars' table brothers". It's a long article and a beautiful picture. The MAIN-ECHO headlines their article "Smaller than a match head". The SÜDWESTPRESSE reports on the collector Peter Bach from Flein in the article "Zinnfiguren erzählen" ("Tin figures tell stories"). A report on the second exciting field of collecting, namely the history of the fire brigade, should conclude this small list.  It was published by the HEILBRONN DISTRICT FIRE BRIGADE. The internet never forgets ... in my case that's really good. That's how Peter Bach would have liked it. Today, you can still experience some of his dioramas and pewter figures at the BINDER BREWERY in Bad Tölz.



A Cool Surprise, so Much Time Later


This section (... the page about my Dad) was written much later than the rest of this, my website "Bach on Bach": At some point, even frequent writers become a little unfocused and tired. And then, every once in a while, you check on Google to see how far the one or the other page of a publication has "made it" in the search engines. You google. Also in the "pictures section". And there I found a picture - ancient, really ancient - that, I'm sure, even my father didn't know. For me, it is of inestimable value. It was taken - I am writing this text on July 29th, 2021 - more than 40 years ago, exactly one month before I met my wife Renate back then.

Peter Bach thrilled his audiences all over Germany with his "light picture lectures", and later so-called "sound picture shows". But he also portrayed his home community of Flein. He had local celebrities speak at some presentations, which could finally be presented automatically from the 1960s onwards. And in Swabia at that time, without question - for this kind of presentation - these were, for example, the married couple Ruth Mönch and Willy Seiler, the perfect artists. The razor-sharp black and white picture of the lecturer, what my dad called himself as well, shows him with a REVOX-77 tape recorder, which was still in use for decades, in the version with amplifier as well as active with some rows of slides in the foreground, bottom left. In the background, you can see the interested audience.

Roland Gärtner from Flein deserves the honor! And it is to him that I express my gratitude here and in all form. Above is the title of the presentation about the widely known wine community of Flein, extracted directly from the digital age-old show. Click here for a trip back in time


Many years after the show about the back then Flein was produced by my father - still without my "help" - Roland Gärtner, also a Flein resident, was willing to digitize the presentation about the small wine community, which had been out of date for many years. It still exists as slides and on audio tape, but the expiry date is inevitably running out. Whether it would still be possible to play the audio tape today ... nobody knows. To my horror, some audio tapes dissipated in a terrible process 20 years ago, so that in a few seconds they smeared all the sound heads, which then damaged the next tapes if the sound heads were not thoroughly cleaned. A super disaster back then. Existence-threatening.


Back to Roland Gärtner. At the time of this two-week project, he was still the primary school principal and was concerned - absolutely justifiably - about the preservation of this valuable contemporary document. In any case, the copyright at that time also lay with the municipality of Flein, but my father was pleased about the request of the present choir leader and conductor in Flein to want to preserve this only surviving historical work from this epoch of his activity for posterity. Speaking of "two weeks". Today, I would probably also spend two weeks scanning and rearranging everything. And Renate and I do that every day. Roland Gärtner is also involved in the Flein Civic Foundation. Just a heartfelt thank you to him here.


In fact, it was a pleasure for me to enjoy this presentation in its entirety, with a length of around 50 minutes, which is almost unreasonable today. With music in the spirit of the times, hairstyles that make you smile today and the Swabian commentary by Ruth Mönch and Willy Seiler. I believe, I have seen this presentation at most once in my life before.


In the meantime, the "Flein Sound Picture Presentation", which existed digitally on a private DVD only, has also been transmitted for YouTube by Roland Gärtner, plus he  managed "for us all" to upload it on YouTube. Of course, he also asked for permission for that particular step, and I was much, much more than happy to okay this ... in the sense of my Dad's wishes. 


Today, every interested person, Flein residents and Fleinama, folks who moved to Flein, and those who plan to live in Flein soon, plus those who plan to stay overnight in their vacation here, are invited to learn more about Flein, some 50 years ago.  Just click here


Only one more presentation from the last millennium, or rather the last century, namely from the 1970s, also still exists in a digitized form. It is actually only interesting for the closest family circle - even better only for my wife Renate and me. It is narrated by my father himself, because the production for the different travel destinations and the different cruise ships that were needed at that time for IAO - Internationale Apfelfahrten Organization - should be affordable. Today it represents an exciting era back then, for me the first years in our "pb-Studios Heilbronn", during which we saw a lot of the world.



From here on, we continue with the portrait that was created shortly after my father's death.


The End of the Lectures by Peter Bach Sr.


My collaboration with Peter Bach began long before I learned photography, long before my time in the Bundeswehr (... the German Army). That was when I was on photo tours with my dad. I remember photo trips in the Dolomites, partly high on horseback, even though Haflingers are not really high, and a common trip to Basel to take photos of the Morgestraich at 4 o'clock in the morning. The photos, or rather the slides, he later composed into one of the last cultural shows.


