From the Files of John & Johanna Lawler (64-66)
From the AF Pamphlet Entitled
"Tempelhof Central Airport
Berlin, Germany"


Domestic employment (maids, babysitters, etc.) although hard to get, may be obtained upon arrival through formal application at the Domestic Employment Office. Wages and working agreements with domestic employees are on an individual family basis. Domestic employees can only be legally obtained through the command employment office due to the necessity of ensuring the completion of proper background and security investigations prior to employment.

Processing of the necessary papers and all allied documentations including physical examinations for domestic employees, are accomplished at no expense to the individual family or employee concerned.

Housekeeping in Europe varies in many ways from that in the United States. One major difference is the electrical installations. You cannot plug your American appliances into German outlets. Most European countries provide 220 volt-50 cycle electrical power in contrast to the American 110 volt-60 cycle current. This difference will render your different electrical appliances inoperative without the use of a transformer.

Transformers are available in the Post Exchange at a reasonable price, or they may be purchased secondhand from the Thrift Shop or from personnel who are leaving Tempelhof. Since a transformer has a relatively long life, second hand transformers are generally very reliable.

As a general rule, most families find it necessary to have two transformers, one with a capacity of approximately 2000 Watts and another of 600 Watts. For those personnel who will be moving into govern­ment housing, the Army Engineers will connect your washer and/or dryer. For this hook up you must furnish the 2000 Watt transformer necessary for the operation of the appliance. Some American dryers require an additional transformer due to the timing mechanism. Here again, the owner must provide the transformer.

Because of the 50 cycle current in Berlin there will be 16 per cent loss of efficiency in your appliances. Also, the 50 cycle current will cause a slight heating of the motor which will not damage the appliance. This difference in the current also necessitates a conversion of your television sets, record players, and electric clocks. These conversions must be taken care of at your own expense.

In some limited cases, 110 Volt current is provided, but the German outlet differs from the American plug. Adapters can be purchased at the Post Exchange for approximately 15 cents.

The public health of Berlin's Western Sectors is generally excellent. The hazards incident to living abroad, which do exist, can be reduced if not eliminated by observing the following rules. Keep your immunizations up to date. Smallpox and many other diseases seldom reported in the United States are found in Germany.

Help from the AF Aid Society may be obtained at the Personal Affairs Office. Loans and grants are available according to the conditions.

Quarters (Class "B") dial telephone service is provided by the Berlin Office of the Deutsche Bundespost, a sub-office of which is located next to the Airmen's Dining Hall. Rates are compiled on a "call-unit" basis, a call-unit being defined as one completed within-the-city call.

Monthly Class "B" rates are DM 15.20, paid in dollars, and this includes charges for both telephone rental and 100 call-units. The monthly base rate is fixed, regardless of whether or not all 100 call units are used. However, an additional DM -,16 is added for each call-unit in excess of the 100 monthly limit. Long distance direct-dial calls to cities within Germany, and operator assisted long distance calls, including international calls, may be placed from quarters telephones.

Special telephone installations (extensions, long cords etc.) are available at an appropriately increased fee. Telegrams may be placed from quarters phones, the charges being registered in call-units.

Winter and Summer Class "A" Blues are optional throughout the year. When visiting East Berlin, Class "A" Blues are mandatory. Summer uniforms are normally worn from May through September.

Lawler "Welcome to Berlin" Memento Page

Mementos Page