Berlin Brats

Thomas Arnett Roberts

Colonel Thomas Arnett Roberts, Junior, West Point Graduate of 1920, was killed in action in France, leading tanks in "The Battle of Normandy" in Lessay, Normandy, France on 4 August 1944, while commanding the artillery of the 2nd Armored Division.

Our School's History 1946 - 1994

High School
  '66-'94 BERLIN American High School (BAHS) Am Hegewinkel 2a
High School & Elementary School
  '54-'65 Thomas A. Roberts School (TAR) Hüttenweg 40
  '47-'53 Thomas A. Roberts School (TAR) in Gertrauden Schule Im Gehege 6
BERLIN was one of the first five American Schools opened in Germany.

Our School Today

Our School Today "Initially established in 1946 as a comprehensive school in a confiscated German school building on Im Gehege, the Thomas A. Roberts School moved into a new building on Hüttenweg in 1953. Renamed the BERLIN American High School, the school moved to its final location on Am Hegewinkel in 1965. Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from BERLIN in 1994, the Wilma Rudolph Oberschule moved into the building."
Florian Weiß
American Curator - Allied Museum
15 June 2004

 Video of our school as it looks today:

In History 2019

Berlin Brats receive Berlin Mayoral Invites to the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift at Tempelhof
AND meet Col Gail Halvorsen, a/k/a the "Candy Bomber."


In History 2014

Alumni Association holds 2nd Reunion in Berlin in conjunction with the city's "25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall" celebrations.
Click here for more Info






In History 2012

Alumni Association donates Military Brat Library to Landstuhl, Germany Community Library.  Click here for the story in our January 2012 Newsletter pages 16 and 17.

In History 2006

Alumni Association holds 1st Reunion in Berlin.  401 in attendance with 28 teachers. Click here for more Info.




The “Berlin Brats” open an Exhibit featuring their history in Berlin at the Allied Museum (former Outpost Theatre).
Entitled: Berlin American High School 1946-1994.
Exhibit was timed for our 1st Reunion back in the city, July 27-30th, 2006
Click here for a PDF.

Click here for Stars & Stripes article announcing our invasion of Berlin.

DoDDs-Europe drops "American" from School Names - Click Here

In History 2005

Alumni Association purchases a "section" of the Berlin Wall. 
Transports it across country. Wall donated to AOSHS.
Click here for the story. 

In History 1994

U.S. President Bill Clinton visited BERLIN on 12 July 1994.
Last Class of BAHS click here for Berlin Observer article.
Our school closed 1 June 1994, the summer the American Allied Forces left BERLIN.
Click here or here  for a 1994 "round-table" discussion with Herren Prigge, Bluem, Hildenbrand & Benson.

Click picture for PDF


Mark White - an institution at AFN Berlin. The Program Director from 1953-1988, then had his own radio program at the Berlin commercial radio station "JFK Radio." Gave many a Berlin Brat a job at AFN Berlin!

AFN Berlin´s Mark White now with JFK Radio, July 1994

One AFN program for Brats: "Accent on Youth."
Hosted by '64 Brats: Horst Breuer, Mikel (Fisher) Brightman, PFC Mitch Farrell, Jim Branson & Randy Meyer

AFN Berlin - Mark White tours the studio, July 1994

In History 1992

1st Female joins the Berlin Bears Football Team.
Shonna Chavis '94 (player #78) (played '92-'94)


In History 1990

22 June 1990 Decommissioning of Checkpoint Charlie Checkpoint Charlie is lifted and removed. Now located at the Allied Museum (aka Outpost Theatre).
A replica of the 1961 1st Guard House now stands on the site.

In History 1989

AFN Frankfurt - 3 min vid on the Fall of the Wall - Click HERE  

The BERLIN Wall fell on 9 November 1989.

In History 1987

U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited West BERLIN on 12 June 1987.
Click photo for original speech notes.

