The Mountain Lodge, Oberursel in September 2019

This is a visual tour of the Mountain Lodge and its surroundings. Since the first tenants/owners moved in around 2015, not much has been written about this historic building.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel
Mountain Lodge Oberursel

Coming down on the right side of the building, towards the meadows.

The chapel (center) is still there.

Yes, and there is some graffiti too.

Camp King Oberursel and the Berlin Airlift 70th

On 3 Feb 2019, our Camp King research group invited the public to a presentation about the ‘Berlin Airlift’ in commemoration of its 70-year anniversary.

It was held at the Kinderhaus at Camp King in Oberursel, and had a good number of visitors. All the chairs were occupied.

Mr. Manfred Kopp, also known as Mister Camp King, opened the event with a few insights of how a couple of ladies at Camp King at that time helped trigger the Berlin Airlift.

Ms. Sylvia Struck talked about the launch, logistics, costs, and impact of the Berlin Airlift.

Sylvia Struck

Ms. Maren Horn explained the connections between Camp King and the Berlin Airlift.

Maren Horn

Towards the end, Mr. Andi Andernacht (center) interviewed two contemporary witnesses, Mr. Beilfuss and Mr. Albrecht. Both had been in (and around) Berlin during the time of the Airlift.

Contemporary witnesses Erwin Beilfuss (left) and Günter Albrecht (right)

The local newspaper Usinger Anzeiger published the following article: Die Berliner Blockade und was Oberursel damit zu tun hat.

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

Bomber B17 Delegation visiting Camp King Oberursel, Germany

Eleven relatives of the B17 crew (shot down in August 1944) came to Camp King Oberursel to follow the whereabouts of the five crew members interrogated at Camp King.

Mr. Manfred Kopp, also known as Mister Camp King, welcomed the group and later on, historian Ms. Susanne Meinl (the one in charge of organizing this Germany-wide tour), also joined us.

Here, Mr. Kopp explains Thomas Kilpper’s art work. The artist used the old wooden floor of the former basketball gym to carve events and memories of the U.S. occupation time. This relief art was then poured into cement, and can withstands any kind of weather (our first rainy day in months…).

Visitors chuckled at first, when they realized the former Commander’s House was now an after-school day care center.

This very house, today’s Kinderhaus, was built in 1921 by a Jewish professor from the Frankfurt University. He was one of the first ones to come out to Oberursel to help start classes in farming, which was by then required from university students.

In 1939, this same house did not meet Nazi standards anymore, and had to be changed into a more German look: the half-timbered house.

The visitors enjoyed this presentation given by Mr. Kopp, and they also had many questions.

One question was – is there any knowledge of POW abuse during the interrogation process? The historian, Ms. Meinle, responded with ‘Yes, they turned up the heat in the room’.

Presentation at the Kinderhaus, Camp King Oberursel

I spent 2 1/2 hours with the delegation. By then, they were ready for lunch (catered from somewhere), two more visitors joining the tour had to be picked up from the airport, and the tour would continue.

One of the visitors was a 90-year-old lady, the widow of waist-gunner, Richard C. Huebotter. We all had a little chuckle, when she joked Mr. Kopp was still young at 85 years of age.

My role in this was to lend a helping hand, such as help greet the visitors, serve drinking water, and get everyone’s attention when moving to the next point of interest.

Bomber B17 ‘Hard to Get’ Delegation of Relatives coming to Camp King, Oberursel

A delegation of 11 relatives to the bomber crew B17, shot down near Rheinberg on 26 August 1944, is coming to Oberursel to learn more about this fateful day.

Manfred Kopp, the local historian, and I will welcome the group this coming Friday, 24 August 2018, at one of the Camp King facilities for the afternoon. After that, they will go to Aachen.

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26 August 1944

After being hit, three crew member die on board of the plane, while others try to get away by parachuting. Gunner Michael Vlahos is dead by the time he hits the ground,  gunner Richard Huebotter falls into the Rhine River, and is saved from drowning by a German, and then turned over to the German Forces.

While on the train to Oberursel Dulag (Transit Camp), two of the survivors are able to escape. Charles Evans and Harvey Purkey are caught and turned over, in the name of “self-justice”, to the population in the Hessian part of Groß-Gerau. A mob of 300 townspeople attack them with stones and iron bars. Severely injured, they try to get away, but then are beaten to death by two German soldiers (these two soldiers were hanged for their crime in 1946).

The other three – Huebotter, Dean Allen, and James Carey, are interrogated for a week at Camp King, before being sent off to a prison camp. At the end of the war, they are able to return home to their families in the U.S.A.

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The Institute for Stadtgeschichte is looking for contemporary witnesses at: 0209 169-8551 (isg@gelsenkirchen.de) or historian Ms. Susanne-Meinl@web.de

If you know a contemporary witness, please ask them to get in contact with one of us. Thanks.

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