Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Lahr Kaserne Today and a Look at the PMQs

Many changes have taken place in Lahr since the Canadians departed in 1993 and 1994, none more than at the former Kaserne.  This is where we Canadians and other authorized workers did our shopping, curling, bowling and swimming.  Our kids went to school at the Kaserne, we borrowed books from the library and bought books and magazines at the Stars and Stripes bookstore.  We worked out at the gymnasium (or should have!) afrer we'd had lunch or supper at the Kaserne restaurant.  We also visited the dentist from time to time, not the most favourite of destinations on our list.
Many facilities were also available at the Flugplatz or, as we called it, the Airport. The Kaserne, however, was really the centre for our leisure hours as that is where families went together to do their main shopping for groceries and clothing.

The picture above shows the same entrance as in Canadian days, but it now leads to a new community, with the former CYC (Canadian Youth Centre) on the left. The entrance gate is now long gone as is the guard house. On the right of that picture is the former Brigade Headquarters building, K1.

I have had emails requesting information about former PMQ areas and about what is happening here now at the Kaserne. The pictures will tell some of the story so you can see for yourselves. It is difficult now to know exactly where everything was located as there are no landmarks left. Some of the older buildings are still there but no longer are they numbered as in the past. I can tell you in which part of the old Kaserne these buildings are located, but that is about all I can do.  So now, on with the pictures.

At left, a corner of K1 along with a smaller building on the left (not sure of its number) and K4, former Canadian Forces Headquarters Europe, at the rear.

The buildings at the former Kaserne have either been totally renovated from inside out and turned into apartment buildings or have been torn down to make way for new housing.  Those on the left were renovated. 

The Fliegerhof, below right, saw many air crew coming and going over the years.  It has many stories to tell from those days.  It is now an academy. 

The CYC, below left,  was renovated and kept as it was.  It has a small gallery in one section of it.  It is now owned by a business man. 

The picture at right below shows the present buildings on the street across from the Kaserne and K1.  The Fliegerhof is just to the right of the buildings.  The yellow building is the former K3 and the only building along the back wall to have survived.  The road around the Kaserne passed behind it.  The others have been torn down, including K6, the library building.

The following picture at left is the former K4, HQ CFE.  It is still under renovation. That is where the Commander CFE was located and also Log Branch, Hans' work place.  The yellow building seen above was situated next to it as shown below on the right.  The former parade square is now a parking area.

The following pictures show some of the buildings that were renovated and are now apartment buildings.  That will include the former schools. 
The two pictures below are two views of the same building. 

The red and beige apartment house and the row of buildings are directly on the main street driving through from the back entrance to the front entrance.

More renovated apartment buildings towards the back entrance of the community.  The two below are of the same building, front and back.  This building faces the main street.  The white building is near the back entrance. 

The picture below left shows a view of the main street heading towards the back entrance.  New buildings are being erected on the other side of the main street, as well as a new access road off it with more building going on. 

The picture underneath gives a view of the back entrance to the community as one drives down from the Langenhard. The entrance was changed from its original location near the Canadian hospital.

The Feuerwehrstrasse is the road that passes behind the former Kaserne, bringing you to the small access road in front of the former Officer's Mess.

This is a view of the crossroads with the road in the forefront the back entrance leading out of the former Kaserne.  Straight ahead takes you to the former Officer's Mess or the Langenhard.  Left takes you to the former Canadian hospital and the street going through Lahr to Kubach. Going right takes you behind the Kaserne, past the complex and towards the back road to and from the Kaserne.

The houses below are directly across from the former Officer's Mess property, facing the lawns.  Building is still going on to the right along the street heading towards the former Canadian Forces Hospital Europe (now a heart clinic).

The following pictures are of some of the former PMQs.  There were many PMQ areas scattered throughout Lahr.  I was not acquainted with the following area, but it is off the "back road" to the Kaserne and not far from it.  It is, I believe, either Area 8 or 9.  Perhaps it has always been a German apartment complex.  I'm sure some of you will know and will recognize some landmarks.

The view below shows the back road to the former Kaserne. The PMQs were off to the right along this road.
The following picture is the corner facing the complex with what I believe might have been one of the PMQ buildings on the left forefront.
The pictures below showcase some of the buildings in the complex.

The last pictures are of former Area 2 near the Lahr Krankenhaus.  The first two pictures show the building where good friends of mine, Jerry and Peggy Edwardson, lived during the mid 1970s.  Jerry was the CO of 5AMU at that time.  This street leads to the Krankenhaus.  

The buildings below are around the corner on the other side of Area 2.

The beautiful building below, said to be the largest building in Lahr, is a school where our friend Hans Schlager works.  He was the technical translator for Log Branch for several years and later the translator for Brigade HQ.  This building is just above--and facing--Area 2.  I'm sure all of you who lived in that area or drove to the Krankenhaus will remember it.

