Neubruecke Kaserne, Germany
Neubruecke Kaserne is located in a village by the same name adjacent to the village of Hoppstaedten. It is approximately 10 miles from Baumholder. Neubruecke originated from the construction and activation of the 98th General Hospital on 1 February 1954. The 98th General Hospital originated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in 1943 and was moved throughout England and other parts of Europe providing care and treatment of balle casualties before reaching its permanent location of Neubruecke. The hospital provided medical services from 1954 until the 1970's when it was deactivated and placed on "turn-key" status. The 55-building complex housed various Army, Air Force, and NATO units until September 1994, when the majority of the complex was turned over to the German Government.
The Neubruecke housing area remains along with the elementary school and several support activities.
The state government of Rheinland-Pfalz is building an American-style campus as a conversion project on the grounds of the former American military hospital in Neubruecke. The special characteristic of this pilot scheme, the first of its kind in Germany, is the integral linking of a university of applied science, a business innovation park, a high-efficiency forward-looking training center and an Alternative Technologies science park.
The history of Neubruecke can be traced back to 2,000 B.C. The area at that time was occupied by tribes of Celts who began a series of fortifications along the Idar Mountain range as protection against Germanic tribes to the Southeast. These fortifications continued until approximately 100 B.C. The defense line which ran between the Mosel and Rhine rivers was initially built of wood, but was rebuilt in stone during the Roman Era. The site of the old hospital complex covers a Celtic burial ground called a "Tumuli". Twelve of these large earthen mounds or tombs were excavated before construction of the hospital complex. Relics typical of the Bronze Age were found. Bodies of the dead were entombed in wooden coffins fashioned by hollowing out whole tree trunks and personal items such as jewelry, vases, urns, and bowls were placed with them. Most items unearthed were of Celtic origin, but also found were bronze artifacts which probably dated back to Greek times. All the relics unearthed can be seen on display at the Landesmuseum at Trier.