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|Lectures and Reports|
|We want members and guest to learn about the American way of life and to let you know about the possibilities of studying or working in the Unites States. Our members and guest specialists give reports of their experiences in the States. |
We also invite American professors as well as German professors from the Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität (WWU) to tell us what they know about the diversity of both countries with regard to culture, economy, science and politics. This all makes for lively discussions.
Exceptional General Meeting of the DAG
The exceptionalGeneral Meeting on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hörsaal Leo 7 at the Leonardo-CampusNo. 10, Münster completed the board byelecting a new President as only item ofthe agenda. Elected became Mr. Martin Mosskowski, Münster.
|Fourth of July 2013|
Celebrating the American Independence Day 14 members and guests of t he DAG Münster met this year on Sunday, Julky 7th, for the traditional barbecue afternoon as in the years before in the Pfarrgarten St. Agatha in Münster-Angelmodde. Enjoying beautiful summer weather grilled Frankfurters and Hot Dogs, professionally prepared by Dr. Sappok, together with various salads contributed by the participants gave an excellent basis for stimulating and animated talks. The one or other glas of wine finished a Sunday afternoon feeled very pleasant by everyone.
|The American Civil War|
On Thursday, April 11th, 2013, our member Dr. Hans-Jörg Hölscher gave a lecture on cause, course and consequences of this most loss-making war on the Nortamerican continent, which finished slavery in law and in fact. The more and more morally charged discussion on this peculiar institution and on its spread to the growing union resulted finally in violent quarrels, secession and war. The major and bloodiest battles of the Civil War were fought in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. The victorious North imposed reconstruction against southern resistance even using military administrations. When reconstruction was finished in 1877 the questions of civil rights for the freed Afroamericans were postponed for another 90 years. Replacing slavery there came segregation, which became sealed by the Supreme Court in 1898: separate but equal.
|Andy Warhol and Josef Beuys|
Following the thisyears General Meeting on March, 14th, 2013, in the Hörsaalgebäude of the Leonardo Campus 10 the art historian Mrs. Dr. Jutta Thamer gave a lecture on the artists Andy Warhol und Josef Beuys. Both knew and regarded each other highly. Both showed completely different personalities, influenced by prevailing life stories and both used very different artistic means. Despite all of this Mrs. Thamer could demonstrate interesting similarities last not least in selected subjects of their art. The lecture was followed by a very well informed discussion and finally everyone thanked Frau Dr. Thamer for this interesting view into modern art.
|Miracles of nature in the US – amazing trees|
The February meeting of the DAG on Thursday 14th, in the Schloss Building of the WWU saw Mr. Wolfgang Schürmann, member of the Bund Naturschutz (NABU) on voluntary basis, presenting a multi-media-show on tree miracles at extreme sites. The show is the result of a photographic trip 2012 to California looking for very old trees. With enthusiasm he took the audience into an unspoiled nature with its up to 4500 years old witnesses, in a dreamlike world, in which the fight for survival of the giant redwoods, of the pines and cedars at the timberline of the Sierra Nevada could be followed up. Sequoias reach 2500 years “only” and a height of up to 120 m, but the old pines, which in high mountains have to withstand temperatures between -20 and +40 degrees C, will still become older. By the extreme conditions they become twisted very much and look like dead, if there would not be proof for sparse life at some top ends of the trees. A collection of huge pine cones and other evidences of nature miracles werde displayed by Mr. Schürmann as visual aids. Long applause and the lively discussion at the end of the lecture showed that everyone had come to some surprising realization. In the name of the audience Mr. Prof. M. Korda said thanks to Mr. Schürmann for this very interesting night.