For other pictures of PMQs you can go to my blog post of July 23, 2010.  If you wish to see pictures of the Flugplatz, go to my post of July 18, 2010.  March 29, 2011 has pictures of the former Senior NCO Mess.  Canadians who had remained here received an invitation from the new owners to enjoy the final TGIF before the buildings were demolished.  That area is now a small business area with new buildings being erected.  Go to my Blog Archive (shown on the left side of the page) and click on 2010 or 2011.  You will see a list there of all my posts.

To see any of these pictures in a larger format, just click on them.
My next post will be back to my usual writings on events, food and wine.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for these photos. 72-76 for me. It's different but I can still see the old place.

      GoogleEarth has recently had its imagery updated for the Lahr area and the resolution is very, very good now. However, Google stitches together a lot of date at a time so the Kaserne actually shows the main buildings before they were renovated. Just after the cobblestones were removed, it looks like. Go see before they update again. I would love to have seen imagery this detailed while everything -- arenas, LX, gyms -- was still there!

      Can anyone tell me where the Bank of Montreal was? Lotzbeckstrasse?

    2. schwarzwald strasse

    3. Yes, that's where the Bank of Montreal was located.

  2. boy that brings back memories ! Born in 1960 my Dad got posted to Zweibrucken and we ended up at Lahr for only a year before getting shipped back home to Cold Lake in 1970. Lots of great kid memories for my 2 brothers and I. Thanks so much for sharing that's the most information and pics I've seen yet ! That was a big part of our life living there and experiencing Germany !
    Bruce McHendry

  3. boy that brings back memories ! Born in 1960 my Dad got posted to Zweibrucken and we ended up at Lahr for only a year before getting shipped back home to Cold Lake in 1970. Lots of great kid memories for my 2 brothers and I. Thanks so much for sharing that's the most information and pics I've seen yet ! That was a big part of our life living there and experiencing Germany !
    Bruce McHendry

  4. This is and always will be my second home. We lived in Biberach for the first few years, then up at 69 Schutzen Strasse in Lahr. Very blessed to have had the opportunity to live hand in hand with the German people. We returned in 2004 to visit our German family and had the time to tour Larh. Not much in the way of shopping had changed. We were very disapointed to see how the Kasern had been let go to ruins, so to see these pictures today makes me very happy in deed. Thank you so very much for sharing :).

  5. Bank of Montreal was on Schwartzwald Strassa. Near area 32.

  6. Hi Janet!

    Been a while since I last saw you and had lunch! Hope your well!


  7. WOW.....Awesome....I was posted in Lahr from 1982-1986......this brings back Great Memories.....and makes me WANT to go back for a vist NOW......!!

    Ron Poirier

    1. My name is also Ron Poirier.I was posted to 4 Svc Bn from 70-72, and to Base Sup 72-74. I was head of the Svc Bn advance team (each unit had to send one to Lahr during the summer and fall) from the north to welcome the families since they moved south before the soldiers so that the children could start school in the fall and not suffer a change of schools in Oct-Nov when the men finally moved south. Welcoming the families and FORCING, yes FORCING! them to move into dirty, disgusting PMQs that the Frence had left was the worst 4 months of my 36 year military career. Looking after all those disgruntled wives and their kids....Wow.And I was single.....

  8. Wow, very interesting to see these! My father sent me the link; he was posted to Lahr from... 79-83 if my math and memory are correct. We lived in the buildings directly across from the main Kaserne entrance, which I believe were typically reserved for officers although my father was a Master Corporal at the time. A bit to do with luck and a bit to do with having a 2-child family I think, but the details are murky for me.

    Spent many, MANY hours at the CYC, particularly since we lived so close. They had a room with a small billiards table and an Atari 2600; you could sign out games; everyone had a liking for Chopper Command. ;-)

    Also spent countless hours in the forest that ran alongside the Kaserne. What an amazing place for a young boy to grow up. I remember as a kid, one of the only complaints I had was "no Saturday morning cartoons" (though my uncle mailed us some on Betamax), but even as a teenager I had come to realize what a blessing that was.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great pictures which bring back wonderful memries. Believe K6 was also the Boy Scout and Girl Guide facilities plus the Scout Shop.

  10. 1976 to 1979 at Westend School. Highlight of my teaching career. How could it not be? Great children. Great staff. Wonderful, wonderful caring parents.
    Frank Heyman

  11. Thanks Janet , for the photos and commentary ,best i have seen yet . I served at Lahr from 1970-1972 .
    I drove the Base Commander ,Col Gordon Sellar . My biggest thrill , was to watch the 104 Starfighters , take off at night , with afterburners spewing out about 50 feet of flame . Thanks again . Earl D

  12. wow, this is great, I was born in Germany in Zweibrucken 1967 and lived in Baden with my parents until we wer 4 months old, we then returned to Baden, Soellingen when we were 16,we went to School in Lahr. We were French Canadians and the only french school was 45 minutes ride to Lahr. We left in 1986 and I returned with my husband in 1988 to Lahr until it closed in 1993. We still have friends that live behind the Kaserne, The Franz's. At least they have put some good use the the area. My old school is now an apartment complex, I used to go to the CYC. My god this so unreal. Thank you for the found memories

  13. So wonderful to sse these pictures. I saw some a few years back that showed the Kaserne in terrible shape. Broken windows,weeds, graffiti, and in a horrible state of disrepair. My heart is lifted and I am so pleased to see the area has been revitalized. I loved my tour in Lahr 1973-77 and still miss my time in Germany.

