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American Life in Augsburg – Conference and Exhibition 2012

 

From March 15 thru 17, 2012, the University of Augsburg organized a scientific conference about America in Augsburg – Acquisitions and Global Connections of a City”. Authoritative were the Institut für Europäische Kulturgeschichte*), the Lehrstuhl des europäisch-trans­atlantischen Kulturraumes**), the Lehrstuhl für neuere und neueste Geschichte***) with chairmen Prof. Dr. Philipp Gassert, Prof Dr. Günther Kronenbitter and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang E. J. Weber. Protector was the Lord Mayor of the City of Augsburg, Dr. Kurt Gribl.

 

As a supplement to the seven-sectioned lectures, staff and students of history realized an accompanying exhibition in the foyer of Augsburg’s New City Library. There were 15 themes with impressive photographic documents and narrative texts, showing all facets of the U.S. presence since the end of WW II. The Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society supported the exhibition with photographs and visited the lectures with several members. The exhibition is scheduled for four weeks.

 

 

The opening of the exhibition at the evening of March 15, 2012 was attended by Prof. Dr. Sabine Doering-Mannteufel, President of the University of Augsburg, Hermann Weber, 2nd Mayor of the City of Augsburg, Dr. Peter Menacher, former Lord-Mayor of Augsburg, representing the Viermetz Foundation, and last but not least, Conrad R. Tribble, Consul General of the United States of America, and Prof. Dr. Maria Höhn, Vassar College New York. 

The panel discussion on March 17, 2012 about the future utilization of Building 116, Sheridan Kaserne, titled “The American heritage in Augsburg in a comparative context”, was attended by holocaust survivor Max Mannheimer as a guest. Other participants were Prof. Dr. Philipp Gassert, Prof. Dr. Maria Höhn (Poughkeepsie), Dr. Gundula Bavendamm, head of Berlin’s Allies Museum, Dr. Gabriele Hammermann, head of the KZ Memorial Dachau, as well as Senator Helmut Hartmann, chairman of the Foundation Jewish Cultural Museum Augsburg-Suebia, and Dr. Wolfgang Stäbler, Landesstelle of Non-Government Museums in Bavaria. As at the opening of the exposition, Gerd Merkle, the head of the City of Augsburg’s Construction Department, was attending. 

After the discussion, a site visit at the intended future “Friedens-Lernort” (peace study place) in the former Sheridan Kaserne took place. That place shall remind of the forced labor that was put up in the building during the last year of WW II, as well as of the democratization during the U.S. presence from 1945 thru 1998.

This way, the initiative of the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society for a permanent memorial of half a century of U.S. Forces presence might be realized.

 

*) Institute for European Cultural History

**) Chair of the European-Transatlantic Cultural Area

***) Chair of Newer and Newest History

 

                                              Prof. Dr. Philipp Gassert opening the conference.

 

Consul General Conrad R. Tripple talking about the American past in Augsburg and requesting it’s historical appropriate location.

 

                            Society Chairman Georg Feuerer talking with Consul General Tribble

 

                     Consul General Tribble exchanging ideas with the organizers of the exhibition.

 

Dr. Stefan Paulus (left) with Tobias Brenner reporting about the urban development and the economical impact of the U.S. time.

 

Max Mannheimer (2nd from left) talks about his fateful life and the liberation of the extermination camp inmates by U.S. soldiers.

 

                                                 Bldg 116, an edifice with an ever-changing history.

 

Amerika in Augsburg e.V. Society is presenting a few of their items in recollection of the U.S. garrison.

 

   On location in Bldg 116: Prof. Dr. Maria Höhn (right) talking with the university’s event organizers. 

 

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