|Landfall of Christoph Columbus|
The German-American Society Münster used its monthly meeting at October, 11th, to remember the 520th anniversary of the discovery of America. Prof. Martin Korda showed some pictures and explained the risky sail of three comparable small ships, which tried leaving Palos to reach in westward direction countries which were located in the east. The science of the 15th century which had rediscovered the antique world and its knowledge and assumed the earth as a globe delivered Columbus some certainty that India, which had gained trade-political importance following the portugese discovery sails around Africa, could be reached as well sailing westward. When on the evening of October 11th, 1492, he saw the silhouette of an island he was sure to have reached India or the famous island Zipangu respectively. In reality that had been the West Indies which later became named this way. He named the inhabitants of these islands Indians and remained sure up to his death to have discovered the sea route to India. The cartographer Martin Waldseemüller for the first time named the new discovered continent America when he published 1507 his famous global view of the world; with this naming Waldseemüller remembered the Italian sailor Amerigo Vespucci, who for the first time became convinced that all discovered islands and shore lines were part of one new continent. An interested audience thanked Prof. Korda for his lecture and some new views of this historical event.
|Fourth of July 2012|
Celebrating the American Independence Day 14 members and guests of the DAG Münster met this year on Sunday, July 1st, already for the traditional barbecue afternoon as in the years before in the Pfarrgarten St. Agatha in Münster-Angelmodde. Enjoying convenient summer weather, in danger by some dark clouds and few rain drops very shortly only, at first coffee and cake and later grilled Hamburger and Hot Dogs together with various salads gave an excellent basis for stimulating and animated talks. The one or other glas of wine finished a Sunday afternoon feeled very pleasant by everyone.
|Meeting of the USA-NRW Partnership Organisations 2012|
By invitation of the Staatskanzlei des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen and the US Consulate General Düsseldorf Prof. M. Korda and Dr. J. Hölscher on behalf of the DAG Münster took part on the yearly meeting of the USA-NRW Partnership Organisations on May 29th 2012 in the Staatskanzlei Düsseldorf. 14 City Partnerships and 7 German-American Societies as well as America Haus NRW were present and were welcomed by NRW Minister Mrs. Dr. Angelica Schall-Düren and US Consulate General Mrs. Janice G. Weiner. Following a very detailed lecture on actual travel regulations for the US there was a very interesting exchange of experience between all organizations present on their activities, problems as well as success. In particular the difficulties were similar and quite common. Very interesting was a discussion – accompanied by an online-demonstration – on chances how to address and interest younger people especially by use of social networks like Facebook.
|Evangelicals in the USA|
On May, 10th, 2012 Mrs. at 7:30 p.m. in the lecture hall S 9 Anja Maria Bassimir from WWU, Lehrstuhl für Nordamerikanische Geschichte, lectured some parts from her research studies on the topic evangelicals in the USA using the headline God - Country – Family. The history of US evangelicals is connected with the phenomena of religious awakening movements, which repeatedly had shaped the American society and which can be understood as expressions of feeling spiritually unsafe with all the growing social problems coming up in modern times. At the beginning of the 20th century the fundamentalists taking the Bible literally word by word tried to force back the Modernists using scientific arguments. A spectacular climax of these discussions was the socalled Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, in 1925. The fundamentalistic arguments in this trial had been shown to be ridiculous nationwide and by this reason were hardly heard anymore in public during he following years. In the 1950s the evangelical movement, described as 4th US-awakening by Mrs. Bassimir, began its triumphal march from California throughout the Nation via radio and TV and personified by reverend Billy Graham. The evangelical movement is very diverse, common elements can be seen in personal decisions and conversion experiences as well as careful interpretation of the Bible. The evangelicals are members of various protestantic churches and denominantions. According to Mrs. Bassimir there is only a rough estimation of 40% of white Protestants to be named evangelical. Another main topic of Mrs. Bassimirs lecture, which was enriched with some movie sequences, was the coming together of the evangelicals with the political right wing end of the 1970s. Early evangelical publications could be understood quite possibly as theocratic arguments; today it is more a discussion on civil religion topics last not least by the insistent accentuation of the 1. Amendment of the Constitution. Evangelical ideas of the family are conservative and have the ban of abortion as center point. Even early fundamentalistic ideas have a kind of revival under the topic of intelligent design. The evening ended with a lively and interesting discussion, which had specific contributions of personal live experiences in the US.
|Members meeting 8.3.2012|
The this years members meeting oft he DAG took place on March, 8ht, 2012, At 7:30 p.m. in Room S 6 of the WWU. Chairman Prof. M. Korda commemorated the deceased members Ulrich Kuschnerus and Patricia Thimme. Following the reports of the chairman, of the treasurer and the cash auditor the board was discharged with thanks and was reelected completely including the so far provisional secretary Brigitte Grzeskowiak and the absent board members James N. Martin (vice chairman) and Christoph Havestadt. Reinhard Schöning was reelected as cash auditor as well.
