Do the Germans mind that we still have installations over there?

Obviously the German government doesn’t mind too much, because they would have, like, kicked us out or something, but do the German people mind? Has their ever been a movement to try to get us to leave?

I can’t imagine how the American people would react if another country tried to put a base here (unless they already are here…are they?).

Here’s a thread about this very question:

While some U.S. military activities in Germany (related to the Iraq war in recent years, or the forward deployment of nuclear weapons in the 1980s) are very unpopular there, this does not extend to the U.S. presence in general. Locally, there is NIMBY-style resistance to air bases and such, but that’s probably the same for U.S. bases in the U.S. itself.

Judging from my own experience growing up in Bavaria in the 1980s and 1990s, Americans, military personnel and civilians alike, were well liked and not seen as an occupying force or anything. From what I hear, this was very different for Russian (Soviet) troops in Eastern Germany.

Well, there’s not really any bad blood because of WW2 because the GIs treated the locals mostly with respect, handed out candy and so on. And not many Germans regret having lost that war.

During the cold war there was some resentment from the left because of the danger of a shooting war, not specifically because of Anti-Americanism, I think.
One remnant of that is that our foreign minister wants to get rid of the remaining nuclear bombs on American bases in Germany, but that is because of the anti-nuke leanings of most Germans.

In recent years many US bases were closed or planned to be closed, and I think the locals overwhelmingly would prefer them to stay, because they bring money into the local economy. It’s not because of security considerations, however, it’s felt that the current EU environment is safe and stable.

As the other thread was about foreign military bases in general, I’d like to contribute my take as a German (ex-West German) on the general view:

[li]US and other foreign bases have for several decades not been seen as ‘occupation’ troops - not even in the last decades of the Cold War, when (West) Germany lacked the last few parts of souvereignty. US/other NATO troops haven’t had the numbers to make us do anything for a long time.[/li][li]Some right-wing nutjobs resent the presence of foreign troops in general. That is a fringe view.[/li][li]There is large popular resentment when the US use German bases for foreign wars that are unpopular in Germany (Vietnam: unpopular with at least a large minority; Iraq: unpopular with a vast majority). We are aware that our government acquiesces to use of the bases on these occasions as part of the general alliance.[/li][li]US bases are/were prized as part of the local economy in some rural areas where there isn’t much going on economically otherwise; not so much in the more affluent areas. They do not contribute as much to the economy as an industrial plant of comparable turnover (land and buildings provided by the German state free of charge, large part of supplies imported from the US, soldiers’ pay and PX turnover not contributing to German taxes etc.)[/li][li]There are the usual problems associated with large numbers of young men.[/li][/ul]

FWIW, my dad served with the 8th Infantry Division near Munich in the mid-Fifties and said he always felt very welcomed by the locals. He has many fond memories of Oktoberfest.

When I was a single soldier stationed there (Hanau), I spent virtually 100% of my money on the local economy. Hanau wasn’t at all rural. And of course for married soldiers, on-base housing is very limited. Most married soldiers lived “on the economy,” meaning they were renting an apartment or house from a local German.

Granted, this isn’t a giant portion of a local economy, but it’s a very significant portion.

What about the Nukes?

Their presence is pretty unpopular but not to the extent that pushing for their removal would be much of a vote winner.

A buddy of mine from Germany said they loved the U.S. base located near his home, as it seemed to create a lot of economic activity (i.e. jobs for the locals) in the near vicinity.

Ain’t that the truth. And your sentence should be amended to read “…usual problems associated with large numbers of young men consuming vast quantities of alcohol”
I remember when I was stationed in Germany in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that Sachsenhausen (Frankfurt Am Main) was declared off limits for a time due to American soldiers’ rowdy and boorish behavior.

Neat! I was stationed in the Hanau area too, at Fliegerhorst Kaserne. What you describe was my experience as well, although I do recall some German protesters outside our base a couple times. I think they were protesting the noise generated by the battalion of Apache helicopters stationed there.

The backdoor irony was that during the DDR times (when East Germany was communist), people disliked the Soviet soldiers (with reason, given the role the Soviets played squashing the 1953 uprising).

But after re-unification, when Russia withdrew their troops (because they no longer occupied, and were too expensive to justify as extended bases), suddenly the small villages realized that several hundred/ thousands of young people leaving impacts the local economy hard (even Russians buy food and stuff), so for some short time, small villages tried to keep their Russians after all.

I think it’s more that during the cold war (when there were huge protests against the nukes), the idea of having nuclear weapons, but not having the keys, and trigger-happy cowboy hawks with the finger on the buttom to start the nukes, and Germany suffering the Soviet answer, was a good reason to be uncomfortable.

Well damn! That’s where I was. I worked in the tower making sure stuff worked so that those Apaches could land, navigate, and communicate.

Wow. We used to run across your tarmac on our morning “fun runs”. Sometimes we’d see Apaches just kinda hovering there, or moving back and forth. Once I even barfed all over the cement there from RWI (running while intoxicated) after a particularly rough night at Der Fluge (do you remember that place?) or at The Boat. Der Fluge was funny…it had airplane seats throughout the club. I spent a lot of DM’s there!

I was in FBTRY 333rd FA. My barracks was next to the MP’s (can’t recall the unit designation).

When were you stationed there?