Camp King


Camp King

Camp King is an area in Oberursel, Taunus (in Germany), with a long history. It began as a school for agriculture under the auspices of the University of Frankfurt. During World War II, the lower fields became an interrogation center for the German Air Force. After World War II, the United States Army also used it as an interrogation center and intelligence post. In 1968, it became the command and control center for the United States Army Movements Control Agency - Europe (USAMCAEUR). Today it is a German housing area.

History

Prior to World War II (1926-1939)

Prior to World War II, what later became known as Auswertstelle West during World War II, was an educational farm established, in 1936, under the auspices of the University of Frankfurt. Students learned gardening, bee keeping, animal husbandry as well as general farming techniques. It was in essence an agricultural learning centerSpratt, Jack. "The History of Camp King".] .

World War II

During World War II the land below the school was adapted to military use as Auswertstelle West also usually erroneously called Dulag Luft. The discrepancy arises due to the post initially being both the Dulag and the interrogation center. Dulag Luft, initially on the post but later transferred to Frankfurt and later WetzlerToliver, Raymond F. "The Interrogator". Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing LTD., 1997] .

Activities at Auswertstelle West were intelligence related. Captured allied aircrews were brought to the post for interrogation. Once the interrogations were completed, they were transferred to their Stalag. The center housed many types of intelligence to include unit histories on most allied air forces. The British convened a war crimes trial. The Trial was known as the "Dulag Luft Trial". It was held in Wuppertal, Germany, beginning on November 26, 1945. The hearing was convened due to the allegations of ill treatment of British Prisoners of War. Four officers were charged: Killenger, Junge, Eberhardt, and Bohehringer. Killenger and Junge were sentenced to five years confinement. Eberhardt received three years. Boehringer was acquitted

During this time the post also picked up its nickname "The Goat Farm". As mentioned earlier, the lands acquisitioned for military use were the lands below the school, which were agricultural. In one of the fields was home to a nasty goat that was noted for chasing prisoners who attempted to invade its territory [Rollings, Charles, "Dulag Luft" "After the Battle", issue 106 ] .

Post World War II (1945-1953)

As the war ended, the Americans stumbled on to the post. Because the facilities were already designed for interrogations and intelligence gathering it was decided to continue using it for intelligence gathering. (Silver) The post was originally, unofficially, known as Camp Sibert. General Edwin Sibert was the Senior Intelligence Officer for the US zone (Gajdosch). Department of Defense Records indicate that several Mobile Field Interrogation Units moved into the post to serve at the Army and group levels. On September 19, 1946, (General order 264) officially named the Intelligence Center located in Oberursel as "Camp King." The post was named after Colonel Charles B. King, Infantry. Colonel King was an intelligence officer who died in Normandy. On June 22, 1944, Colonel King was accompanying a patrol bringing back prisoners when he was killedUS Military records] .

The post was used as an interrogation center by the United States initially for denazification and later for interrogations of defectors from or agents of the Warsaw Pact. The center was called European Command Intelligence Center, Oberursel. This included many intelligence sources as well as scientists.

The book "The History of Camp King" lists the following people: Karl Brandt (Hitler’s personal surgeon and in charge of sanitation), Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz (Commander of the German navy), Hans Frank (Reich Minister, Governor-General of occupied Poland), Reich Marshal Hermann Goering (Chief of the German Air Force), Colonel General Alfred Jodl (Chief of Opertions Staff of the German Armed Forces), Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) and Field Marshal Albert Kesselring (Supreme Commander West).

Some civilians such as Hanna Reitsch, a German test pilot, was held at the post. One noted American was Axis Sally whose true name was Mildred Elizabeth Sisk also know as Mildred Gillars. An American, she was held at the post at the request of the FBI. She was later transferred to the United States and tried for treason.

In July 1946 General Reinhard Gehlen arrived on the post and established the Gehlen Organization which later went on to become the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, or "Federal Intelligence Service")Silver, Arnold M "Memories of Oberursel; Questions, Questions, Questions", "Intelligence and National Security", Vol 8, No 2 published by Frank Cass, London] [Pruitt,Randy. "Camp King: A casern with a past" "Stars and Stripes Newspaper", European Edition January 18,1993] .

1953-1968

In 1953 Camp King was assigned to the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade. The post was still used as an interrogation center but also assumed intelligence duties as a command center for many field offices in Europe [ [http://www.gordon.army.mil/513mi/ The 513th Military Intelligence Brigade website] ] .

The post was a major intelligence center for the European Theater. The unit supported many field offices throughout Germany. The units power was usurped as the unit became so large that instead of command and control it actually served in more of a support role. Col Franz Ross rectified this and the unit resumed its actual function [Koehler, John. "STASI; The Untold Story of The East German Secret Police". Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999] .

1968 to 1993

In 1968 the Post, redesignated the United States Army Movements Control Center - Europe (USAMCAEUR), was assigned to the 4th Trans Brigade later redesignated the 4th Transportation Command. The mission of the 4th Transportation Command, as stated in military records, was to operate integrated transportation service in support of US Forces in Central Europe.

The responsibilities encompassed:
* Operation of a military highway transportation system prmarily known as the 37th Trans Group(Trucks and Containers)
* Operation of a military water terminals notably in Bremerhaven Germany and Rotterdam Holland. (Container ports)
* Reception, processing, and oncarriage transportation of military units deployed in Europe
* Movement and control of personnel and material
* Traffic management for US forces in Central Europe
* Preparation of USAEUR Wartime movement program
* Intra-theater transport employing both US Air Force and US Army aircraft
* Traffic regulation services for US Forces in Central Europe.

This unit was deactivated and its mission assigned to the 1st Transportation Movement Control Agency, which was formed from the command and control section of the former 4th TRANSCOM. In the spring of 1990, Headquarters, 22d Signal Brigade was moved to Camp King.

1993 to present

In 1993 the post was deactivated and was returned to the German Government. Since that time it has been redeveloped into a housing area. In honor of the past, the people of Oberursel have named the area Camp King [ [http://sewo.de/ Sewo website] ] .

References

Bibliography

* Gehlen, Reinhard. The Memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen. New York, New York: World Publishing,1972
* "Deckname Artischocke" — Egmont R. Koch and Michael Wech, Egmont R. Koch Filmproduktion, Bremen, Germany, 12 August, 2002.
* 1st TMCA website
* 22nd Signal Brigade website

Other sources

* Numerous Department of Defense documents received from The Historian Headquarter Europe
* E-mail from John Finnegan, Historian Inscom.
* E-Mails from Sandi Andresen

External links

* [http://www.campking.net The history of Camp King]
* [http://www.sewo.de/ The German website for the redevelopment]
* [http://www.oberursel.info/en/ The Oberursel City website]
* [http://www.fas.org/irp/world/germany/intro/gehlen.htm Federation of American Scientist Gehlen Organization]
* [https://www.cia.gov/csi/kent_csi/docs/v37i4a07p_0001.htm Link to Memories of Oberursel; Questions Questions Questions]


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