Archive for the 'University of Maryland Munich' Category

Please Contribute Your Thoughts To Schools Exhibit

The Museum of the American Military Family is planning its next exhibit “Schooling With Uncle Sam” and is collecting short quotes for its panels. If you’d like to contribute to the exhibit, feel free to post a short, complete thought under the post, along with the school/ year you were there. Please add if you were a teacher, student or parent. Additionally, if you have digital photos or movie footage to contribute to this exhibit or a possible documentary, either e-mail them to us or mail them to:


PO Box 5085

Albuquerque, NM 87185



Please indicate that all submissions become part of the museum collection.

Here’s our quote category:


The Host Nation: (Think about language classes/teachers, field trips, holidays, student exchanges)

Attention UMMC Alums in College Park area!

Screen shot 2014-03-19 at 6.23.59 AMDear Munich Campus Friends & Alumni

At our Munich Campus Celebration reunion this past October many of you suggested that we gather more than once every 5 or 10 years! Hence, the Munich “Munch” – a Bi-Monthly weekend event at various  reasonably priced restaurants to share friendship, ideas and beer (of course!).

Our first event is scheduled for College Park Maryland at the Hard Times Cafe

Saturday 12 April at Noon. A private Banquet room is reserved for our group. (Details below.)

There are over two hundred Munich Campus alumni in the greater DC/MD/VA area and we hope to have participation from ALL Classes. Family and Friends are welcome.

WHEN: 12 April 2014 – Saturday 12 Noon

WHO: Washington / Maryland/ Virginia Area

Munich Campus Alumni – ALL CLASSES – Friends and Family

UMUC Staff

WHAT:     Bi- Monthly Munich “Munch”

WHERE:  Hard Times Café

4738 Cherry Hill Road

College Park, Maryland 20740


Directions & Menu

COST: Cash Bar – Cash Menu

12 Noon to 12:30 Reception / Special UMUC Guests

12;30 to 1:30 “Munch”

1:30 to 2:30 – Munich Celebration Reunion Committee Meeting


Philip Callahan (64-66)

Class Representative / Chair

Munich Campus Celebration

410.357.4842 o

443.742.1274 m






The First Press Release About MAMF’s Exhibit Coming in May 2014

Sacrifice & Service

Beer For Breakfast

Photo: A George

Photo: A George

In the fall of 1977 I was a freshman , and I was also a founding member of the Munich Rugby Football Club, which was not at all affiliated with the university. As Rugby is a physically demanding game, I embarked on a modest conditioning regime.  I would rise around 5:30 and meet friend and classmate Bill Tellman, who lived in Bouvier Hall. We would bring gym bags with a change of clothes and our schoolbooks and make for Perlacher Forst, the woods nearby McGraw Kaserne. We’d leave the bags at a hidden spot and then go for a run through the forest, usually for about a half hour or so.

     After running through those lovely woods  ( sometimes taking the Par Cours course, more often just running at random), we would collect our bags and make our way to the Harlaching Hallenbad , the large indoor pool not far from McGraw. There we’d swim for about a half hour or so and then lie on the heated stone benches for a while…after which, a shower and then a walk back to the Kaserne.

     This left us about an hour before class, so we would then go to Building 7, which wore many hats for McGraw Kaserne. Mainly, it was the home to AAFES- Europe’s  headquarters. It also had a few “spooky” outfits up on the 5th  floor ( the 3855th Security Detachment being one) and was also home to the Community Club. Also housed in Building 7 was the late, much-lamented Keller, site of untold merriment and depravity. Happily, it was also home to the  small  Kantine (the larger Kantine being near the Motor Pool on the other side of the base.) Peter Maag, a James Caan   look- a -like, and his lovely brunette wife, Inge, ran the small Kantine.  After  our  morning exertions, Bill and I would repair to the  Kantine  before heading to class. I’d usually get a pair of Wieners, Kartoffelsalat ,a  pretzel, and a beer, followed by another beer. Sometimes I’d get the spicier Depreziner sausages, and on Tuesdays, I’d spring for the Weisswurst.

     So, after a morning’s run and swim, we would  fortify ourselves for class with a hearty German breakfast and a liter of beer. It would now be about 10 minutes before 9 o’clock. Bill and I would walk past the Snack Bar, Bowling Alley, gymnasium, auto repair shop, and library and enter the university…a few  minutes  later we’d be listening to Murielle Odle discourse about King Lear mad on the heath, or Pirandello or maybe J. Alfred Prufrock.

     The forest, swimming, sausage, beer, literature, friendship…all before 9:30…a lovely introduction to college for this former New Jersey resident.

  Chris Collins, 1977 – 1980, From the book, Noch Eins! 