After he visited the wall, President Reagan visited Tempelhof and congratulated the '87 graduating class of BERLIN American High School who were present in cap and gowns. At this gala for the celebration of BERLIN's 750th Anniversary as a city, Jasper Kump '87 sang for President Reagan, the First Lady and 4,000 others in the Tempelhof atrium. His repertoire included Summertime (Porgy and Bess), Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston) and Happy Days are Here Again (in English AND German!) while accompanied by the late Horst Jankowski and the RIAS Orchestra.

Click here for Reagan's speech at Tempelhof.
Click here for Reagan's speech at the Brandenburg Gate.
Click here for Reagan commemorative photo.

 Click on picture for Observer Cover for Reagan's Gala Bash for Berlin's 750th Birthday



In History 1986

Berlin Brats hold their 1st Reunion. 198 attend in Virginia Beach, VA. Click here for more Info

In History 1984

April 1984 AFN went live with adding 45 hours per week of direct linking to stateside broadcasting. ABC-Peter Jennings, CBS-Dan Rather.....and the 1984 Olympics which were in L.A....seen LIVE. View this Intro to AFN Europe




In History 1983

U.S. Vice President George Bush visited West BERLIN 30 January - 1 February 1983.
Bush and his wife made a special visit to the Cole Sports Center where most of the high school students were and they shook many students' hands.

Click on the photo for higher resolution - Mark Millen '83 and Laura Morgan '83.
Click here for a .pdf copy (see pages 1 & 4) of the BERLIN Observer. Photo Here!

In History 1982

U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited West BERLIN on 11 June 1982.
Click here for the program and photos.

In History 1980

Two trees are planted each year in honor of Arbor Day at BAHS; one dedicated to a Faculty Member and one to a student. 1980 - recognized Mr. Ferguson's passing/English teacher from '70-'80.





January 11, 1980 BAHS held a formal "Richtfest" (roof raising) for the newly constructed VOTEC (vocational tech) bldg to house the autocraft shop and cosmetology lab. The 1st teaching year would be 1981. 



In History 1979

July 12th-Jack Nicklaus visits the Wannsee Golf course.



Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali visited
BERLIN American High School in the Spring of 1978.



Wolfman Jack visits Berlin July 13th.



U.S. Army Main Library opens near Outpost (11/16/79)
Library renamed "Maj. Arthur J. Nicholson Jr. Memorial Library" after the Major was killed in 1985. Click here for "Nicholson video clip"

In History 1978

U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited West BERLIN on 15 July 1978.

In History 1976

The Cubs become the Bears
Although it was controversial (and many Alumni will always be the Cubs) the mascot transitioned from the Cubs to the Bears. After the U.S. Army Military Football Team disbanded in 1975, Student Council President Vennie Gore '76 proposed and led a school mascot change at a Student Council meeting. "We didn't have a lot of fanfare. The year before the football team didn't win a game. We became competitive that year (1976) 4-4. We wanted to make our statement on the field." - Vennie Gore '76

The AYA becomes DYA
"American Youth Activities" changes to "Dependent Youth Activities"

U.S. Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller visited West Berlin 13-14 May 1976.





In History 1972

Title IX enacted into law. 

Title IX prohibits federally funded education institutions from discriminating against students on sex.  Girls can "now letter" in sports other than cheerleading.  

In History 1969

Bob Hope visited West BERLIN on 17 December 1969. Click here to see an invitation to "The Bob Hope Christmas Show". Click here for photos from Melvin De Vilbiss '71.




Apollo 11 - Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins visited West BERLIN on 10 October 1969.



STEAK NIGHT - starts July 1969 and continues through (at least) the very late '70's. 

Click HERE for 1978 Steak Night update!




Hugh Downs & Barbara Walters took the "Today Show" to West Berlin to show Americans what life was like on the edge. Visit the Europa Center.




U.S. President Richard Nixon visited West BERLIN on 27 February 1969.

BAHS students were bused to Tempelhof for this event. View us and our School Flag in the front row at the 4:27 - 4:32 minute mark. 
Click HERE to view the VIDEO.

Jimi Hendrix rocks the Sportpalast in West BERLIN on 23 January 1969.

