Mannheim/USA/World, August 5th, 2015. (red) Many readers in the United States stumble across our texts about former military installations like Benjamin Franklin Village in Mannheim or Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg - most likely through Google. We welcome the interest from overseas - and we would like to make an offer to those interested.
Von Hardy Prothmann* (see editor's note at the end)
First of all: welcome! We are glad that you have found us and our news blog on the internet. WWW means world wide web - and we welcome each and every reader from around the world.
Some of our readers in the United States will be able to read and understand our articles, because they have spent time in Germany and have learned our language. Others will not be able to do so and we apologize for that. Unfortunately we cannot offer bilingual versions of our texts. Maybe Google Translator can help to understand at least the basics.
There are two current developments in the former military installations that are of interest to our readers.
The first is the conversion of the former military areas into areas for civilian uses, for example into open landscapes or residential areas. The second is their temporary use as housing for refugees. We report on both aspects regularly.
But we are also interested in a third aspect - the time when US citizens lived and worked here as military or civilian personnel.
Do you have stories to tell that might interest our readers - those in Germany, the US, and worldwide? Memories that you would like to relate? Then feel free to write to us and tell us your own personal story.
Tell us your personal story
Tell us about your life in Germany, your experiences in Mannheim, Heidelberg, or Schwetzingen - what you remember about life and work on base and about the interaction with the population outside the military community.
We would like to hear your fond memories - but also those stories that we might like to forget but which you feel should be remembered all the same.
For us it is a great honor - and an integral part of our work - to report what actually happened throughout the years so that people can remember and learn and form an opinion based on facts.
We have already found a few contacts who want to help us give those memories a special place and we would love to have you join them.
We cannot guarantee that we will tell your story. Please understand that we must check our sources and choose what we publish by journalistic standards.
However, we look forward to hear from you and if editing should become necessary we would like to work with you to find a solution.
And please remember: memories include pictures - and pictures often tell stories better than words. So if you have pictures we can publish we would appreciate that as well.
One example: This story is a chronological overview of the use of the military installations in Mannheim. It took many, many hours of research and we received pictures from archives and from sources in the US for which we are grateful.
Recommended read: A chronicle of military conversion sites (Konversionsfläche) in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Schwetzingen
If you are interested, please feel free to contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a summary of the story you would like to tell. If it fits in with the rest of our publications we will ask you to tell our readers the whole story - in the original and in a German translation which we will provide for you.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Please feel free to share our plans with your friends - this is our attempt to connect people with stories. Join us: we are almost certain that it will be worth your time, and ours, in the quest for a common understanding of the world we share.
Hardy Prothmann, editor in chief
*Editor's note: Special thanks to Rebekka Schmitt-Illert, city councillor in Mannheim, who helped us translate this text. Our level is “School-English” - while she qualifies as a native speaker, having grown up in the United States where her father was stationed as a military chaplain.
So Rebekka, thumbs up and thank you for helping us out. We know that you have memories of BFV as well, and even family ties with the former American military community in Mannheim.
P.S. This is not the first time that one of our texts is published in English. Roger Hudgson, aka Mr. Supertramp, personally asked if he could translate our text about his concert in Mannheim. Of course we agreed, and it was a great honor to be asked.