SACRIFICES (tentative title) EXHIBIT,


Please send us your personal thoughts, stories, and straightforward poems for possible inclusion in narrative components of the MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY FAMILY’S Summer 2014 Exhibit at the Nuclear Science Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We may lightly edit submissions for length, content and clarity.  Submissions may also become part of our permanent exhibit once we have procured our own building.

DEADLINEDecember 15, 2013                 

SUBMIT BY EMAIL TO:  Military Family Museum  Continue reading ‘WE’D LIKE YOUR STORIES’

VOLK VERLAG 01/2013 MÜNCHNER GESCHICHTE(N): Crayons, Candy und bayerische „Gemutlichkeit“

Liebe Leserin, lieber Leser,
fast fünfzig Jahre zeigte die amerikanische Armee nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg Präsenz in München, und doch verblasst die Erinnerung an diese Zeit zusehends. Viele wissen nicht mehr, dass im Münchner Süden ganze Stadtviertel von den Amerikanern beschlagnahmt, Siedlungen hochgezogen und Straßenläufe verändert wurden. Heute sind diese Spuren der „Amis“ in Giesing, Harlaching und Ramersdorf noch zu sehen: Zum Beispiel die ehemalige McGraw-Kaserne und der McGraw-Graben, die Siedlung am Perlacher Forst und die ehemalige amerikanische „Housing Area“ an der Claudius-Keller-Straße.

Amerikanische GIs entfernen kurz nach ihrem Einmarsch 1945 alle sichtbaren Symbole des NS-Regimes in München.

Amerikanische GIs entfernen kurz nach ihrem Einmarsch 1945 alle sichtbaren Symbole des NS-Regimes in München.

Continue reading ‘VOLK VERLAG 01/2013 MÜNCHNER GESCHICHTE(N): Crayons, Candy und bayerische „Gemutlichkeit“’

Munich Campus Match

By Debbie Dyke

My husband, Michael Dyke and I met at University of Maryland, Munich Campus in 1975. We met in a geology class! We studied together and then took Mr. Steve Blake’s government class. At this time we were only friends but enjoyed hanging out together. After two years at Munich, I transferred to Georgetown University and completed college in DC. Mike and his family also came to DC and we met again through other Municher’s here in DC and this time our friendship turned more serious, next thing you know he asked me to marry him. 32 years later, here we are, still best friends and married! We married at St. Mary’s Church in Old Town Alexandria VA. Of course, we went to Munich for our Honeymoon. Over the years we’ve worked overseas in Germany: Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Ramstein, Holland and Albania. We travel at least once a year to our old stomping ground in Munich. Our children, Lisa 23 years old and Jordan, 22 years old also enjoy traveling and love to visit Munich.


1960 Tragedy in Munich, Germany

By Tom Drysdale

On December 17, 1960 an American military transport crashed in Munich, Germany, falling onto a crowded streetcar in the heart of the city’s shopping district.  All 20 on board the plane, including 12 University of Maryland Munich Campus (UMMC) students returning home to England for the holidays and 29 Germans on the ground were killed.

The US 3rd Air Force Commanding General at South Ruislip in West London, had sent his plane to Munich, as he had done before, to pick up London Central HS graduates attending UMMC and return them to England for the Christmas Holidays.

At that time, I was Deputy Superintendent of the DoDDS Atlantic Region (England, Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Iceland) and shared an office with Superintendent Clarence Kennedy in the 3rd AF Headquarters building.

The University of Maryland, Munich Campus conducted memorial services for the students on 20 and 23 December, 1960.  The student’s bodies were then airlifted to a large room at the rear of the 3rd AF building.  Appropriate Air Force personnel and chaplains escorted parents of the students to the back room to identify their sons and daughters. For Clarence and me, it was a terrible experience. We tried to be helpful and consoling. It was awful to witness the distraught, crying and grieving parents, going to and coming from that back room.

Shortly thereafter, Clarence and I suggested to HQ 3rd AF that a memorial be constructed on the Bushy Park High School campus in South Ruislip in memory of the students. Surprisingly, this was not approved because the students were no longer associated with DoDDS. Even so, a plaque with their names was donated by students and faculty and put on display in the LCHS library for many years. Hopefully AOSHS can someday honor and memorialize those long forgotten LCHS students who died in the Munich airplane crash.

While at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ and establishing the AOS Archives and AOSHS in 1989, I searched many times for the names and bios of the 12 students.

Later I followed up with the Bushy Park LCHS Alumni Association and advertised my search several times in Bushy Tales their newsletter. Eventually on Oct. 31, 2009, an ex-student by the name of Dee Roth sent an e-mail to me saying, “I think it would be great having some kind of memorial for the students who died in the plane crash, as part of the archives you have created. Hopefully the enclosed copy and pictures from a U of MD Memorial Edition will be helpful in developing the material for it.”

