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.

Open House at Camp King Oberursel, May 2015

For anyone interested in history, the Historical Society of Camp King in Oberursel is hosting an Open House to coincide with the observance of Germany’s unconditional surrender 70 years ago.

The Open House features:  archival information; film clips; traces of escape tunnels; tours; opportunities to speak with contemporary witnesses.

10 May 2015, from 10:00 – 17:00

Camp King Open House May 2015

Translation:

“We, the undersigned parties, empowered by and in the name of the high command of the German Armed Forces, do hereby declare unconditional surrender…”

Signed in Berlin on 8 May 1945

The Mountain Lodge is still under renovation. The photo was taken on 5 April 2015.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel April 2015

Mountain Lodge Oberursel April 2015

 

Tour of Camp King Oberursel on YouTube

We took our walk through the former military post Camp King in Oberursel this past Sunday.

In part 1, Mr. Kopp and I talked about the Kinderhaus, the oldest building on the grounds and now housing the archive, as well as the King Memorial Site.

In part 2, we covered the past and future of both the Mountain Lodge and the chapel.

The former Officers' Club at Camp King Oberursel

The former Officers’ Club at Camp King Oberursel

I’ve just noticed… the big tree on the right is no longer there. It had to go to make room for the coming extensions of the building.

Camp King and Memories Need a Home

Camp King in Oberursel

 1933 – 1993

 – Announcement –

Our Camp King historian, Manfred Kopp wrote:

I have been collecting material related to Camp King and its history, started an archive, given tours throughout the areal, answered many questions and kept in touch with anyone interested in the history since 2005.

Our first location for meetings and storing material was the “Treffpunkt Aktiv im Norden” (a church café), Im Rosengärtchen (an area adjacent to Camp King).

The current Kinderhaus in Camp King (address: Jean Sauer Weg 2) now offers a basement room to house the depot and the shared use of a community room on the first floor. This ensures the upkeep of the Camp King’s archives with the help of the Historical Society Oberursel.

Camp King archives at the Kinderhaus

Moving to this new facility also includes some special events listed for this month:

11 March 2013 (Monday) at  20:00 at Cityhall Oberursel, room E01.

 “Outside 7 – A house and its History”

Lecture and photo presentation by Manfred Kopp

Content:

Around 1921, the house “Außerhalb 7 “(a.k.a. the house by the forest) was built to serve as a residential building.

Then, in 1933, it became a university dorm for students of the University of Frankfurt.

In 1937, the house was reconstructed to serve as a community building for the school of agricultural settlers (Gausiederschule).

In 1939, the building became the commander’s post (Luftwaffe) for recording the prisoners coming through Oberursel.

In 1945, it became “House Florida” (history archives) for the US-Army.

In 1953, it was turned into “Haus 997” by the U.S. Intelligence.

Having had so many different uses and occupants, this house is a perfect time-line to illustrate the history 1933 – 1993

 

 

16. März 2013, Saturday, am “Kinderhaus”, Jean-Sauer Weg 2

 “Memories Need a Home”

 

11 Uhr: Major Brum’s welcome speech to the official opening of The Place to Remember (Erinnerungsort) in the basement of the Kinderhaus.

 12 Uhr: Lecture by Gerd Krämer on Memories Need a Home in the community room on the first floor.

 

13 – 16 Uhr Open House and Self-guided Tours through Camp King with:

*more information about the archives

*exhibition and historical background to Camp King

*flyers for self-guided tours around the area to points of interest such as the artist Thomas Kilpper’s work, memorial for Colonel Charles King, the Mountain Lodge (open doors), and Siedlerstraße.

 

 11. April 2013, Thursday, 19 Uhr, Community Room

 Browsing, Learning, and Networking

This invitation is for anyone who has contributed so far as well as newcomers. Please join us!

Organized by Manfred Kopp and Sylvia Struck

Camp King and its Historic Buildings

Located the end of the slope, the Mountain Lodge overlooks former Camp King. Of all the remaining buildings since the departure of the U.S. Army, the lodge is the only one without a purpose.

All others are used either as residences or e.g., today’s Kinderhaus, which serves as a child-care center, also has a long history:

1922 Villa Haus am Wald (House on the edge of the woods), residence
1933 Sports facility for Frankfurt University
1938 (after renovation) conference center for the Gau settler school (Gau: close to the English term shire; The administrative use of the term stood for subdivision during the period of Nazi Germany in 1933–1945)
1939 Kommandant’s Office of the Auswertestelle West (Intelligence and Evaluation Center West)
1945 Conference room and work place for the Historical Division, Name: House Florida
1950 Used for conferences, meetings, community hall, among others. Name: House 997

Kinderhaus

Walking by there today, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I even saw a children’s party being set up in the garden behind.

This is in sharp contrast to the Mountain Lodge, which started out as an agricultural school (1939), then was later converted  to Officers’ Club (or Mountain Lodge) by the Americans.

The Mountain Lodge had been purchased by a private investor in June 2010 (you can read more about this on Officers’ Club at Camp King finds Investor), but there are no repairs to be seen. As a matter of fact, it looks worse every year.

The city has added a sign right next to the Mountain Lodge to remind pedestrians to pay attention:

Attention! No snow removal service, damaged paths, enter at your own risk

Achtung!

Another photo update below showing the current idle state. This is mostly due to its well-off German neighbors, who petition any kind of development, on behalf of their privacy.

Building permits were issued for housing in close proximity, for the sake of profit.

Mountain Lodge in Camp King July 2012

This report states renovation should be completed by 2013. Unfortunately, it looks as if it hasn’t even started yet.

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