Issue 17: Mar 2002






ACE: World Exclusive


Have Atari users got a future?


I want my AEX!


Tip of the day


Get Calamus Fonts Without Selling the House


The Current State of the Desktop Publishing Art


Reader Profiles: Markus Binder


Atari GmbH




Atari Emulation -
Part 2



Atari GmbH

Harry Reminder and Mad Butscher research the roots of Atari Germany


Excerpt from the Atari Compendium Germanicum:

The old age
When Atari came to Germany they set up their tents in Hamburg first. From a former Atari employee it is known that a one metre high Pac Man, made of plush, guarded the entrance of the office.

[Photo: Record sleeve of Gerald Mann's Pac-Man Fieber]

Gerald Mann recorded the German version of the cult '80s song, Pac Man Fever.  

The middle age
After Jack Tramiel bought Atari, they moved their office to a small town called Raunheim, in the south-west of Frankfurt.

[Photo: Atari in Raunheim]

The main entrance of the Atari office in Raunheim. This picture was probably taken in the early '90s. 

The new age

In the year 1992 the office seemed to be too small. So Atari started to build a new office north of Frankfurt, in a town called Schwalbach.

About ten years later
After reading the MyAtari article about the UK headquarters, written by Shiuming Lai, the RAF (Regionalgruppe ABBUC Frankfurt/Main) had the idea to start a research expedition to discover the history of Atari in their own country.

The expedition started on 17 February with Harry Reminder (RAF) as the captain of the expedition vehicle and Mad Butscher (Foundation Two) as the navigator.

Here is the captain's log:

Sunday, 17 February - Anno Domini 2002

12:55 I fill up my tank at the gas station.

13:00 I leave Frankfurt on highway 66. The weather is fine and the road is in good condition. Then I take highway number 5 to the south and later the number 3. After passing the airport I take the exit to Raunheim.

[Image: Map of Frankfurt]

13:30 I reach Raunheim. I find the small railroad station and wait on the platform for the arrival of the navigator.

[Photo: Mad Butscher at the train station]

It's Mad Butscher, ready to start the expedition.

13:37 Mad Butscher the navigator arrives. He is easy to identify by his shirt, which has a big Atari logo on it.

13:45 We search for the street named Frankfurter Straße on my road map, finding it in the outer industrial area of the town. After a closer look at the old map we discover that "Atari" was marked there. A big surprise for us.

[Photo: Mad Butscher standing outside Atari Raunheim]

We're proud to be on that location, where so many Atari employees worked for several years.

[Image: Atari Raunheim address from German Falcon brochure]

[Image: Close-up of Atari Raunheim address]

14:00 We arrive at the former Atari building. From the studied chronicles we know the building had the number 89-91. But there is no building with that number anymore. So some research was necessary until we discover that the company, which is in number 93, is also in number 91. Number 89 was the backyard. We take some photos for the documentation. Then the navigator enjoys a cigarette on the historical Atari parking area. A great moment in his life, he said.

[Photo: Harry standing in the delivery area]

Harry at the delivery area. Maybe your Atari computer was shipped to you from here.

14:30 Leaving Raunheim in the direction of Schwalbach. We miss our exit because of our discussion. So we follow highway number 3 to the east and re-connect with highway 66 some kilometres further. Another 30 kilometres further we leave the highway at the Eschborn exit.

14:55 We pick up another investigator, Marc Mortara (RAF), the local navigator for Schwalbach.

[Photo: Mad Butscher and Marc Mortara]

Thorsten and Marc have found the right way.

[Photo: Public health warning]

"Rabies endangered area"

15:05 The crew arrives at Schwalbach. The sign at the city limit shows us the way. This time the building is easy to find. Because of its blue colour one might think Atari was here yesterday. I take photos of the main entrance. There are legends that the office building cost Atari about 25 million DM (do you remember the DM?).

[Photo: Marc Mortara and Mad Butscher standing at Atari Schwalbach entrance]

Nevertheless, there are no remaining indications of Atari's existence.

[Image: Atari European addresses from English Falcon brochure]

[Image: Close-up of Atari Schwalbach address]

15:20 Because researching is such a hard job, we finish the expedition at one of these bad Mc restaurants, which is located directly next to the former Atari office. Here is a picture taken from the first floor, compare it to the concept sketch (a larger version can be found in issue 8) made before the building was constructed.

[Image: Concept sketch of Atari Schwalbach]

[Photo: Atari Schwalbach building]

[Photo: Atari Germany]

[Photo: Atari Germany]

[Photo: Atari Germany]


[Photo: Harry's VW Passat]

It's Harry's VW Passat, which is as old as his Atari XL.

16:00 We leave Schwalbach and carry on to reach the next appropriate railway station for Mad Butscher. Marc Mortara's knowledge is of great benefit and he leads us directly to Höchst.

16:15 At the station we say goodbye to Mad Butscher. He takes the train back to Wiesbaden.

16:45 Back in Frankfurt.

End of captain's log.

[Photo: Mad Butscher and Harry Reminder]

Mad Butscher and Harry Reminder.


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MyAtari magazine - Feature #9, March 2002


Copyright 2002 MyAtari magazine