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Archives 1951-1952

6th 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 Germany’s most historic cities. This school was named Erlangen American High School.

On Monday, September 6, 1947, this American high school opened its doors as Nürnberg American High School, in a new location, 19 Tannenstrasse in Fürth, a town approximately 6.5 miles from the Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof.

In the fall of 1951, NHS began its fifth year in the building at 19 Tannenstrasse and its sixth year as an Army dependent school.

The doors of NHS 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 1951-52 school year is an attempt to preserve the history and memories of the sixth year. In the files that you can link to from this page, you can read how these students adjusted to attending a small American high school tucked away in a corner of Fürth, Germany, while the Germans were digging out of the rubble of their destroyed cities and with the help of Marshall Plan aid continued a period of phenomenal industrial growth called in German the Wirtschaftswunder or “economic miracle.”

1952 was a transforming year for the Americans in Germany. The Deutschlandvertrag, a treaty that would end West Germany’s status as an occupied territory, was signed by France, Great Britain, and the U.S.A. Though the treaty did not take full effect until 1955, the U.S. forces began the process of changing from an army of occupation to co-partners with the Germans in defending the West.

For the students at Nürnberg High School, the change in status meant a new school building. The requisitioned building at 19 Tannenstrasse was returned to the Germans, and the U.S. built a brand new school at 30 Fronmüllerstrasse, complete with an attached dormitory. The NHS students spent the fall semester in the old school and the spring semester in the new school.

The students of this school year seem unimpressed with the changes mentioned above. Their school newspaper reports in detail on the school’s unimpressive sports teams. With only 120 students in grades 9-12, they can’t compete with the bigger schools. Their yearbook is once again combined with those of other American dependent schools. The most important social event of the year is once again the Junior-Senior Prom. The most popular extra-curricular activity appears to be the mixed chorus, with more than half the students in the high school taking part.

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