An earlier post here regarding Neubrücke, Germany, where Monique first saw the light, has turned out to be surprisingly popular on Ghulf Genes despite that little town’s absolute obscurity. But the reason for that heavy traffic becomes clear once we know that nearby Baumholder is, and has for many years also been, the largest U.S. military installation outside of the United States. Many, many thousands of people going all the way back to the times when I served there as a soldier know the place. In my day, the late 1950s, Neubrücke was the nearest major army hospital. Now it is part of the vast Baumholder complex and houses its own barracks. Brigitte and I met in Baumholder, so this day may be appropriate to do something I’ve meant to do for a long time: present some pictures of the place.
This, the most lovely photograph of the place, is on Flicker, the work of Susana Alba-McCormick, reproduced here with permission. It shows part of the dependent quarters in moonlight, among them the building where we first made our home in a very spacious apartment; that’s where we brought Monique from Neubrücke as a baby; it is one of the buildings to the right, on Pear Street.
This one, panoramic enough to include the town, shows some of the same buildings from another perspective, some of the barracks, and more, much more, if you imagine moving on to the left of this image. This and the next two images I have courtesy of Bruce Richards (his site is here).
Baumholder is a most curious place. It is home to some 12,000 Americans, of whom 4,400 are military, 6,550 are military family members, 600 are American civil servants, 360 are their family members, and 100 individuals are retired American military people. The post also employs 500 Germans—and Brigitte was one of them in my day. The town itself—you can see one of its church steeples and housing to the right—has 4,600 inhabitants. And since this photograph was taken, massive additional American Military facilities, not least a major hospital, have been built in the town itself.
Here is an old, old picture, taken from the other side across the little lake that serves the town as a recreational facility, showing also the second church—but there are three others yet.
Now two more panoramic shots of which this one shows the size of this facility more clearly, including strings of barracks—one of which I lived in before Brigitte and I became a couple.
I owe this nice modern shot to a German industrial site which is installing energy-conservation structures in all of the buildings reaching from horizon to horizon, called Pumpen Intelligenz (link).