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Saale Zeitung
Monday 23 November, 1936

The Will of the Fuhrer Calls us to Work For the People …

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  We would like to thank Norbert Ruckel for providing this unpublished photo series of the German military history of Manteuffel Kaserne.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 Ruckel  

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.
--Norbert Ruckel

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 project.

  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 work site.
--Norbert Ruckel

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 as possible!”

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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