I remember that in South Tyrol, I was just "along for the ride" and shooed away the marmots he wanted to take pictures of. In Basel, however, I was already very active photographically.


Between the two events, a few years apart, I accompanied my father on many trips to many lectures that he gave on request of adult education institutions and, above all, daily newspapers. In the autumn months and in winter, when it was snowing, pouring rain and in the fog, I accompanied him to events in the neighborhood: Mühlacker, Pforzheim, Bruchsal, Eppingen and a few more are in my memory. Cooling the lamp in the slide projector with the hairdryer (... I had forgotten that above) and correctly rolling up the extension power cable (... I had already mentioned that) ... those were my first "jobs". Why blow-dry?


The first, because if you move the hot projector lamp (... to transport it packed separately), you destroy it. The second, so that the cable didn't get twisted in the narrow cable drum and was almost impossible to use at the next event: If you hold it at an angle, the cable drum, it works. But I had already explained that above. It all happened at a time when all of us in Germany still enjoyed the exclusive First German Television and still ran to the device to turn it up or down. At that time, the lecture halls were always completely filled, and the applause thrilled Peter Bach and his son (... well ... me).


At some point, Peter Bach came to the attention of the business community. First it was the publisher RUHR-NACHRICHTEN who wanted such a show about their company. This was followed by the newspaper KIELER NACHRICHTEN and later - naturally - by the local publishing house HEILBRONNER STIMME, for which my dad did a show with the Ruhrpott one-of-a-kind Adolf Tegtmeier - or Jürgen von Manger. For the above-mentioned neighborhood newspaper "Stimme" it was the first of what would eventually be four shows in two decades, and back then they were actually called "sound picture shows" in the beginning. In some houses, by the way, our digital shows are still called that today.


Big names followed as clients, for example the BITBURGER BREWERY the KARLSBERG-BREWERY, VOLKSWAGEN, KRUPP and finally many daily newspapers and the DEUTSCHE PRESSEAGENTUR. In the COMMUNITY OF FLEIN, many Fleiners and also Fleinama - that is the "natives", that is the neighbors who were born when their parents lived in Flein - remember his "sound picture show" about Flein. It was one hour long and provided information on the topic of "Flein wine for Queen Elizabeth from Great Britain" as well as on the election of the Württemberg Wine Queen in 1951. Incidentally, this knowledge is reflected today in the wine calendar about Flein.


One highlight was definitely the close cooperation with a cruise company, for which not only some, but many shows were created. Going on cruises with the family free of charge, getting money for it and also praise: How could life be better?! That was the time with Bodo-Knut Rall and his company IAO, more precisely, INTERNATIONAL APPLE ORGANIZATION. IAO can still be found on the internet with its legendary railway carriages.I wouldn't have thought that, because the IAO era ended long before the beginning of the Internet age.


At first, the pb-Studios Heilbronn ran "two-track" and produced such shows during the day, followed by the trips to the lecture venues in the evening. But soon the time when my dad, Peter Bach, Sr. was on the road culturally came to an end. The lectures took up too much energy, and it was not entirely safe to drive for hours in the dark, in autumn and winter, on country roads to the lecture locations. The cooperation extended accordingly to the production of shows for newspapers, breweries and for individual other companies. For many decades we - Peter Bach, my wife and I - were and still are market leaders in the production of such presentations for daily newspapers in Germany. Around 160 shows. Of course, technology changed. Slides became electronic photos. The slide projector had to give way, albeit very late, to the beamer, and the effects became more and more exciting. Finally, in the last 20 years, video was added within the shows, while my dad devoted more and more of his time to acquisition ...  and did an excellent job with it.


The circle began to close when he lived another five years in the best of health, namely after Renate and I dedicated ourselves to the topic of "Johann Sebastian Bach" and began to be on a cultural mission as well ... 40 years later. Not with a theme like "Travel, South Tyrol and Co.", but on the musical track. And not in the form of lectures, but with the medium of the time, the Internet.


From my point of view and Renate's, we can say that my father, Peter Bach, lived a very good life. Maybe it would have been even better without the one year in the WW 2 and without the turmoil of war afterwards, but you can't demand that. We spent a lot of time together. Also, many, many vacations. In Jesolo (Italy), in South Tyrol, in Florida. And we like to think back to those times. The time with Peter Bach ... with Peter Bach Sr.!



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The music gift "composers calendar": Peter Bach Sr. loved "black and white" ... do you otherwise know someone who has a consistently black and white living room? For this reason only flowers were a just-so tolerated decorating no-no! This composers calendar above, published in the publishing house of Peter Bach Sr.'s daughter-in-law, was absolutely to his taste. There are 33 Bach calendars. 33 composers calendars. Three sizes. 2024 and 2025. To the shop.



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