THE CITY AND PEOPLE OF OBERURSEL
The city of Oberursel was a typical small German town. Its history dates back to 791 A.D. there were many historic buildings along with the traditional market place in the old city, also thought of as downtown. Like most cities, once you leave the historical district, there are also a lot of modern buildings.
Aerial View of Oberursel looking from downtown towards Camp King The swimming Pools and Post are shown by the yellow arrows (From a postcard of Oberursel)
The market place was used as an open-air farmers market on weekends. Within the city proper there were also a variety of specialty stores, a movie theater (known as Kino to the Germans) as well as a modern department store. Near the post, there were a variety of shops, restaurants, trinkhalles, a bakery and a butcher shop.
The people of Oberursel were always friendly and inviting. The military community was, as mentioned earlier, invited to partake in many activities and festivities. Many friendships were formed between the local people and the Camp King Community. It seemed as though there was no aspect of German culture that we were not invited to partake in.
The indigenous people welcomed the Americans and allowed us to use their infrastructure, such as their pools, transportation and hiking trails. Oberursel provided fire protection for the post as well as emergency medical transport. There were also a number of German social clubs, such as the swim club, which we also participated in. The attitude was always warm.
Pictured above is the main railway station for Oberursel. This is where the regular trains as well as the Scnellbahn, a train that serviced cities stopped. Courtesy of Charles Rollings) As distinguished from the Strassebahn (Street Train) or U-Bahn, which could be compared to a city mass transit system. Camp King was serviced by the U3 which began at the Hauptbahnhoff in Frankfurt and ended at Hohemark Pictured below (Courtesy of the City Of Oberursel Web Site)
Due to there not being any "legal Drinking age", many dependants as well as military personnel went to Pubs in the town. In the 1960s, according to Fred Schloss, a resident on the post during that time, the American teenagers would go downtown and arm wrestle at local clubs. The loser would have to buy the beer. In my time, we spent time at the "Bottoms Up" as well as other clubs and pubs. My family also used to frequent "Zum Uhu", a small bar and grill on a regular basis.
The Northern Section of the City of Oberursel Camp King Can be seen in the top center. This is before the construction of the apartments behind the Post- Rosengartchen (Courtesy of Walter Elkins)
There were also numerous restaurants in the area where a variety of cultures were represented. For example, there was an Italian restaurant (Pizzeria), as well as traditional German restaurants
Pictured above is a Commemorative Plate for a German American Day. Below is a commemorative mug from 1977
German/American Days where one day a year when the post would be opened to the public. It was an opportunity for Camp King to invite people onto the post and share our culture. Displays of military hardware and skills were usually put on display. It was almost like a carnival atmosphere as there were games, entertainment, food and drink. It was always something to look forward to as the cultures met and had an opportunity to let the bonds of friendship grow stronger.
The Germans have a tradition called "Fasching" which could be equated to our Halloween. It lasted a lot longer and ended with parades. The American people usually participated in the festivities both as participants as well as observers. Camp King usually provided some type of float or other representation in the parade.
The friendliness and hospitality of the people of Oberursel showed us was excellent.
Picture of Camp King Mid 1970's- Upper left south of the high rise The pools can be seen in the lower right (Courtesy of Walter Welkins)
(It is hard to express just what the experiences were, there were so many and they varied. All I can say, personally, is that I learned a lot about the German people and their culture. It is these experiences which made me come to love the city as well as the post. The attitude of the people cannot be overstressed. They welcomed the United States Military community more warmly than many cities in the United States.)
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PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II1936-1939
WORLD WAR II "DULAG LUFT" 1939-1945
POST WORLD WAR II (1945-1953)
The Gehlen Organization
AMERICAN MILITARY UNITS (1953-1995)
THE FRANKFURT AMERICAN MILITARY COMMUNITY
EMPLOYMENT TELEVISION, RADIO AND THE STARS AND STRIPES NEWSPAPER
POST SECURITY, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND TERRORISM
THE PEOPLE AND CITY OF OBERURSEL
POST CLOSURE AND FUTURE