The appartment buildings were adapted to the general townscape and were not separated by special actions (roadblocks) to the German citizens.

The population of Porz and the Belgian occupying troops


From 1951 to 2004 only few parts of the population of Porz got in contact with military activities in the Wahner Heide. On some weekdays practice shooting was audible, however, Belgian military vehicles didn't appear - up to exception of the school busses - in the dayly picture.

    NATO -  railway station - To the left of the top:  the operations building, on the right sight at the bottom:  the ramp.1)  

Reason for this was that the Belgians had their own entrances to their barracks and a separate access to the railroad. A great amount of armored transports were carried out there.



Railway station of the NATO

Rail Trackage    
  Former operations building Interior view: Former operations building    
  EMP protection -
manual work necessary:
In front of the ramp the mechanism
for railway points        

In the first years the Belgian soldiers might have been like an "occupying army" to the population of Porz. The signs in the Wahnerheide saying no parking as well as special traffic controls guaranteed a preferential status for the Belgians. E.G., vehicles which left the camp Spich in the direction of Mauspfad had a priority - a regulation which doesn't exist in Germany for the exit from barracks.

The training area Wahner Heide was closed for safety reasons for the civil population. Only after long efforts of the municipal politicians of the cities and municipalities who bordered the Wahner Heide led to a partial opening of the landscape protection area on weekends and certain holidays.   



  Access only on weekends   and certain holidays  

The Belgian soldiers who were stationed with her families in Porz lived in smal settlements which were distributed all about the city. 

These settlements existed ofrows of appartment buildings:

• in the physicist's quarter  (Porz, Humboltstr., Ohmstr.)  

• in the  Ahornweg (Grengel) 

   Up until around 1990, Belgian soldiers and their families lived in this settlement in Porz - Grengel.  

The whole infrastructure for the Belgian armed forces was furnished that they did not depend on the infrastructure of Porz. Thereby a dissolution of the population parts was caused because no occasion was given to the Belgian occupants to develop a more intensive relation with the Porzer population after sporadic neighborly contacts.  

In the morning and in the evening the children of the Belgian families were brought to Siegburg and Rösrath to the Belgian school facilities by school busses, so that appreciable social contacts with German children did not originate.

Visiting a German school in the Porz was a rare exception. During 1968 - 2004 few children from Belgian soldier's families have attended, e.g.the Maximilian-Kolbe-Gymnasium.

A rare exeption: the German student Elke Schell attended the Athénée Royal in Rösrath. The quotation of a Belgian student is interesting:
« C'est territoire allemand ici chez Elleque. Achtung ! Gefahr ! ». ("This is  German territory, dear Elke, pay attention: danger").

  Get the details here [pdf]

The Belgians bought groceries in their own supermarkets to which they had exclusive access.

Merely in a few cases the wives of the soldiers worked as assistants and cashiers in shops and earned a little money. 


1) Picture from "Google Maps"
    For all other pictures the copyright is owned by J. Hindrichs 2009.