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Archives 1946-1947

First year of the school’s existence

On Monday, October 21, 1946 a new American high school opened. It was one of six high schools that opened in the fall of 1946, not in the United States, but in Erlangen, Germany, a small town approximately 15.5 miles north of Nürnberg, one of the most historic German cities.

Erlangen American High School, opened that fall, as did American high schools in Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, and Munich. It was the beginning of the Army Dependents School System in Europe. It was the beginning of a new chapter in American education.

This high school called Erlangen High School was to be in Erlangen only one year. In the fall of 1947 it opened its doors in nearby Fürth, Germany, and was called henceforth Nürnberg High School, not because it was in Nürnberg proper, but because it served the U.S. Army dependents in the Nürnberg area.

These doors were to remain open for 49 years until the school closed in 1995. In that year thousands of Nürnberg High School alumni had to face the fact that their school was gone. But it lived on in their memory, and these alumni have bonded together to preserve their high school friendships and their memories through the Nürnberg Alumni Association.

This electronic archive of the 1946-47 school year is an attempt to preserve the history and memories of that first year. In the three files that you can link to from this page, you can read how these first students went about the daunting task of establishing the curricular and extra-curricular methods and traditions that would be handed down to successive administrators, teachers, students, and support personnel.

Here you can see them immediately and enthusiastically starting up typical activities of high schools in the States: a student council, class officers, dances, sports teams, a school newspaper. But at the same time you can see them coping with living in a foreign community and the lack of so many things they were used to in American. In them you can clearly see their ability to adapt to new situations, a trait that Army Brats would later become so well known for.

If you find anything here that you believe to be historically inaccurate or know of something that can be added to these files, please contact me.

Bob McQuitty, NAA historian/archivist

Documents (right click on the document of your choice and then left click “open.”)