In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WW II, the City of Augsburg organized a public ceremony in he town hall´s Goldener Saal. Invited by lord mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl, numerous guests of public life, politics and economy, Bundeswehr, U.S. citizens and former U.S. employees from Augsburg, as well as societies. Besides, six soldiers of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade from Wiesbaden, the last unit that had been stationed in Augsburg, followed the invitation.
It was a great honor for the two veterans John Miller and Bob Dutil, 89 and 90 years of age, who undertook the long journey from the United States. Both were members of Augsburg´s liberation forces on April 28, 1945.
After the welcome and introduction by lord mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl, there were speeches by William E. Moeller, the American consul general, and CPT Monika Stoy, the chairwoman of the Outpost International 5845, Society of the 3rd Infantry Division.
The oral presentation was held by Prof. Dietmar Süß, professor of late and latest history, University of Augsburg, heading: `Liberated Losers - The Germans and the End of War 1945´. The musical setting was impressively provited by pupils, male and female, of the Gymnasium by St. Stephan.
Left: In the morning of April 28. 1945, Henry Landman, a Jewish emigrant who returned as a U.S. soldier, made a photo of this scene at the Lechbrücke Lechhausen. Right: Exactly 70 years later, the city brought the peaceful surrender to the U.S. Army to mind with a ceremony.
Lord mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl during his speech in the ‘Goldener Saal’.
Monika Stoy (left picture) described the long campaign of both veterans from North Africa to Augsburg, and praised their fulfillment of duty (right picture from left: John Miller and Bob Dutil).
War veterans Bob Dutil (2nd from left) and John Miller (2nd from right) with lord mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl, consul general Moeller (middle) and Mr. and Mrs. Stoy during the recognition.
The string orchestra of the Gymnasium bei St. Stephan was provided as a background to the ceremony in the ‘Goldener Saal’.
A historic gesture: The youngest attendee in the ’Goldener Saal’ (violinist Esther Steinmeier, 11 years old) and the oldest visitor (Wolfgang Döring, 91 years old) receive the 3rd Infantry Division’s coin out of the hands of the war veterans.
Both seniors talking with young soldiers of the 66th MI Brigade.
Left: Bob Dutil from California talking with Lourdes Barragan, behind her Clark Kuhling and consul general Moeller (right). Right: Consul general Moeller (left) with Rick Cervenka, formerly Field Artillery, chairman of the American Legion, Dwight D. Eisenhower - Post GR 13, Augsburg.
Members of the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society with both war veterans and members of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade from Wiesbaden (Photo: Clark Kuhling).
The ceremony ended with the Lento from the ‘American String Quartet’ by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)(Photo: Clark Kuhling).
Below: Display of a soldier of the 3rd Infantry Division at the end of the WW II, 1945.