70 Years After the Berlin Airlift 1948/49

We, the Research Group Camp King Oberursel, invite everyone to attend our next Open House featuring the following topic:

‘The Berlin Airlift – 70 Years Later’ on 03 February 2019 from 14:00 – 17:00 at the Kinderhaus on Jean-Sauer-Weg 2 in 61440 Oberursel.

The small town of Oberursel and a few of its temporary residents provided a significant contribution to the initiation of the airlift. I bet you didn’t know that.

We will be showing videos, giving presentations, and offering the opportunity for discussions and questions.

On a related note: In June 2013, we had the Berlin Candy Bomber, Colonel Gail Seymour “Hal” Halvorsen,  here in Oberursel for a visit. You can read more here: http://www.pension-sprachschule.de/camp-king-oberursel/the-candy-bomber-visits-camp-king-oberursel/

The Candy Bomber, Col Halvorsen in Oberursel

The ‘Notopfer Berlin’ (Emergency Victims of Berlin) tax stamp sale was an economic aid program to support the Berlin economy during the Soviet Blockade and the post-WWII period. This extra stamp was required on most postal transaction, such as letters and postcards, within Germany until 31 December 1957.

Berlin Tax Stamp on sale until 31 December 1957

German Autobahn Trivia and More

The Local Germany has gathered eight interesting facts about the Autobahn. In turn, I have a few of my own to add.

  • Back in 1847, they’d already had speed limits. Based on an archived newsletter from the town of Regensburg dated April of that same year, four people were charged a fine because of speeding in a horse-drawn carriage.
  • In 2015, the car maker VW sold 7.2 million sausages to its employees from its factory-owned sausage production. Those same employees sold 5.82 million cars that same year.
  • When you google Autobahn Germany, you get 535.000 results, whereas for Autobahn Deutschland you get 6.300.000 results
  • How much is a kilometer of Autobahn? The average cost per kilometer runs between 6 million and 20 million euro. Some parts of the Autobahn construction costs can reach astronomical heights, when it comes to adding tunnels and viaducts. Take Berlin, e.g. the extension of the A100 in Berlin by 3.2 km is so far the most expensive stretch of Autobahn: 470 million euro for 3.2 km.
  • German mini-lesson: der Geisterfahrer (literal translation: ghost driver) This is someone driving down the wrong side of the road. You might hear this on the radio: “Attention all drivers on the A xx, there’s a car heading in the wrong direction, please stay on the right-hand lane and do not overtake.” or “An alle Autofahrer, auf der A xx  ist ein Geisterfahrer unterwegs. Bitte fahren Sie auf der rechten Spur.”
Autobahn Deutschland

Autobahn Deutschland

 

The Candy Bomber Visits Camp King Oberursel

 Commemorative Site of Contemporary History

The Area of Camp King in Oberursel

Press Release

On 26 June 1948, the Berlin Airlift began.  For about one year, American and British aircraft provided the inhabitants of West Berlin with essential supplies.  The Soviet Army had blocked all connections by land.

The 65th anniversary was observed in a commemorative event at the Airlift Memorial in Frankfurt.

In this context, the executive board directors of the “Airlift Frankfurt-Berlin 1948-1949” Association visited Camp King in Oberursel to be informed about the work of U.S. intelligence services of that time.  The guest of honor at the tour and discussion was Col. Gail S. Halvorsen USAF (Ret.), one of the last surviving pilots of the Airlift.  It was on his initiative, and with the help of many of his comrades, that children awaiting the delivery of main mission supplies would also receive sweets as a sign of solidarity.  Small parachutes, onto which candies were attached, fell to the earth and into the hands of joyful children.  The name “Raisin Bomber” became a hallmark.

The meeting point was at the “Kinderhaus”, Jean-Sauer-Weg 2, at 11 o’clock.

Mr. Kopp, the Camp King historian, opened the event with a speech.

Mr Kopp at Airlift Frankfurt – Berlin

Col. Gail S. Halvorsen USAF (Ret.) in attendance.

The Candy Bomber

The Candy Bomber

Next was a short walk from the Kinderhaus to the Mountain Lodge, where attendees could walk around throughout the whole house with friendly permission by the new owner Mr Kuhn.

Open House at the Mountain Lodge

Open House at the Mountain Lodge

Col. Halvorsen  (Ret.) shared some stories with us.

Halvorsen 3

Mr. Kopp and Col. Halvorsen (Ret.) at closing the event.

Halvorsen 2

Lastly, he signed some documents and books. This was a real pleasure to meet him and listen to his stories from 1948/49.

Col Halvorsen (Ret.)

Col Halvorsen (Ret.)

For learning more about the airlift Berlin, you may want to visit and contribute to Berlin Airlift Association on Facebook.

Happy to report I was the very first one to like it. It first came onto Facebook on 11 June 2013.

In the next two posts, I will share several photos from the Mountain Lodge in its current state as well as the new plans for it.

Quote of the Day

I don’t believe there is anything in the whole earth that you can’t learn in Berlin except the German language.

(Mark Twain after his visit to Berlin in the winter of 1891/92)

Deutsche Übersetzung: Ich glaube nicht, dass es irgendetwas auf der ganzen Welt gibt, was man in Berlin nicht lernen könnte – außer der deutschen Sprache!

Germans’ lack of communication

Over the years, working on the internet and in real life, I have occasionally come across some typical mistakes made in English. As it so happened, I found one on the front page of the Curry Museum in Berlin.

This post is not about making mistakes, as I still make plenty myself, in German and English. This is about the lack of response. I take the time to inform somebody of a typo or grammar mistake made. My pet peeve with Germans is their lack of response. Say thanks for improving their website or their shelf? No.

This is not only in regards to websites, this happens at the supermarket as well. As soon as one points out an error, there is only silence. This must stem from bad experience – I can only speculate – where a mistake made results in further chiding from the customer.

This is when I have to be very clear about approaching any issue – I need to label it a suggestion, as most Germans are eager to label it as a complaint.

Anyway, on 30 January, I took the time to send Ms. Breloh, the museum director, a friendly message with an explanation to the grammar mistake.

The front page said: The Currywurst has it’s own museum!

It should read: The Currywurst has its own museum!

By chance, I ran across their website today and found the mistake corrected. But there was no friendly return message in my mail-box.

Anyone up for currywurst?

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