Due to the Corona (Covid-19) restrictions, no Plärrer and hence no Fair Parades were allowed. In fall 2022, a new beginning of this Augsburg tradition was possible and with it the chance of the obligatory participation of Augsburg’s last U.S. unit, the 66th Military Intelligence. After weeks of summer heat, now, of all times, the weather forecast predicted heavy rain showers for the day of the parade; fortunately this did not happen: On the dot of the parade’s beginning, the weather changed 1800 and pleased the 17 young uniformed guests from Wiesbaden as well as the spectators with brilliant sunshine.
Under the leadership of Colonel Christina A. Bembenek, the young soldiers marched a shortened route, limited because of extensive road works in the heart of the city, from the Prinzregentenplatz to the Plärrer fair ground. The applause of the roadside spectators was, as in earlier years, unbroken kind while many memories were brought back. Prior to the parade, the “Neues Amerika Haus” in Bldg 116 (in German “Halle 116”), former Sheridan Kaserne, presenting a documentation of the former U.S. presence in Augsburg as a joint venture of Amerika in Augsburg e.V. and American Car Fiends Augsburg e.V., was visited.
Group photograph at an historic place: Bldg/Halle 116. During the National Socialist time, there were quarters for more than 2000 hard labor, then the building was utilized by the U.S. Army for 53 years, today the building accommodates, inter alia, two registered US societies and their joint venture, the “Neues Amerika Haus” (museum).
Gerhard Rankl (left) and Wolfgang Poeppel (right) explain the various objects of the exhibition to the guests from Wiesbaden. COL Bembenek and her companions were evidently impressed.
COL Bembenek and CSM Lima in front of the entrance scenery of the “Neues Amerika Haus”. Intelligence Service 2022 as well as Intelligence Service 1948 (sign) harmoniously in view.
U.S. Army and Bundeswehr reservists line-up at the Prinzregentenplatz.
A relaxed COL Bembenek before the beginning of the parade.
On the parade line male as well as female U.S. soldiers showing Augsburg’s spectators memories of the past.
Historic U.S. military vehicles rounded discreetly the German-American parade.
Very close to the people: an elderly lady approached COL Bembenek, probably about her memories of American soldiers. Obviously not the worst. Her joy was clearly shown.
Furling the colors at the destination Plärrer. Giving a salute.
The natural beer-table cheerfulness developed quickl
In this perspective COL Bembenek and CSM Lima felt at ease.
CSM Lima was friendly received by The Royal Bavarian Cavalry and Augsburg’s Bundeswehr reservists.
The highlight of this nevertheless short visit was the Bayerischer Defiliermarsch, conducted with great feeling by Col Bembenek.
COL Bembenek’s honorable discharge with Bavarian extras and pretty young Augsburg girls. We would like to say thank you to the guests of the 66th Military Intelligence for their strenuous journey for a few hours awareness of Augsburg life.
Photos: Lohrmann, Papak, Rankl.