Subsequent of closing of the members meeting on March 3rd, 2012, Dr. Jörg Hölscher gave a lecture on Hawaii, which was based on trip experiences to that region 5 years ago. Creation and settlement of the archipelago as well as an overview on Polynesian cultur were the first part of the lecture followed by a description of the more recent history and of the sights of the individual islands. Some pictures gave some impressions of that spectacular beauty of this US Island State.
|Amerika vor der Qual der Wahl (Americas Struggle before Election Day)|
The fourth time already at the beginning of a New Year the Amerika Haus NRW, the German-American Society Münster together with the Westfälische Nachrichten Münster jointly invited the citizens of the Münsterland for a top-notch lecture and discussion event in the Festsaal of the Historische Rathaus of the City of Münster. On Friday, February 10th, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. following greetings and introductions by Mayor Holger Wigger, by Chairman of the German-American Society Münster Prof. Martin Korda and by Executive Director of the Amerika Haus NRW Mrs. Dr. Juliane Kronen the speaker of the evening Mr. Dr. Christoph von Marschall, US Correspondent of the German Newspaper Der Tagesspiegel started his lecture with a presentation of the US primaries system and the candidates for the republican nomination. Continuing his extraordinary lecture with wit and sometimes even irony he discussed the chances of the actual republican politicians for the nomination as well as the chances of President Obama for reelection in November. According to him the chances of President Obama seem to be slightly improved recently but no one could know if this is a trend and if so how long this could go on considering all the political uncertainties in the coming month. Furthermore and equally absorbing Dr. von Marschall discussed the actual German-American relations and the view and expection each side has for the other. Masterly as ever Mrs. Dr. Claudia Kramer-Santel (Westfälische Nachrichten) moderated a panel discussion between Dr.von Marschall and Ruprecht Polenz, MdB and Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Politics, which reinforced the topics of the evening. The official part of the event was finished with questions from the participants to the panel, dealing for example with a possibly increased interest of US politics inChina or with the problems of US election financing. A closing reception in the rooms of the Town Hall offered opportunities for talks to everyone at the very end of this highly interesting evening.
|Thanksgiving – History and Myth|
In the barock banquet hall of the former Oberpräsidium at the Schlossplatz, which history Prof. Korda outlined during his welcome address, Mrs. Jana Weiß from Institute for North American History at the WWU(Mrs. Prof. Dr. Heike Bungert) gave a report on her research work of American national holidays. Giving a very clear structured lecture, enriched by illustrating pictures, historical cartoons and movies, she outlined history and modifications of this now unique US holiday. First a regional religiously coined holiday in New England it became a national holiday at times of Civil War, not for the Indians but equally for the immigrants of all nations. At the same time the myth of the alleged “first true” thanksgiving was created, celebrated by the Pilgrims together with the Wampanoag Indians. Even when the political and religious meaning of this holiday became modified according to the over the years social-political developments of the country and its citizens, an appeal to the public by Ronald Reagan from 1982, quoted by Mrs. Weiß at the beginning of her lecture, should still be regarded characteristic: “Let us reaffirm through prayers and actions our thankfulness for America’s bounty and heritage”. Following an interested discussion, which involved an American guest couple with valuable contributions, Prof. Korda thanked the Mrs. Weiß with a book present and invited for the DAG thanksgiving party on the 4th Thursday in November.
|End of Pax Americana?|
This was the focus of a lecture given by Mrs. Prof. Brigitte Young Ph.D. (WWU) to the German-American Society Münster on Thursday, October 13th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.. Mrs Young is American citizen and has profound knowledge in American universities and politics. Perhaps this was the reason that her attempt to answer the self-given question showed many aspects. As a substantial and alarming weakness of the actual American situation besides excessive debts, military overstretch and partial deindustrialization she mentioned in particular the blockade of political decisions. On contrary strength are seen besides the traditional and classical US-American optimism and self-assurance on the American way and the still worldwide dominating economical performance especially in a favorable demographical situation compared to other industrial states and in particular in the research and development systems at universities, other research centers still resulting here and there in formidable start-ups. A clear answer to the question of the evening was not reached even after an extremely intensive and interested discussion, which kept everyone focused up to 10 p.m.. But many participants of this evening seemed to have increased doubts on the endurance of Pax Americana.