Dee had her sophomore year at Bushy Park, junior and senior years at Kaiserslautern (class of ‘60), and her freshman year of college at the UMMC. She sent 11 excellent photos of the 12 students, 12 short bios and part of a University of Maryland Munich Campus photo of their 12 caskets with flower arrangements on each one.

Munich’s American Era Exhibit

By Circe Olson Woessner

In early April 2012, I received a very interesting e-mail from Dr. Karin Pohl, who, with a team of historians, is currently working on an exhibit on Munich’s American Era, 1945-1992. It will focus on the surroundings of McGraw Kaserne, Giesing, Harlaching and Perlacher Forst housing area. The exhibit will run October 11th through October 28th 2012- with a possible prolongation until November 4th.

Dr. Pohl’s aim is to “put together an exhibit that doesn’t only talk about the Americans but actually also tells their Munich story. Former Munich High School students have forwarded their memories, photos and other memory items (such as year books etc.) to put together an exhibit which will be displayed at the “Giesinger Bahnhof”, a cultural center in the former train station not far from the former McGraw Kaserne.”

Article about the "Amis" (Americans) in Giesing : 20 Years after their Pullout from Munich (March 12, 2012)

The Freunde Giesings e. V. cultural society,  the Amerika Haus,  Munich University and the City of Munich Cultural Center are collaborating on the project.

Amerikanische Zeit in Giesing: The American Times in Giesing: Citizens are Creating an Exhibit. (January 25, 2012)

Dr. Pohl, a freelance historian, has published city-sponsored books, including a historical guide to Giesing which covers McGraw-Kaserne, Perlacher Forst housing area etc. Click here to read it:

In her e-mail, Dr. Pohl mentions, “While searching for information on the University of Maryland Munich campus I found your books [Bavarian Crème and Noch Eins!] …what a great source! So much information that we here in Germany have no clue about! To me the idea of students and military living so close together sounds like a crazy, at times even explosive mix. And Claire Schwan’s story on how the University  of  MD Munich was founded is stunning! Until I read this, I had thought there had been a real, organized plan — after all having a University for dependents sounds like a logical consequence if you have DoDDS. (The Defense Department Dependent Schools)”

“I also found your webpage about the Museum of the American Military Family. This aspect is really interesting and important to us, too: with interviews and pictures we want to draw attention not only to the soldiers but also to their families, and put a spot light on the lives of the wives and the children (who are my main source). And we try to explain what this nomad life means for the families. “

To help present this aspect of military life, Mary Lou Darst, author of “War Ready. In My Father’s Shadow” (2011) will be on hand during the exhibit and will read from her memoirs about her life as a “military brat” and living in Munich in the late 1950’s.

Aus Geschichten Wird Geschichte : From Stories Comes History March 19, 2012

Dr. Pohl admits “This is an aspect that the Germans have no knowledge of — but we have profited from this system since 1945 because the American presence assured our safety until the fall of the Iron Curtain.”

Indeed, the mission of the Museum of the American Military Family is to capture the experiences of American military families everywhere, and to share those stories with the public.

So, the Museum of the American Military Family is pleased to support our friends in Munich who are trying to capture a snippet of American German history and preserve it for all time.

If you lived or worked in Munich between 1945-1992, and you would like to contribute to the exhibit, please e-mail Dr. Karin Pohl or us. We can be reached at:


By Circe Woessner, DODDS Brat and UMMC Alumnus,

Growing up overseas and attending DoD schools and the University of Maryland, Munich Campus, meant that school field trips were a little more interesting than average. Sure, we had routine field trips like going to the zoo and to the bowling alley on post, but we also took class trips to the local “Schloss” (castle) and explored Roman ruins.

Sixth grade was my most outstanding elementary school year. The entire grade went on two week-long trips—“Schullandheim” in the early fall and a ski week in midwinter.

The German word, Schullandheim roughly translates to school-country-home, and is really a youth hostel or house where school groups go to study in the countryside.  In our case, the youth hostel was in the Black Forest not too far from our Karlsruhe school.

For a week, we did outward-bound type activities, made new friends—in some cases—found our first crush—and learned a lot about team building and group dynamics. To this day, I remember a big ropes course, a pitch-black handholding group trek through the nighttime woods and a lot of ghost stories.

Ski week was in the Feldberg. We stayed at another youth hostel. I remember the breakfasts of hot fresh brotchen and bierschinken and rosehip tea. To this day, I can still recall the taste of the bitter, red tea and the cool, greasy, rubbery, delicious meat on a fresh, buttered roll. It is one of my most vivid taste-memories.

I learned to ski (sort of) that week. Having never been on skis, I had a bigger learning curve than some of my classmates, but by the end of the week, I could snowplow, turn and (most of the time) stop. I even took third in a “slalom”. Not bad for a pudgy, nonathletic kid.

