On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the end of WW II in Augsburg, the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society suggested the installation of a commemorative plaque at the location of the capitulation, the “Riedingerbunker“ (air raid shelter), later replaced by the admin building of the Stadtwerke (city works) Augsburg.
The plaque shall remind of the U.S. soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division that occupied Augsburg on April 28, 1945 without combat, as well as of the courageous citizens of the Augsburg Freedom Movement who ensured not only that the U.S. forces could enter the city without resistance but who also led them to the NS Headquarters near the cathedral while risking their lives by doing this.
(please see also: Documentation > Regional History > Freedom Movement)
In the expectation of a veterans’ visit, the Stadtwerke Augsburg, supported by former mayor Theo Gandenheimer, took care of the matter and funded as well as realized the idea of a bronze commemorative plaque on their historical important building. So, a short but significant chapter of the City of Augsburg’s history could be honorably closed.
The plaque was revealed on April 28, 2010, at 11.00 hours on the location of the historical event. Indeed, three former soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division attended the ceremony, among them Dr. Murray Simon and Dr. Charles Phallin, who had marched through Augsburg on the day of liberation.
Dr. Claus Gebhardt, one of the chiefs of the Stadtwerke, mayor Peter Grab and CPT Monika Stoy, who had organized the visit of the three veterans and their relatives, made solemn remarks. Among the spectators were also former U.S. soldiers who had stayed in Augsburg after their retirement.
After the revelation, a ceremony in honor of the three U.S. veterans took place in one of the Prince’s Rooms of the City Hall, followed by a lunch on the “Ratskeller” (city hall cellar restaurant) terrace. Parallel to the revelation, the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society displayed original historical items of the ”Zero Hour” in the Stadtwerke windows.
Left: Address Mayor Peter Grab, interpreter Tim Stoy
Right: Cast bronze plaque in German and English
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Above left: lunch on the “Ratskeller” terrace
Above right: Thanks to Jürgen Dillmann, the initiator of the Stadtwerke, beneath
Theo Gandenheimer and Walter Böhm
Below left: farewell photo
Below right: CPT Monika Stoy hands over a United States Flag with 48 stars for Lord Mayor Kurt Gribl to chairman Georg Feuerer
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