|Fourth of July 2011|
Despite the changeable, cool weather there were 23 members and guests of the DAG Münster who met for our already traditional barbecue afternoon to celebrate the American Independence Day this year already on Sunday, July 3rd, in the Pfarrgarten St. Agatha in Münster-Angelmodde. Following a short welcome by Prof. M. Korda the participants enjoyed grilled Hamburger and sausages, various salads prepared by participants and interesting discussions.
|DAG Münster at the US Consulate General in Düsseldorf|
Invited by the Consul General of the United States of America Mrs. Janice G. Weiner the DAG Münster was represented by our Chairman Prof. Martin Korda at the official celebration of the US Independence Day 2011 in Düsseldorf this year on Friday July 1st already.
|Renewable energies in Germany and in the USA|
This was the topic on which Mr. Uwe H. Burghardt MA gave a lecture on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senatssitzungssaal der WWU Münster. Mr. Burghardt had been one of the founding members of the DAG Münster when he had been student in politics in Münster and he is now occuoied as Media Speaker Innovations and Netsystems for the Energy Agency NRW and by this busy with the multifold area of energy systems on order of the Government of Northrhine-Westfalia. Giving an overview on the actual, international use of renewable energies Mr. Burghardt surprised the audience with the ranking of the first three nations worldwide, which he named China first, USA second and with some distance Germany third. China is reported to have shown remarkable in use of renewable energies in recent years which resulted in replacing the USA as number One only short time ago. The USA in contrast to Germany are expected to see strong increase in the use of wind energy in coming years. The multifold chances, but as well risks and costs of use od renewable energies were presented and after that discussed with the audience. Before all of that our Chairman Prof Korda had given a warm farewell to our many years American guest Timon Bohn, who now after 4 years in Münster is finishing his bachelor education and will go for a master degree at another German university.
|US-American families within the 20th century|
Following the this years member meeting of the DAG on March, 11th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Schlossgartenrestaurant, which most important result has to be reported as the discharge of the board regarding the financial year 2010/11, Mrs. Prof. Dr. Isabel Heinemann (WWU) reported on her research field: Familiy values and social changes – The US American family within the 20th century. Giving a very dense but equally very instructive overview she outlined the changes, which had dominated the ideas of men and women and their relation to each other influenced additionally by changing social spheres beginning in 1900 and up to presence. Her first summary was that essentially a conservative idea of families had been maintained regardless of all those very far reaching changes of the position of womens within the US society since 1900. Strong applause by the audience as well as the very interested discussion showed that Mrs. Prof. Dr. Heinemann approached a highly interesting topic in a very stimulating way. Further discussions of similar topics from the research field of Mrs. Prof. Dr. Heinemann were proposed.