"One of my first published photos was taken during high school while I lived in West BERLIN, Germany (The Wall was up). My father was stationed there as an Air Force sergeant. The picture ran in the Army weekly, The BERLIN Observer."
John Freeman '71

In History 1968

As a seventh grader, Diana Green '72 won the contest to design the School Flag.
Our flag remade.

The National Junior Honor Society began in BERLIN in 1968.

In History 1967

U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey visited West BERLIN on 6 April 1967.

Click here for a .pdf copy of a thank you letter to Principal LeBrun.
Click here for a .pdf copy (see pages 4 & 5) of the BERLIN Observer.

 17 April 1967: AFN TV goes Live

Berlin Observer


In History 1966

Click here for an article on the 20th anniversary of our school.

In History 1965

BERLIN American High School opened new doors on Am Hegenwinkel on 25 August 1965.
Click here for a .pdf copy of the invitation to the opening ceremony.

Click on a photo for higher resolution.

In History 1964

Click here for a .pdf copy of Mr. Morasco's invitation to the Groundbreaking ceremony for the new High School on 30 November 1964. Scroll down when it opens, the first page appears blank when you first open it.

Click on a photo for higher resolution.

June 26-27, 1964
Robert F. Kennedy went back to Berlin - exactly one year after John F. Kennedy

September 1964
Dr. Martin Luther King visits both Berlins

Click here for a .pdf article on his visit!

In History 1963

U.S. President John F. Kennedy visited West BERLIN on 26 June 1963.
"Ich bin ein BERLINer!"
Click here for a .pdf copy of the BB HQ memo, map & ticket courtesy of Maggie (Ellithorpe) MacPherson '63.
Click here for a .pdf 3.5MB copy of a booklet of JFK's visit.

                        Click Here JFK speaking to Berlin Brigade, American families/children

Beautiful Color video of Kennedy in Berlin                 Kennedy's speech during that visit (B&W)
(mostly in German)                                                   (English)

In History 1962

February 22. 1962
Robert Kennedy visits West Berlin

In History 1961

Ed Sullivan visited BERLIN in 1961 and filmed 2 shows. Thomas A. Roberts students, the American Youth Center, the Berlin Command Headquarters Theater & McNair Barracks are all featured. They aired 8 & 15 October 61. We graciously received copies of these segments from the Ed Sullivan Estate and show them at Reunions.



Connie Francis performs at the AYA - Sept 1961 





The BERLIN Wall was built starting on 13 August 1961.

The 1st German-American Volksfest was held.
Click here for a .pdf 4MB copy of some articles about it and the surrounding time.

In History 1960

The Berlin Command Little League became the first European entry in the Little League World Series.


The Outpost of Freedom Chapter of the National Honor Society began in BERLIN on 3 June 1960.

In History 1958

The new wing of the school was opened in 1958 to accommodate the growing student body, now totaling 660. The new wing housed the seventh and eighth graders, a home economics room and a shop. Upon completion of the roof our school held a "Richtfest", an old custom dating back to the Middle Ages to thank God for no accidents during the construction and to wish luck to those who will work in the new building.

In History 1956

Click here for a .pdf 36MB copy of "The Dependents' Schools Program of the U.S. Army, Europe, 1946 - 1956", posted by The USAREUR History Office.
BERLIN is specifically mentioned on the following pages:
  .pdf Page Doc. Page Topic
  39 -18- "PTA"
  57 -35- "Closure threat"
  58 -36- "Closure solution"
  118 -75- "Curriculum"
  121 -76- "First Yearbook"
  122 -77- "BERLIN Accredited"
  124 -79- "Warning"
  125 -80- "Moral Inspection"
  131 -84- "Foreign Students "
  137 -89 (photos)- "BERLIN American School"

In History 1955

55 Houses the U.S. Government purchased in Berlin. Click HERE!

In History 1953

The Clayallee movie theater (The Outpost) opened February 6, 1953.

A ribbon cutting ceremony on 9 September 1953 marked the opening of the Thomas A. Roberts school on Hüttenweg.

