July 29, 2006 - October 24, 2006

Special Exhibition on the History of the Berlin American High School 1946-1994

July 28th will be a lively day at the Allied Museum, when former students of the Berlin American High School return to their old haunts.

The school was closed down when the Allies left Berlin in late summer 1994. As usual in the USA, the young Americans founded an alumni association, which bears the proudly ironic name of “Berlin Brats“. This year, for the first time, the association is holding its traditional annual reunion in Berlin. Several hundred alumni are expected to attend. The venue will be the Allied Museum, which is taking the occasion of the visit by the “Berlin Brats“ to explore the history of the school in cooperation with alumni and teachers. Many thousands of American students received their high school diplomas in Berlin. What became of them? What impressions do they retain of their school days in the “outpost” of freedom, as Americans called Berlin during the Cold War era?

The American base in Berlin offered the children of military families a complete education within the American school system. As was the case for other major U.S. military bases, the Pentagon was the responsible school authority. Only one year after the Second World War ended, instruction began in a requisitioned German school building in the Dahlem district. In 1953, the Thomas A. Roberts School moved to a new purpose-built school building on Hüttenweg. In 1965, the Berlin American High School then moved to its final location with the address Am Hegewinkel. After the withdrawal of American troops from Berlin the Wilma-Rudolph-Oberschule took over the school building.

The planned exhibition seeks to document the history of the American High School, to recall its teachers and students and school life, and to present its peculiarities as well as noteworthy events. Its location in the Four Sector City and one of the focal points of the Cold War made the Berlin American High School unique.
And yet the American base was a world largely cut off from its surroundings, which because of security concerns but also language barriers did little to promote German-American contacts. The example of the high school students will provide closer insights into this “Little America”. Former pupils as well as teachers have provided the objects for the exhibition.

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