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.
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