|The State of the Union – the Second Half of Obamas first Presidential Term|
This was the topic of a joint event organized by the Amerika Haus NRW in cooperation with the German-American Society Münster and the Westfälische Nachrichten Münster, which took place on February 15th, 2011, at 7 p.m. in the completely crowded Festsaal of the Historische Rathaus Münster. The initially planned speaker of the event, Mr. Hans-Ulrich Klose, was forced to cancel on short term by private reasons. But equally on short term it was possible to engage his predecessor as Coordinator of the German Federal Government for German-American Relations between 1999 and 2010, Mr. Karsten Voigt, for this evening. Following welcome speeches of the Mayor Mrs. Wendela-Beate Vilhjalmsson on behalf of the City of Münster, of the executive Director of the Amerika Haus NRW, Mrs. Dr. Juliane Kronen, and of the Chairman of the German-American Society Münster, Prof. Martin Korda, which both mentioned the obvious tradition already established with this type of event at the beginning of a year in Münster and promised to continue with this, Karsten Voigt explained in detail and very trenchant the changes within the German-American Relations occured since 1989/90 and their ongoing changes before the background of equally and continuously changing international politics. He underlined especially the prevailing politics of self-interest of the USA and the BRD respectively, which did have a different common quality up to the end of the Cold War than today in a world of globalization. E.g. up to 1989 only the relations to the USA had been essential for the BRD, while today the relations to the European Union are essential as well. The Obama administration will concentrate the next years undoubtedly on the intended reelection, interior politics will have central importance on the background of economical difficulties. The deep understanding of the political system in the US won in all his years as German-American coordinator became evident, when Mr. Voigt warned to see and to judge the US politics by European measures only. To understand US politics correctly it is absolutely necessary to understand the different political system in the US, its political history and its ideals. Each US President will follow US interests in the first place if popular in Europe or not. While still being the only world super power the US had to realize that it became more and more impossible to solve all problems in all regions of the world unilaterally but they will go on to achieve their goals unilaterally if necessary and if possible. As an example for a misleading view of the Europeans on US politics Mr. Voigt mentioned the retirement of close presidential staff members; while this is and was normal always in the US by specific reasons, it would have been close to governmental crisis in Europe. The growing polarization of political arguments, which is to some degree necessary always and everywhere especially at election times, has to be understood in the same way even when somehow specific and alarming in the US. Finally Mrs. Dr. Cramer-Santel (Westfälische Nachrichten) skilfully moderated an interested discussion and by this reinforced the received informations. The events finish was met with prolonged applause by the participants.
|Mid Term Elections in the USA 2010|
More than 80 participants – members oft he DAG as well as interested guests – had come to the Hörsaal S 8 of the WWU on Thursday, November 11th, 2010, following a joint invitation of the Amerika Haus NRW and the DAG Münster to listen to the US-correspondent of the Süddeutsche Zeitung Mr. Christian Wernicke explaning results and consequences of the Midterm Elections in the USA on November 3rd, 2010. Lecture as well as the ensuing very animated discussion touched especially the meaning of the Tea Party movement and the fact that many Americans feel inclined to prefer one-sided point of view media so as Fox News for their information instead neutral media as the Tagesschau as done mostly here in Germany. Furthermore the possibilities versus a republican dominated House of Representatives left to President Obama were outlined along historical examples; Truman preferred charging the opposing majority, Carter tried embracing and Clinton looked for compromises in individual cases. According to Mr. Wernicke in general Obama did not lose his followers to the Republicans but to the non-voters. Finally the importance of economical questions and in particular those of the job market were stressed regarding the remaining term of President Obama and his possible reelection. A reception in the Foyer of the Schloss finished this interesting and successful information- and discussion-event.
|Münster – a lovable Town?|
First of all the Chairman of the DAG Herr Prof. Martin Korda corrected the topic of his lecture on our home town Münster on Thursday, October 21st, 2010, in the Schlossgartenrestaurant; he called Münster worth living without any trouble but lovable could mean a question mark. Based on his well founded specialized knowledge as retired Professor in Town Planning he described as well the successful as the less successful results of planning and building in Münster. Unfortunately we could not welcome guests and in particular students, which missed an excellent opportunity to see and learn Münster by a very special way. The interested as well as interesting discussion focused on possibilities and problems how to overcome the one or the other of these building mistakes.
|Fourth of July 2010|
On the afternoon of Sunday July 4th, this year exactly on time, there were 33 guests, friends and members of the German-American Society, young and old alike, meeting in the Pfarrgarten St.Agatha in Münster-Angelmodde to celebrate the 234. Independence Day of the United States of America with barbeque and talks. Prof. Korda welcomed a number of American students from Virginia Tech University together with their Professor, who attended an one-month Summer School organized by the Institut für Unternehmensrechnung und-besteuerung at the WWU. A special welcome was given to our newest member Mr. Zahedi and his family. Grilled Hamburgers and sausages , salads prepared by guests and members together with lots of beverages helped to make a beautiful, warm summer afternoon a really wonderful one.