    Thank you so much for posting these pictures.

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  15. Was in Lahr 1978 to 1982 with 4 CMBG HQ&Sigs; worked at the Kaserne, with OP Troop and at the DA.
    Great to remember that time; the buildings have changed but good to see some get a second life.
    Need to go back for a visit.

  16. It is so great to see the pics, I can't believe how quickly it brings back the memories and the urge to go back and visit. I was in 4 Svc Bn / Maint Coy / W&E Platoon and lived with a German couple in an awesome apartment in Rheinhausen-Oberhausen. I keep telling my wife I will take her back one day to see where I lived and worked, but this "darn" work keeps getting in the way - lol. My best posting and the "memories - Oh My God, the memories..." Thanks for posting. Terry L.

  17. great pics. Moved south in 1970 with 1 RCHA AOP until 71, and returned '74 - '78 with 444 Sqn. I visited Lahr and north Germany with my son in 2007 and saw the dilapidated state of the kaserne and was very disappointed. Sure glad to see it being rejuvenated. Our new hospital we built is now a German heart hospital and looks good. AMU's building was taken over by a local airline and the 444 hangar was used for some small aircraft and offices.
    thanks for bringing back memories.

  18. I was posted to HQ & Sigs 4CMB 71 to 74. I was lucky enough to meet a German fellow when I lived in Kippenheim who was in the German Army Engineers and help build the Kasern prior to WW 2. Also my land lords brother did his depot there in 45, he toured the Kaserne with me and pointed out just what was used by the German Army in those days. Gave me a different out look on the Kaserne.

  19. Hi,
    My father just sent me this link. I lived in Germany from 88-93. I was then in High scool therefore some of the best years of my life where spent there. We lived in Kippenheim, Reichenback and also Area 31. Thank you so much for the up-dated pictures. I was devastated when I saw, a few years, the ones of the whole place left for dead. At least, I know know that the wonderful place we called home away from home for so many years is now coming back to life. Both of my parents worked at the Hospital, my father as a medic and mother as a civilian secretary. You have brought back so many great memories. Mille Merci pour tout les belles photographies!!! Que de beaux souvenirs.


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  22. Remember it well spent from 78-82 HQ&SIGS right at the Kaserne..brings back lots of memories !!

  23. Bonnie Hamilton27 October, 2013 20:09

    We were there from 1983 to 1989, My husband worked at the Kaserne at 4CMBG HQ & Sigs, TM Troop, known as Hammy. I (Bonnie Hamilton) worked at the base at RCD's and when 8CH came over, I changed jobs at worked for CE until our posting back to Canada in August 1989. What an amazing 6 years we had in Lahr.

  24. Ok, I think I might cry. Picture 26 is bringing back my childhood. I will have to show my mom and dad, I think this is where we lived. My address, even after being away for 31 years is imprinted on my brain. I lived at 31-22-11. We lived on the top and third floor of our apartment building. There was an orchard behind the parking lot and beyond the orchard was (apparently) a witches "convent" type of thing. On the front side of our building was a street and across that, 3 (what seemed at the time huge )buildings that we all called towers. Many of my friends lived in those. They were ugly!! Funny when I saw pictures of them on your blog they seemed so small. As a kid they looked huge!

    I attended Gutenburg for kindergarten and grade one and then we moved to CFB Borden. So glad to have had the chance to live in Germany.

    P.S., got any pictures of Europa Park? I have fond memories of going there :)

  25. Awesome pictures. I grew up in the Lahr area in the late 80's, early 90's and our family was one of the last to leave as the Canadians left. My mother is German, and we drove through the Kaserne about 7 or 8 years ago when it was likely at its height of disrepair. It was very, very sad as I had such wonderful childhood memories of the time we spent there. I'm absolutely thrilled that the area is being redeveloped. Anything is better then the broken windows and decrepit state that those buildings were in. Thank you so much for the pictures.

  26. Love these pictures and your blog Janet! I used to live in Area 2 in the late 80's so it's lovely to see it again. I visited Lahr in 2001 and the caserne was in a very sorry state at the time. So happy to see the regeneration and new life breathed into it.

  27. What a lovely flashback. I was there from 72-76 as my father was a high school social studies teacher for the air force pilots' children. We lived off base in an apartment building across from a railway where we often saw the starfighters flying across the sky. Went to West End school in grade 1. Enjoyed dinners at the officers mess on Sundays.
    Jennifer McIntyre