On April 28, 1946, a small group of American wives and children arrived at the port of Bremerhaven, West Germany, the first of thousands of military family members to make the trans–Atlantic journey. They were the basis of a network of military communities—“Little Americas”—that would spread across the postwar German landscape. During a 45-year period which included some of the Cold War’s tensest moments, their presence confirmed America’s resolve to maintain Western democracy in the face of the Soviet threat.
Drawing on archival sources and personal narratives, this book explores these enclaves of Americanism, from the U.S. government’s perspective to the grassroots view of those who made their homes in Cold War Europe. These families faced many challenges in balancing their military missions with their daily lives during a period of dynamic global change. The author describes interaction in American communities that were sometimes separated, sometimes connected with their German neighbors.
June 06, 2016