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Americanisms in Augsburg


After the U.S. base closure, only a few public traces reminding of the American presence in Augsburg could be preserved. Not in every case they are based on decades of the military. Some Americanisms were due to the fact that the American way of life had been adopted as an outbreak of Germany’s conservative post war era. How strong was Augsburg Americanized at all? The conversion of the former U.S installations during the past years went a few steps further and erased almost all remnants of this epoch of the city’s history. While some traces of history are transient at any rate, others already disappeared after only one decade. The U.S. era is nevertheless rubbed off on very different levels. This leads to considerations which permanent influence was caused by the victors of a WW, but also by the immediately following allies. The examples that are shown here do not claim to provide a complete picture, however shall depict some of the remaining Augsburg Americanisms.



   Left: American car society. Right:  American IT- enterprise. The building was demolished in 2016.                   


                                                       City scene in front of the Perlachturm.


Top and below left: An American Cafe at a radial road. Below, right: One of many American graves at Augsburg’s cemeteries. They are regularly decorated with the Stars and Stripes.


Left: Christmas decoration of shop windows in the city (Photo: Wanda Metzler). Right: Annual Rider and Western Fair.


Left: An American band at the Bürgersaal Stadtbergen (Photo: Rick Cervenka). 

Right: Country musician and singer ‘Tex Warner’ from Westheim near Augsburg at the NCO Club in 1971. At that time, he mostly played at the U.S. clubs of the Munich kasernes. 


The "Why not band" country group, founded in 1985, also filled the beer gardens in and around Augsburg in 2016. Their music still inspires many Augsburger and is sometimes enriched by dance groups. (Photos: Amerika in Augsburg e.V.).


At first ´Melodienbar´, then ´Uno-Bar´, and after base closure,´Zum Bayern-Kini´(king) at Deutschenbaurstraße. Traces of the U.S. past are mingled in an illustrious way with the coziness of a Bavarian inn: License plates of various US states are enhancing the room´s furnishing. Even nowadays, former U.S. soldiers are visiting this inn. (Photo: Zum Bayern-Kini).


                         A performance of the Faschings- und Freizeitclub Augsburg (Photo: FFA).


   The Square dance societies ‘Running Turtles’ (left. Photo: R. T. Society), and ‘Bavarian Stompers’.


The American football team ‘Augsburg Raptors’ with their cheerleader group. There are more sports teams of this form or other.



The U.S. era is also captured on a long-term basis by several street names in the cities of Augsburg and Stadtbergen. From the very beginning, a few streets in the Housing Areas were given names of American / affiliated personalities: Carl-Schurz-Straße, Columbusstraße, Madisonstraße, Polkstraße, Tylerstraße. After base closure, the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society proposed additional names for streets within the former kaserne areas, which were realized in cooperation with the city council and the Amt für Geodaten in five cases: Am Vehicle-Park, General-Cramer-Weg at Sheridan, John-May-Weg (an Augsburg officer who promoted international understanding), Reeseallee* at Reese Barracks, Sheridanweg* at Sheridan Kaserne.



Left: At Sheridan Kaserne. Right: Access to the former Vehicle Park opposite Fryar Circle. An inconspicuous access road at the perimeter of Augsburg with an almost unknown military history meaning.


These nominations shall bring the 50 years of U.S. presence in the converted installations back to mind. Rather usage oriented, the name Panzerstraße (tank road) was given to the connection road between Sheridan Kaserne and Deuringen Training Area (‘Panzerkessel’), being simply named after the tank traffic. The former Fryar Circle* is now called Elmer-Fryar-Ring. Both streets are within the city of Stadtbergen. Due to the urbanization of the center area of the Elmer-Fryar-Ring, the small Von-Steuben-Ring was constructed.

Because of the alternate construction on the former Quarter Master Kaserne / Supply Center area, the following streets got the names of American celebrities: Emily-Balch-Straße, George-Gershwin-Straße, Graham-Bell-Straße, Jane-Addams-Straße, Jesse-Owens-Straße, Luther-King-Straße, Mark-Twain-Straße, and Pearl-S.-Buck-Straße. 

It shall not be unmentioned that the naming of the streets within the former USMCA area was also influenced by differing political and cultural interests, making a ‘consideration mix’ necessary that was acceptable for all. A special case is the Kennedyplatz in the heart of the city, named in commemoration of the murder of the 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1963).


Please see also: >Location Augsburg, >Naming Real Property