A German filmmaker is shooting a documentary about the relationship between local Germans and American servicemembers living in southwestern Germany, and is looking for people willing to be interviewed.
The documentary starts at the end of World War II, with U.S. troops defeating the Nazis, said filmmaker Hansjurgen Hilgert.
It then traces the history of servicemembers stationed at bases in and around Spangdahlem, Baumholder, Kaiserslautern and a few other places.
The documentary explores several topics, such as U.S. servicemen returning to Germany in the 1950s, U.S. bases springing up throughout rural Rhineland-Palatinate, friendships between Germans and Americans, German businesses benefiting from U.S. troops and the loss of jobs for German nationals with the U.S. drawdown after the Cold War.
“It’s a big story, with big emotions,” Hilgert said.
“If you think about the situation, we were enemies in 1945. But today we live together in the same cities, we go shopping together and dance together.”
Hilgert, who completed a similar documentary about Baumholder, has received funding from a German cultural foundation and has begun filming at Spangdahlem Air Base.
But he is still searching for interview subjects, both Germans and Americans. Anyone wishing to participate can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Web site, www.hilgert-witsch-film.de.