The Mountain Lodge at Camp King Oberursel in October 2017

We took another walk around our Camp King neighborhood on this gorgeous autumn afternoon.

Commemorative plaque ‘Former Camp King’ near the old main entrance

 

The Officers’ Club at Camp King Oberursel in August 2016

During my last visit to the Officers’ Club in June, I only saw construction workers around the place. Today, I noticed people had actually moved in between June and now.

Most locals refer to the former Officers’ Club as the Mountain Lodge today. Notice how they kept the original house number 1027 on the side of the building. I wonder what the complete old address used to be.

Camp King Oberursel Officers' Club house number

Good to see it fully renovated and inhabited. The building itself is from 1938, when is was part of a Musterdorf (model village) used for an exhibition in Frankfurt in the late 1930s.

Officers' Club

The tower clock, set at 6:56, is not in working order. We came by at about 1:30.

Camp King Oberursel Officers' Club#2

The chapel remains the same.

Camp King Oberursel Chapel

 

Before on 25 December 2013                                                         After on 07 August 2016

25-Dec-2013-WM

Officers' Club#2

The New Face of the Mountain Lodge at Camp King Oberursel in June 2016

I took another walk towards Camp King around noon today. A few Mountain Lodge construction workers had not started their lunch break yet, and I heard them at work. There has been much progress on this somewhat futuristic architectural design, of which I’m not sure yet whether I like it.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel

This front-up photo shows more of its new design.

Mountain Lodge Camp King Oberursel

So you can compare – the photo below shows the Mountain Lodge in December 2013.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel

Most of the old trees are still there.

Camp King Oberursel - old tree

For some of you, the Mountain Lodge Chapel might hold a special memory. While passing, I also heard someone working out back. The last I’d heard, the nearby Montessori school was renting the chapel for its drama department lessons and performances.

Chapel at Camp King Oberursel

More photos to come again later…

Working at Camp King Oberursel in the mid-1980s

On one of the ‘Camp King Open House’ events, I ran into Lale, whom I had met in 1998, when both our sons were at the same kindergarten. At the time of the event, she told me of her employment at Camp King in the 90s. So this is her little story about how she got the job and what working there meant for civilians.

Q: You have German and American citizenship, I assume. Was it easier getting a job in Camp King with an American passport?
 
A: Actually, I only have American citizenship, because dual citizenship for Germany and the USA was not possible then (*Lale was born on U.S. soil, so the U.S. Government does not recognize dual citizenship with Germany). When we moved to Germany, my stepfather took a job with the army in Offenbach, and that’s how we got an ID card with privileges. When he returned to the USA in 1981, we had to turn in our ID cards. We were still able to enter the the military camp as long as another soldier would sign us in. We had to present our passports, nevertheless.
 
Q: When and in what position did you work at Camp King?

 

A: I was part of the cleaning staff for the military base. My favorite place to work was the gym. I was even once nominated “Employee of the Month” (Lale added, “a thorough cleaning goes a long way”, while laughing). This award made me proud in the sense of my work being appreciated. Once I was even asked to clean the top-secret underground offices. I only cleared the bins in the company of an MP. We had to leave the building immediately after that.
I can’t quite remember how long I worked there. It was only a temporary solution until I could find permanent employment. I worked there sometime in 1984.

 

Q: During your time at Camp King in 1984, what are your most memorable moments?

 

A: Oh, the fun times we had (snickering). At the former Disco ‘La Soiree’ in the Vorstadt (today: Bärenarkaden shopping center), we used to party and sometimes went back to the base to party a little bit more. Ela’s Stübchen was also a popular spot. A lot of friendships developed during that time, some in a romantic way.
Years later, in the early 90s… there was one scary moment when I saw G.I.s walking the Camp King fence with their machine pistols. This could have been the time of the Kosovo war. The soldiers, usually always friendly, were under some stress during that time. I tried to stay away from that fence as far as possible on my way to the then nearest U-Bahn station ‘Kupferhammerweg’.
It must have been during that time that leaving camp became more restricted – no entry between 2 – 5am.
Some went out nevertheless and then we just partied till 5am, when the gates opened again.

 

Q: In those years you mentioned, 1984 to early 90s, did you live close to Camp King? Did you hear the daily reveille calls? Some German neighbors found this annoying.
 
A: Unfortunately, I can’t remember this. Our apartment was facing the Feldberg Mountain, and so it was relatively quiet. But I do remember loudspeakers all over the camp. There were also announcements made throughout the day, but I can’t remember about what.
 
Q: You had mentioned a plain building near the tennis courts? Was this a special place?
 
A: Right between the tennis courts and the motor park, there was this square building, made of cement, and I believe it housed the computer server and all the equipment. Once I had to cover my colleague’s shift and my task was to clean the bins and this had to be carried out in the presence of a civil servant.
Thanks, Lale, for sharing this with us.
Ela’s Stübchen in the Henchenstraße has been closed for a few years. I was there once, it might have been 2010, and then it was called the Schnitzel Haus by some friends.

Camp King Oberursel and the Mountain Lodge

On this drizzly Christmas Day, we took a little walk around the neighborhood while disposing of all the paper trash, mostly gift wrap from last night’s Christmas celebration. In Germany, we celebrate and do the gift exchange on 24 December.

If I remember correctly, most of the apartments at the Mountain Lodge have been sold already.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel

For more photos of the projected apartments, visit: http://www.mountainlodge-oberursel.de/

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!