In History 1952

1952 USAREUR (Berlin) Patch inspired by Eisenhower.






T.A.R. High School wins the EUCOM Small Schools basketball title.

Boyscouts Troop 46 - "Outpost of Freedom" is formed: Click Here!

Troop 46 still meets in Berlin: Click Here!

In History 1949

The BERLIN Airlift ended on 11 May 1949.
Candy Bomber personal video (Click on picture)

The first all schools DSD Annual was published in 1949.

Mr. Kyrios, our Social Studies teacher, Athletic Coach and Principal, was a Harvard grad. He wanted T.A.R. to have the same classy colors so he picked our school colors after his alma mater.
Mr. Kyrios also ensured that every boy in the school was on every sports team and played 6 man football at the small schools. During the Airlift they flew to all their away games: sitting in empty planes on the way out of BERLIN and on sacks of coal or grain on the way back into BERLIN.

Click here for a .pdf 10MB copy of "Operation Vittles"; a cookbook compiled by The American Women in Blockaded BERLIN and published in January 1949.

May/June 2019 - 70th Anniversary of the Airlift video: then click HERE for this new video

In History 1948

The first full fledged football season began in 1948.

7 September 1948 heralded the opening of the high school, with only eighteen students. But the lack of students did not stop us from having a good time and continuing to uphold our reputation as the best E.C. school. A reputation which will be upheld as long as T.A.R. exists.

DSD Headquarters moved to Karlsruhe in July 1948.

The BERLIN Airlift began on 24 June 1948.

In History 1947

On 12 November 1947, after a delay caused by polio, T.A.R. school opened for the second year with a high of 107 students until Christmas when the number started to decline.

Dependents School Division (DSD) Headquarters moved from Frankfurt to Heidelberg.

The North Central Association accredited all DSD high schools and impressive graduation exercises were held for high school seniors in historic halls and German civic auditoriums.

In History 1946

Click here for a .pdf 5MB copy of the BERLIN Guide for the US Military. School facilities are specifically mentioned on page 19 (document page 23) with tuition charges.

29 October 1946

On 14 October 1946, the original Student Body assembled and Thomas A. Roberts School of BERLIN opened its doors to American Dependents pupils and children of the Allied Military Missions. From a low of thirty-three the school grew to around eighty students by the end of the year.

2 August 1946
The Berlin Summer School opened in July of 1946 as the first school for American children in Germany.
Click here for a .pdf copy of the Berlin Observer article. Note pages 1, 5 & 7.

24 May 1946
Click here for a .pdf copy of an article (or click here for the whole paper .pdf 5MB) on the building for the American Public Grade and High Schools of BERLIN from The BERLIN Observer.

4 May 1946
Dependents School Division (DSD) was formally established.
It's purpose was two-fold:
(1) to organize and maintain schools on both the elementary and secondary levels in military communities in Germany, and
(2) to supply German educators with a model American school system in action, from which to draw inspiration for the reorganization and democratization of the German educational program.

In History 1945

July 1945
Color footage of Berlin right after the war.
Click on the picture.

In History 1942-43

The Story of AFN  
One of the U.S. largest radio networks - The America Forces Network (AFN) - makes its debut.AFN began its broadcasting from a basement studio in London, England, on July 4, 1943. This 27 minute video captures the sight and sounds of this unique radio network on it's 20th anniversary. Filmed in Frankfurt, BERLIN, Munich and Orleans, France. Berlin Brats featured on "Accent on Youth" program along with footage from our AYA/DYA. (National Archives)


Thank You

A special thanks to the following for helping make all this happen!

Dana Straight FAC '64-'67 Maggie (Ellithorpe) MacPherson '63 Jeri (Polansky) Glass '72
Ada Lopez '63 Carl Fenstermacher '73 (WebBrat)
Jim Branson '64 Joe Morasco '75
Stephanie (Cooper) Wright '70 Vennie Gore '76
John Freeman '71 Cate Speer '85
Florian Weiß American Curator - Allied Museum