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Flak Kaserne Ludwigsburg / American Version


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THE HISTORY ABOUT FLAK KASERNE

The Flak Kaserne in Ludwigsburg, district of Oßweil, is a former Kaserne of the 25th German Flak-Regiment and later of the U.S. Army.

The start of construction took place in late 1935 and lasted until spring of 1937 when the first Soldiers and Officers of the 25th Anti-Aircraft Regiment moved in to Flak Kaserne which has an area of approximately 19-acres. 

The Opening Ceremony took place on September 12, 1936 in the presence of Colonel Kolb, Colonel Heilingbrunner, (Commanders of the 25th Flak Regiment) and Ludwigsburgs former mayor Dr. Karl Frank and other guests. 

During the ceremony, military aircraft  flew formation over the Kaserne. The first occupants erected several accommodation facilities for the Soldiers and a makeshift barracks until the elegant Officerskasino was built in 1938.

For amusement and cultural events (such as theater or music) for the Soldiers of the 25th anti-aircraft Regiment. the Gym was built, (which has not been torn down due to the Monumental Protection Law). There were special appearances from Stars like Zarah Leander and Ilse Werner.

In April 1945 the French and American troops occupied the city of Ludwigsburg and took over Flak Kaserne where the German Commanders surrendered the area to the victors. 

After initial problems with the French, they left the City of Ludwigsburg and it was taken over by Captain (later Major) John Lindsay of the United States Military Government.

AFTER THE WAR

1945-1948: 

Flak Kaserne was used by the Americans as a camp for former Nazis.


1948-1950: 

Used as a refugee camp for displaced people and returnees of the War.


1950-1991: 

Headquarters of the 4th U.S. Transportation Battalion


1991-2007: 

Flak Kaserne, the Land is owned now by the Federal Republic of Germany


2007-2015: 

Flak Kaserne was sold to the city of Ludwigsburg and the beginning of  planning and development of the site took place in August 2007


2007-2015: 

Flak Kaserne was sold to the city of Ludwigsburg and the beginning of  planning and development of the site took place in August 2007


Flak Kaserne was one of the largest Nazi camps of the U.S. Army Commanded. After 1948, Flak Kaserne served two years as a refugee camp and  was named IC74 by the Americans due to the lost persons of the War. Occupants of the Kaserne included  August Wilhelm of Prussia, Richard Walther Darré and Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk. 

In 1950 Flak Kaserne went into the management of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

After renovations were made the 4th Transportation Battalion moved in to Flak and remained there until the start of the Gulf War in 1991 when the last American Soldier left Flak Kaserne and the City of Ludwigsburg.

TODAY

After the departure of the American soldiers in 1991, Flak Kaserne remained empty. The Kaserne also had to be renovated due to different solvents and fuel that contaminated the soil over the years of Military presence. 

Later, over the years, there were repeated cases of vandalism where windows were smashed and destroyed and the interior of the buildings were also destroyed and full of Graffiti. The area was heavily overgrown by plants and weeds. Parts of the Kaserne were used as a parking lot for truck trailers and as training grounds for the German police. 

There was a discussion about having the complete Kaserne torn down, which had turned out to be a very hard task to accomplish, due to the fact that the complete Kaserne (including many of the old trees) were under the Monumental protection law. Another reason was also because the German Federal government was demanding too much money for the purchases of the Kaserne.

After long and hard negotiations with the German Government the City of Ludwigsburg finally signed the Contract with the Federal Agency for Real Estate (BimA) for the purchase of Flak Kaserne on May 4th, 2007.

Flak Kaserne now became the name of Hartenecker Heights. The price for Flak was approximately 8.25 million Euros. The almost 19 acre site offered the best position for diverse high quality Housing for about 1,600 people looking for a new home. 

There were Apartment buildings, double and single homes built. The contaminated products from the area to include toxins, oil and asbestos had to be removed before the building process started.

The City of Ludwigsburg started with the negotiations for the demolition. The development of the site began in the fall of 2008. The first families moved into the new housing on Hartenecker heights in 2009.

With a few exceptions, almost all buildings were demolished. At least 300 of the 600 trees, the gym, the former casino, as well as the guard house and part of the stone wall were saved from demolition. 
Still remaining is the memorial plaque for the 25th Flak Regiment, as well as the plaque for 50 years of the barracks from 1984.

On November 18, 2008 it was announced that the owner of the bakery Anders, bought the guardhouse. He wanted to renovate the building so he could open his 6th bakery. In addition, a cafe on the ground floor in the summer, space for a small external management and two appartments for upstairs were planned. 

These plans were never done. The baker had stepped back from the purchase according to information from the city of Ludwigsburg. Shortly after the bakery Luckscheiter bought the building. The renovations have been completed. They have created a café, museum, a bakery with outdoor seating, as well as two apartments. They celebrated the Grand Opening in February 2013.

The Officers' Club, which was  built in 1938 with approximately 3500 square meters of space that included a dining room with stucco ceiling and wall paneling, and a fireplace with decorative work. 

The casino has been converted into an apartment building named "Casino Leander" - based on Zara Leander’s performances at the casino. A lot of attention was paid during the renovation for the preservation of this historical building.

The old gymnasium on the former site of Flak Kaserne was converted into a child and family center. Now children playing where once the soldiers had trained. Accordingly, the new child care center was designed as a "house within a house". 

The Gym remained as an outer shell, including the roof construction. The interior of the Gym now has another building that is being used as a child and family center, however, not the entire inner surface was used. More than a third remained to exist as a kind of covered outdoor area. 

Children can therefore also “play outdoors” when it’s bad weather. In order to draw more natural light inside the old gym, the roof and parts of the walls were removed and replaced with safety glass.

On September 13, 2015 the unveiling of the memorial plaque took place on the former exit of the Kaserne. The Mayor of Ludwigsburg and many former US Soldiers were attending the ceremonial. 

The memorial plaque has the following engraving: „In honor an grateful remembrance of the soldiers of the United States Army who served at Flakkaserne, Ludwigsburg, from 1950 to 1991.“