Thursday, May 7, 2015

Berlin In Colour: July 1945

Via u_96


  1. Watching this video recording, I marvelled at how the German and Japanese people were able to recover from the devastation of their defeat and become so amazingly prosperous and innovative.

    But, if you think about it, that's also how the Nazis got started, was their plan for recovering from utter desolation and hopelessness after Germany's defeat in the First World War.

    I was never in Berlin, not even to visit.

    In the Autumn of 1968, when I first arrived in Germany as a Private First Class in the United States Army, it was on a chartered commercial jet airliner from McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey to Frankfort Am Main in Germany.

    We went to an old brick building in Frankfort, the 21st Replacement Battalion, which was very depressing and gloomy, for it used to be a Nazi prison, and there were still machine gun bullet markings in its brick walls.

    Being new to Army life, fresh out of training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and not knowing how the Army did things, I did not know that this awful place was not my assignment, but only an overnight stopover.

    Boy, was I glad to leave there!

    They marched us to the Bahnhof, where we boarded a troop train to Kaiserslautern, where I would be stationed as a Field Radio Relay and Carrier Equipment Repairman (MOS 31L20) in Company A, 11th Air Defense Signal Battalion, 32d Army Air Defense Command at Kleber Kaserne.

    My first impression was not good, for it was cold and rainy, and the food in our mess hall was inedible swill.

    Most of my time was spent on a repair team at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, which was a WHOLE lot better than being in Kaiserslautern.

    About the only Second World War ruins I remember seeing were in a part of Munich which the public was not permitted to enter, due to dangerous crumbling building walls and hidden live ordnance.

    By now, I'm certain that even that area has been completely renovated and rebuilt.

    1. Thanks John and what was the name of the barrack, Lee?