The Mountain Lodge at Camp King, Oberursel before its Major Renovation

A reader just asked me for photos of the Mountain Lodge, Camp King, in Oberursel before it was changed to this modernized state.

This might be an interesting visual tour for all the enlisted personnel, who were stationed at Camp King, but did not get to see the NCOs building from the inside.

Mountain Lodge, Camp King, Oberursel in August 2016


The photos below I took when the Candy Bomber paid us a visit back in June of 2013. 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.

This is a medley of interior photos. If anyone can help identify the location of some of the rooms, please share it under comments. I have posted the photos in the same way I walked through the house.

Attic of the Mountain Lodge, Camp King Oberursel


Open House at the Mountain Lodge, Camp King



Hallway at the Mountain Lodge, Camp King in Oberursel

Manfred Kopp and the Candy Bomber, June 2013

Hope you’ve enjoyed this tour.

SEPA and GEZ – Changes for Germany

Have you noticed more postal mail recently? Your insurance company, your private retirement fund and heaven knows whoever else you are connected to via banking, is obligated to inform you of the coming changes. The changes are about SEPA (Single European Payments Area) as well as the GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale Köln).


SEPA, the new unified European bank coding, requires your changeover to a unified bank account and bank number.

Starting February 2014, all companies have to switch from the current account + bank number system to the new unified number system with IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code).
If you have a standing bank order, you will receive a letter to confirm your new IBAN + BIC for this order. If you don’t do anything, the company withdrawing money from your bank account will assume the information is correct,  and change to these new numbers by February 2014.
As a private person, you may opt to continue using the current number system before you have to switch – no later than February 2016.


GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale Köln) charges you a monthly fee for receiving German television and radio programs.
The payment conditions have changed.
In the past, you had to register with GEZ if you had a television or radio at home. Only when you registered, you received an invoice of 17,98 Euro per month.
Since 2013, the fee is a lump sum fee per household. So whether you are registered with GEZ or not, you have to pay the monthly fee.
Those of you who have received a notification and were not registered before, are now being asked to register. If you do not react, you get a reminder and finally will be registered automatically.

No way around this fee… even if you only watch/listen programs from abroad.

福島の復興か?犠牲か?Clean up or Mess up for Fukushima?

 Posted: 22 October 2013

Makiko Wood, a high school teacher from Japan who currently resides in Germany, shares the following information about the clean up of the mess in Fukushima, set for November 2013. 




Watch the video at raw for beauty:

海外に住んでいる私だから、福島第一原発の情報に疎くなっているのか・・・。それとも、日本人が知らされていないのか・・・。両親に聞いてみると、     この危険な作業を行わなければいけないことももちろんそうだが、国民に周知されていないことも問題です。福島に住んでいる私の両親は、地震後も政府を信じ、政府やメディアの発表をもとに、福島に残りました。一方、東京に住んでいる姉は、地震以降、一度も実家には帰っていません。情報を信じるかどうかは、個人が判断するものですが、「秘密保全法案」が国会を通ろうとする最中、判断基準となる情報を得難いことに憤りを感じます。

Repeated accidents, radiation contamination, leaking of radiated water… It is still a severe situation in Fukushima after two and half years from the earthquake. I feel irritated about the actual statement, because we are not informed what is happening as well as ad hoc steps of TEPCO. I found some information about Fukushima in an overseas blog and I would like to share it for people who might not know about it otherwise.

A delicate operation is about to start in Fukushima in November, which is to remove 400 tons of highly radiated spent fuel rods – 1535 fuel rods, 300kg of weight and 4.5m long each- from the pool in damaged Reactor No.4 so as to evacuate the rods from the damaged reactor building. However, the delicate and dangerous operation has to be completed manually with cranes because the computer which is used to control process that memorized the exact locations of roods down to the millimetre was broken by the earthquake.

This operation is obviously fraught with danger. This spent fuel which contains deadly plutonium is equivalent to 14,000 times amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.  If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks, or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst-case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large nuclear fire.

Any of these situations could lead to massive releases of deadly radionuclides into the atmosphere, putting much of Japan — including Tokyo and Yokohama — and even neighboring countries at serious risk.  Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”

I wonder whether I am not abreast of the information by TEPCO or people, in general, who live in Japan are not informed. I asked my parents about is. It is a big problem that both we have to face the dangerous operation and we are not informed about the operation, or anything for that matter. After the earthquake, my parents still live in Fukushima, believing the government and the media. On the other hand, my sister who lives in Tokyo has not been back to our parents’ house since the disaster happened.

It is personal decision what they believe, however, as the law of secrets is about to pass the National Diet (国会 Kokkai), I am very irritated by the actual statement. It is hard even for people who live in Japan to get the right information to make a sound judgment.


Guided Tour of Camp King Oberursel

On Saturday, 31 August, 2013, the local historian Manfred Kopp is going to give a tour of an area in Oberursel known as “Camp King” . The tours take place in May and August every year.

The tour covers the history of the area from the Reichssiedlungshof in the 1930s, through the time of the Dulag Luft, up to the end of the U.S. Army presence in 1992.

The meeting point is the Kinderhaus Camp King, Jean-Sauer-Weg 2  at 2 pm, and the tour costs 3 euro.

This is a good opportunity for local residents to learn more about the history of the area that they live in.

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.

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