Camp King in Oberursel, Germany

For the past 25 years, we have lived next to the former military base Camp King in Oberusel, Germany. When we moved here, I had no idea how involved I would get someday with Camp King and its history.

When I saw these badges for sale, I bought two of them – one for my personal collection, and one for our Camp King Arbeitskreis (research group).

These badges, among many others, can be ordered from kasernepatches. Some proceeds of each patch goes towards Veteran Help Programs donations.

You can also contact them at: kasernepatches@gmail.com

Kids’ Sidewalk Art in Oberursel, Germany

We enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood, especially on Sundays when all the shops are closed and fewer people are around.

This sidewalk art says gute Gesundheit, which means ‘good health, and was done in front of the Camp King pharmacy. The rainbow represents a symbol of hope for all the children, who have to stay home now.

Camp King pharmacy in Oberursel

The next one, done by the same artist(s), had the same message, and was left in front of the EDEKA supermarket. Gute Gesundheit!

This one had a more explicit description of the current situation. ‘Stay Home’.

COVID-19 as sidewalk art

Ghost Town Bad Homburg in April 2020

For a check-up appointment I had made six months ago, I had to go to Bad Homburg to see the doctor in the early morning.

This was the city of Bad Homburg at 8:30. I saw a few officers and cars from the Ordnungspolizei on the Louisenstraße (main shopping road), but hardly any people.

Bad Homburg in April 2020

A sign gives explicit instructions on the current restrictions and recommends social distancing.

Bad Homburg

Around 9:10, there was a bit more life on the street (the sun light helped too). Benches are taped to let only one person sit there.

My visit to the doctor was also in a new safety format.

  • Upon arrival, I was instructed to wash my hands first.
  • I was asked to insert my insurance chip card into the machine myself.
  • I had to fill out an extra short questionnaire about the people I had been in contact with.

And yes, my visit went well. I’m free to roam the German forests.

Homeschooling in Germany has Become Legal Now

“Der Schulzwang wird fallen wie die Berliner Mauer” (source: Bildungsvielfalt) stands for Compulsory education will eventually [sic] fall like the Berlin Wall. This has happened now.

Now, without further ado in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, homeschooling is suddenly the norm. Everyone in Germany is getting home schooled – without any bureaucracy.

1919 saw the beginning of Compulsory Education (Schulpflicht) in Germany. Over the years, there had been various appeals by individuals and petitioners to change the law.

In April 2010, a petition signed by 5400 people, was submitted to the German Bundestag asking for impunity for parents who teach their children at home. This petition was turned down in November 2011.

I had supported this petition back in 2009, and had published this post: Petition for Homeschooling in Germany

Homeschooling in German: der Hausunterricht or der Heimunterricht

Life in Germany in the Time of Corona

My favorite word right now is fiddlefart*. I’ve got so much time on my hands, and I actually work through my to-do list, but there is not much to show for. This gives me an early taste of what retiring might look like.

I’m on Day 5 now, and we are still free to move. But there are restrictions, and as time passes, there are more to come.

Outdoor facilities such as playgrounds, pools, etc. are closed. This photo shows the playground at Camp King, with a red and white barrier tape at Camp King.

This morning at the super market seemed a normal one. Searching for batteries, I turned the corner into another aisle, and was reprimanded by someone in a closely standing group of three: “Bitte Abstand halten!” (Keep your distance!). Sure, this makes sense. Not.

I just nodded, smiled, and approached the batteries from the other end. The group remained there, and continued talking without keeping distance. Ja, ja, the little policemen are out there. 🙂

Some customers kept the recommended distance while waiting in line. One lady though was almost breathing down my neck, and before I could turn around to say something, her husband pointed it out to her. She then retracted, but not without chiding him first.

I saw an appeal on social media about giving health care workers, and all others assisting in this time of crisis, a big shout-out by applauding. This is supposed to happen by the open window, or balcony, every evening at 9pm. So far I have not heard anything around here.

This coming Sunday, 22 March at 18:00, a Flash-Mob from your Balcony event is planned. We are supposed to hear: Beethovens Schlusschoral Freude Schöner Götterfunken (Beethoven’s final chorale on Ode to Joy).

More information in German here:
Hessischer Musikverband e.V.

These are interesting times.

* to fiddlefart (verb): to linger aimlessly; to look busy while accomplishing nothing.

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