Monday 23 November, 1936
The Will of the Fuhrer Calls us to Work For the
This is what can be found on the corner stone of the new
barracks - our barracks - rising after three months of hard work. In the short
period of only a quarter year, nine hundred laborers have done an amazing amount
of work to create a new home for our military, in fact the roofs are up before
the dead of Winter arrived. Now things go further! Day after day, the laborers
worked through the heat, cold and rain. And each man among them doing his part,
can feel just a bit proud today that his contribution, part of the larger effort
has played a critical part - it is the people who erect labor to construct the
buildings. It won’t be long now, before the troops can occupy the new garrison.
We would like to thank Norbert Ruckel for providing this unpublished
photo series of the German military history of Manteuffel Kaserne.
In 1936, construction of the Kaserne is fully underway. To honor the
workers, visiting military dignitaries speak to the tradesmen from a
temporary platform in front of the building which would, 36 years
later, be the 2/11 dining facility.--Norbert Ruckel
The construction gangs hard at work at the endeavor -
today they can feel a silent joy at the thought of a celebration, the paint is
hardly dry on the walls, today - the Richtfest (( celebration of the project
over ½ way complete )) done in the grand old style! The remarkable Autumn
morning greets the endeavor. Festive sprays of pine and evergreen mix with the
flags and bunting that decorating building # 1. Both the national flag and flag
of the military are noteworthy in the display, the bright red flag standards
reach to the sky.
The view from the platform as the workers assemble. Note
various stages of completion of other buildings.--Norbert
CPT Steinkeller of the soon to arrive battalion from
Eisenach , was responsible for the preparations of the construction detachment.
The men, given the day off, stood in open ranks. Collective undertakings and
responsibilities are components of their work and today, this gives them
collective joy. Everyone who participated in the daily labor, today participates
in this important celebration.
After the ceremony, the
workers are honored with a formal dinner and .... more speeches.
In attendance at the Richtfest, from the Army battalion
was the commander, LTC von Apell, his adjutant, the Company Commander’s or their
representatives and the senior NCO. The guests and honored guest of the
Wehrmacht, the Party, the State and the city slowly assembled. Noteworthy in the
group: representing the Military District of Bad Kissingen was CPT - Doctor
Eberler, from the Hammelburg Barracks and Hammelburg Military District was the
Barracks Commander, LTC Fleischhauer and Military Finance Controller Weber and
representing the 2nd Panzer Division HQ in Wurzburg was CPT Spaule.
From the Military Hospitals of Bad Kissingen was Senior Staff Physician Dr.
Wellein. Representing the Party was Bad Kissingen’s Regional Political Leader,
Dr. Schneider and the Labor Leader Zauns (??) as well as the leader of the
construction detachment. From the city and regional administrative office was
Dr. Conrath, then Bad Kissingen’s Oberburgermeister Dr. Pollwein accompanied by
the members of the city legislature, also in the group, the Construction Office
Director, Herr Horold, the area commander for Air Defense, Licensed Engineer
Herr Refzelring ( ?? ), the on site construction supervisor and architect Herr
Ritter, all the laborers, suppliers and family members involved with the
construction force was honored with a parade through Bad
Kissingen. The photo clears up one small mystery from the
construction phase; that it was a civilian work force under
general military control who did the actual labor at the
The proceedings began to move along with a certain
military order - and how could it have been otherwise - what great joy and pride
on the part of the participants. Herr Kiefer, the Supervisor of the Army’s
Construction Office in Bamberg greeted the guests and clearly enjoyed the scene
before him. He singled out the workers who, with the support of the construction
officials, the city, the Labor Office and, not to be forgotten, the suppliers
and assisting companies, for their great progress in spite of the weather in
only a few months. He spoke of the care and diligence of the construction
companies and the workers in insuring an accident free operation. He spoke of
solidarity and unity which are important to the success of the their service to
the nation and of which all Germans may be proud.
He toasted respectively, the work gangs, the site
management and the master craftsmen, journeymen and apprentices. Each time he
drained his glass. At the conclusion of his remarks, in keeping with the
traditions, he hurled the glass to the floor of the platform - the walls and the
roof are as a man and wife and the Richtfest is the consecration of the union.
(paragraph omitted: LTC von Apell spoke on the ein Volk -
ein Reich - ein Fuhrer theme - through the building of these walls we are
building the state)
Then, the small section of the Regimental band assembled
and they led the long parade of workers and guests to the two Fest halls
designated as the “Saalbau“ and the “Germania“. The mid day festivities
naturally belonged to these people and the splendid military band was permitted
a well deserved break. It goes without saying that the attendees shared a
wonderful sense of community; the new construction certainly shows that each man
was entitled to his place in the Fest - that no one man was more important than
the next - and that no problems encountered could not be solved. The day
proceeded as it had begun - in full harmony.
Towards the end of things, both Battalion Commander von
Apell and Construction Supervisor Karch spoke again. They thanked the workers
for what would be the new home, rising through worker sacrifice and diligence.
Soldiers and workers united through a common spirit - this common spirit is
essential to the military spirit - and the German Army is the well source of
this essential spirit. [roughly translated]
Close up of the work
force. The small sign would indicate the trade of the following
workers, "Masons" for example.
Oberburgermeist Dr. Pollwein spoke in conclusion. He
thanked LTC von Apell and his staff, he thanked the military visitors from
Hammelburg and Wutzburg. Dr. Pollwein then presented a copy of the barracks
plans to LTC von Apell. “ It is our sincere wish to have your unit here as soon
The honored guests then bid farewell to those assembled at
the Saalbau and Germania. Towards evening, the festivities came to an end. We
had the feeling through our shared, happy experience, our sense of effort and
help, as stones had been lifted to the sky, that we had been building a part of
the new Germany. We had a proud certainty that the efforts would soon be
finished … and all of this … because it was the Fuhrer’s will!
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