In high school band camp was an international affair.  Literally. I fell in love with a Canadian boy.  (His dad was in the Canadian Forces stationed in Baden Baden.) The week-long band camp brought together Canadian, American and German high school students—strangers all—to live, study, practice and perform together. The intense week culminated in our giving a concert for parents, families and locals from the community.

We stayed in a youth hostel attached to a ruined castle tucked away in some remote woods near a small German town. I have no idea where we were, but I have some great memories of that time.

First of all, our bus driver was drunk. He stopped to have several beer breaks on the way up and back. His driving prowess both thrilled and terrified us as he zigzagged up the windy road to the youth hostel.

Second: no matter how remote we were, we still had the stamina to sneak out the hostel and trek into town to the local Gasthaus to get beer. We scaled up and down the steep outer walls in order to do this, when in hindsight, we probably could have gone down the stairs and out the front door while the chaperones weren’t looking.

I think we got most of our thrill from plotting our escape, rather than actually escaping.  We were very resourceful, scouring the forest for a large stick (i.e. LOG) to stick into one of the many cracks in the crumbling 20-foot high wall. We helped each other out. Depending on our direction, the strongest would go up (or down) and the rest would either dangle and drop or clamber and be hoisted.  It was a miracle none of us were killed or at least maimed. Once home, I counted 32 cuts and bruises on my body from being hauled over 500 year old battlements.

At the University of Maryland, Munich, I took a Prague study tour.  As an American overseas, I didn’t feel Communism was applicable to me. In Prague I blithefully exchanged my deutschmarks and Marlboros on the black-market, never once considering it was actually against the law, and dangerous for me to follow strangers into a dark alley to bargain. Again, I survived unscathed, even as my black market partners melted into the darkness as police sirens wailed closer.

My black-marketed money got me cheap pivo (beer) and great Czech food, crystal glasses and silk comforters.  It also got me Russian flags and awesome roast goose dinners with dumplings and cranberries.

My bus mates stashed their loot underneath the bus enroute back to Germany. Either I was wise beyond my years, or I had been tipped off, I like to think it was wisdom now—I rolled my silk comforter into a pillow case, and put my crystal into a backpack stored at my feet. When we crossed the border I pretended to be asleep.

The border guards insisted the cargo hold be emptied, and all the students pay “200% duty” for their purchases. With my eyes closed, I still learned a lot about passive resistance. As if by one voice, all the students told the guards just to keep the stuff—and nonplussed, the guards didn’t know what to do with the 70 plus silk comforters piled on the ground before them.  They ended up telling us to get them back on the bus and get out of there. How could they explain all those goods to their superiors?

Circe Woessner (Right) in Egypt

In the early 80s, I took a study tour to Egypt. Although my parents were concerned about Middle Eastern politics, they let me go, and I arrived in Cairo, blissfully unaware that assassinations and intrigues were all around.  I loved hot, dusty Cairo.  We wandered through centuries old streets and marveled at the armed guards in every luxury hotel doorway. We rode donkeys and camels out to the pyramids and ate lamb spitted and cooking over the coals. Although we joked about coming down with something dreadful, we ate food purchased from street vendors with out mishap.

We attended a reception in a wealthy businessman’s condo and the next day walked through the worst slums imaginable. The contrast between modern Egypt and ancient Egypt and the gap between the haves and have-nots really became apparent on that trip.

There is something to be said about studying an ancient culture where it was actually born. Stepping into King Tut’s actual tomb is way cooler than seeing a traveling exhibit.

In the Balkans I felt the same euphoria. Walking through the beautiful towns of Split and Dubrovnik—some of the prettiest places I’ve been, I never could have imagined that within a decade, they’d be ravaged by war. In Istanbul I shopped in the bazaars, gawked at the Sultan’s Palace and tried to connect with God in the amazing mosques. We made friends wherever we went.

Now, I would ask more questions, read up on the history and culture. I would be cautious. I would miss spontaneous opportunities because I would not want to take risks or do something wrong.

As a 17 year American considering all of Europe “home”, it never occurred to me about political correctness or danger or food poisoning or any one of a million things an adult thinks of while traveling abroad.

I was comfortable in my skin and it never occurred to me that the world could be a bad place, which is why, one late night, when a couple of us were being chased by the Turkish police for violating curfew, it seemed to be a game—it never occurred to us that they were serious. We could have been shot.

We made it back to our hotel room, heated up some lovely greasy doughy bread on our radiator, spread it with feta, opened a bottle of local wine,  and looked over the brightly lit city of Istanbul.

The schools “field trips” are what made schooling overseas so special—I can’t imagine there was a better education anywhere.

Other Blogs from the Museum of the American Military Family


Each Time You Shop, You Help!

The Museum of the American Family (NonProfit # 97224) is a Smith's Reward Member--If you shop Smith's or Affiliate, please click the icon to register online

Blog Stats

  • 13,541 hits


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers