Local news translated – March 8, 2024

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, March. 8, 2024

Destruction of the New Palace – Memories of the bombing raid on Stuttgart 80 years ago

It was the night when the sirens wailed in Stuttgart, bombs fell from the sky almost without end, the earth shook, there was great fear in the bunkers and the city burned. The devastating air raids of March 2, 1944 targeted the New Palace, the former splendor of the Württemberg dukes and kings. Werner Flieschhauer, an employee of the palace museum at the time, later wrote down his memories of the inferno as follows: “At around 4 o’clock, the dome with the crown collapsed with a tremendous roar and smashed through the ceiling of the large marble hall below. A huge sheaf of fire shot up into the night sky.”   4562 people lost their lives in Stuttgart during the Second World War. Investigations later revealed that six explosive bombs had hit the inner courtyard and exterior of the New Palace, causing all the doors and windows of the former residence to be torn out. The strong wind fanned the fire further. After hours of flames blazing in the interior rooms, the wooden roof structure of the Marble Hall collapsed.
Courageous museum employees and citizens had secured the museum’s valuable art objects on 16 trucks just in time. But they could not stop the destruction of their city.

There were a total of 53 air raids on Stuttgart during the Second World War. A total of 4562 people were killed and 40,000 buildings destroyed.
On the 80th anniversary of the devastating attack on the New Palace, Finance Minister Danyal Bayaz (Greens) calls for the history of this central building in Stuttgart to be understood as a “reminder”. The destroyed palace symbolizes where fascism leads, namely to “endless suffering”, explains the minister, who is responsible for palaces in the state. According to Bayaz, Hitler and the National Socialists started the war and the Allied bombs were a reaction to defeat National Socialism. Fascism had already destroyed Germany’s first democracy, the Weimar Republic, the Green recalled.

The reconstruction of the New Palace was initially controversial – the ruins, which remained unchanged for over ten years, were almost demolished. A dispute broke out in the country as to what should happen to the former splendor of the rulers. Demolition or reconstruction? Many argued for something completely new. There were plans to build a mineral bath, a spa hotel or a department store on the site – or the state parliament.

The two Stuttgart daily newspapers collected donations to save the castle. The decision was not made until April 1955, when the state parliament rejected a plenary hall in the palace by a majority of just one vote, although the plan was to reconstruct it with representative rooms for the state government. Instead, the parliament was to be given a new building in the Akademiegarten.  When the New Palace was rebuilt, the state decided not to reconstruct the large crown that had been on the dome in its old location. The crown of the dukes and kings gave way to the flag of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which flies on top of the high keep. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 2, 2024)


Water pipe burst in Stuttgart – Botnanger Straße remains closed for seven weeks

Significant traffic obstructions have been the order of the day around the Botnanger Sattel since last Friday. Due to a burst water pipe, Botnanger Straße, which connects the district with the west of Stuttgart, is closed – according to Netze BW, this will remain the case for another seven weeks.  “We had to react quickly,” explains Netze BW spokesperson Hans-Jörg Groscurth. Last Friday, a transport line burst near the hairpin bend in Botnanger Straße. The affected area was dug up in order to locate the leak and repair the damage. The problem: “The road surface was extensively undermined by the water.” The important connecting road between Lindpaintnerstrasse and Geißeichstrasse, the feeder road to Am Kräherwald, has to be closed for the necessary repairs. Netze BW currently expects the work to take around seven weeks. As this is a transport line connecting the two districts, no households will be affected. A detour has been set up. However, this is very extensive. It leads from Botnang via Vaihinger Landstraße and Wildparkstraße to Birkenkopf, and from there to the west of Stuttgart. Another alternative route to the city center is via Feuerbacher Tal. According to a police spokesperson, there have not been any long traffic jams due to the closure so far. However, the higher volume of traffic is clearly noticeable on the alternative routes. This is not the first burst water pipe on the Botnanger Sattel. Back in October 2021, Botnanger Straße had to be closed for several days. In 2018, a construction site had to be set up between Beethovenstrasse and Geißeichstrasse for months after a burst pipe caused massive damage to the carriageway in March. (Stgt Nachrichten, Mar 7, 2024)


Böblingen. Flugfeld-Allee closed from Saturday until the end of March

As part of the A 81 expansion, the Flugfeld special-purpose association is expanding the Flugfeld-Allee area between Margret-Fusbahn-Straße (where the DRK center is located) and the Flugfeld fairground to four lanes. The entire project is expected to last until the end of July 2024, with several construction phases. It started in August 2023 and, as the Böblingen city council writes in a press release, construction phase four is now beginning.  This will require Flugfeld-Allee to be fully closed from this Saturday, March 9, at the level of the fairground. The closure is expected to last until the end of March. The fairground will remain accessible via a one-way street coming from Wolfgang-Brumme-Allee. In addition, a detour will lead to Flugfeld-Allee and vice versa: drivers will have to take Wolfgang-Brumme-Allee, Konrad-Zuse-Straße and Calwer Straße to avoid the closure.   A detour will be signposted. (Stgt Nachrichten, Mar 7,24)


Action week against litter – Numerous municipalities in the Böblingen district plan collection campaigns

Litter needs to be removed. Starting March 9 to 16, the waste management company (AWB) in the Böblingen district’s campaign “Litter is unnecessary!”. Several municipalities in the district are planning collection campaigns. The equipment for collecting garbage is usually provided and there is usually a small snack afterwards.
Several campaigns take place in the Böblingen districts on the initiative of municipal institutions. They usually last one and a half to two hours. The first event will take place on Thursday, March 7, in the Diezenhalde district, starting at 3 p.m. at the children’s and youth club (Freiburger Allee 44). It continues on Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at Café Emil (Freiburger Allee 44). In the Grund district, volunteers will be taking care of the garbage on Wednesday, March 13, from 4 pm. The meeting point is at the AWO Social and Neighborhood Center Grund, Stauffenbergstraße 17. There will be a clean-up around the Treff am See on Thursday, March 14. The meeting point is at 3.30 pm in the foyer, Poststraße 38. In Steinenbronn, the clean-up campaign will take place on Saturday, March 9. The meeting point is at 9 a.m. in Schafgartenstraße in front of the fire station. The event ends at around 11.30 am. Sindelfingen cleans up on Saturday, March 16, starting at 9:30 am. The individual areas will be communicated to the participants after registration and are located in various places in the city center, in Maichingen and in Darmsheim. Registration is required by March 13 by email to umwelt@sindelfingen.de or online at www.sindelfingen.de/sindelfingerputzete.
Herrenberg is taking action against litter on Saturday, March 16. The town is asking collectors to register by Monday, March 4. Helpers who would like to be active in the city center should contact the Office for Technology and Greenery on 0 70 32 / 9 24 48 10 or by e-mail at tug@herrenberg.de. In the districts, the district offices are responsible for registration.  On the AWB website www.awb-bb.de/veranstaltungen, all active participants can register their collection and view the planned activities. (SN, Mar 4, 2024)


After 20 years – Newborn Chimpanzee baby at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart

For the second time in just a few months, the bonobos at Wilhelma have given birth. Wilhelma has announced that the great ape Chipita recently gave birth to her third baby. The special thing about it: “Chipita, who is over 30 years old, is a great-grandmother whose last birth was almost 20 years ago”, explains Wilhelma spokesman Birger Meierjohann. Her first offspring was Mixi, who was born at Wilhelma in 2001. She has lived at Frankfurt Zoo since 2011, where she has already given birth three times. Chipita’s second offspring is Kasai, who has lived at Wilhelma since his birth in 2004. He is a father of several – and even a grandfather of two.  The bonobo great-grandmother Chipita herself has an eventful history behind her, the beginnings of which lie in the dark: In February 1996, at the age of three, she was left in a crate outside the entrance to Lisbon Zoo by unknown persons. “It is assumed that she was smuggled to Portugal via Angola,” says Meierjohann. As no Portuguese zoo keeps bonobos, Chipita came to the Wilhelma in Stuttgart on recommendation of the studbook keeper of the then so-called European Endangered Species Program (EEP) – where she settled in perfectly. Wilhelma Director Thomas Kölpin emphasizes: “In the ex-situ breeding programs of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), the genetic diversity within the population is of the utmost importance. The fact that one of our founder animals has had offspring again after so many years is therefore a great enrichment.”

The gender of the newborn is still unknown, as the infant is clinging to its mother around the clock. It is unclear who the father is. Kerstin Ludmann, curator for great apes at Wilhelma, explains: “A hair sample could be used to determine paternity – but that is not yet urgent. However, it is important for the studbook keeper’s plans to know whose genes the young animal carries.  Wilhelma is not only committed to the conservation breeding of bonobos, but also to their protection in their natural habitat – the rainforests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Near the capital Kinshasa, the organization Lola ya Bonobo takes care of bonobo orphans that have lost their mothers due to poaching. The young animals are raised there and later returned to their natural habitat at great expense in the “Ekolo ya Bonobo” conservation area, which covers around 475 kilometers. (Stgt Nachrichten, Mar 7, 2024)