|Experiences in Afghanistan|
On Thursday, June 10th, 2010, Cornel Arthur Tulak, contact officer of the US-Army to the German-
Netherland Corps in Münster, reported on his experiences during several deployments in Afghanistan at 7:30 p.m. in the Schlossgartenrestaurant. Unfortunately only few members of the DAG found their way to the Schlossgartenrestaurant to listen open-air to this extremely well prepared and interesting lecture. Cornel Tulak had been deployed to Afghanistan for the first time in 2002 already and for the third time together with the G/NL Corps in 2009/2010; by this he has extensive personal experiences on all developments and changes of this war from the beginning on. Up to now this is the longest war for the USA in history, in the meantime longer already than the Vietnam war and Cornel Tulak stressed the enormous costs burden of this war for the US. Cornel Tulak underlined the whole southeast of Afghanistan, inhabited by Pashtunes mainly, in particular being extremely critical and dangerous last not least because in this region poverty and backwardness in every aspect are highest by far. Cornel Tulak reported on personally experienced terroristic attacks by the Taliban and on changing strategies against that from side of the alliance. In general the situation in Afghanistan has to be seen rather more critical now, but a kind of military success is indispensable to come to a situation stable enough for a independent afghan government and for the whole region as well. Cornel Tulak actually is somehow optimistic since the Pakistan Army has started to fight the Taliban in Pakistan in reaction on military attacks from the Taliban which Cornel Tulak sees as a big mistake for the Taliban. Following the lecture a highly interested discussion started and Cornel Tulak did not evade any question. On the German side he is missing in politics and public a stronger support for all the efforts by the alliance. On the American side he underlined the support for the American soldiers by the public which others than during the Vietnam War becomes clear by the deep respect American soldiers receive on returning. Remarkable was his comment that the Bundeswehr is especially and highly esteemed by the US-Army. Cornel Tulak leaves German in these days after one year at the G/NL corps to move with kids and his German wife to Hawaii for his new job. We wish him and his family all the best.
|Meeting in May 2010|
On Thursday, May 20th, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. William I. Jay, being student at the partner university of the WWU, the Ball State University (Muncie, Indianan), and being exchange student at the WWU since fall 2009, talked on his impressions and experiences in Germany. Unfortunately only few members of the DAG had found opportunity to attend to this meeting in the Schlossgartenrestaurant. Last not least thanks to William Jay there resulted an extremely interesting discussion going far beyond the frame of the topic “Als US-Student in Münster”. Once again it became clear that knowing about historical developments may be very helpful for a better mutual understanding of differences in social, cultural and political aspects in the USA as well as in Germany.
|The new Consul General of the US in Düsseldorf Mrs. Janice Weiner in Münster|
On the occasion of her first courtesy visit to the city of Münster on Thursday, April 29th, 2010, the new Consul General of the US in Düsseldorf Mrs. Janice Weiner took opportunity to meet the DAG Münster. During lunch in the traditional restaurant Stuhlmacher Mrs. Weiner had a detailed conversation with DAG Chairman Prof. Martin Korda and DAG board member Ulrich Kuschnerus on her plans especially to interest German young persons for the USA taking use of the program “Meet the US” and on possible cooperations with the DAG Münster. Mrs. Weiner became Consul General of the US in Düsseldorf in August 2009; she has two daughters and speaks a number of languages including German fluently.
|General Meeting 2010 and lecture The New Bauhaus by Prof. Martin Korda|
The this years General Meeting of the DAG Münster took place on Thursday, March 11th, 2010. The chairman Prof. Martin Korda opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. with 18 members present in the Schlossgartenrestaurant. Following reports of the chairman, of the treasurer Dr. J. Hölscher and of R. Schöning on the cash audit the board was discharged with thanks. According to the statutes a new board had to be elected; as proposed by members the old board was reelected completely. The General Meeting was closed at 8:00 p.m..
Afterwards Prof. Korda reported the history of the Bauhaus, starting with its prehistory, continuing with Weimar, Dessau and Berlin and finally reaching the main part of his lecture, the reception of this trend in art in the USA, the New Bauhaus. People, their works and cooperation with each other clarified that the idea of the Bauhaus was not restricted to building only but looked more to a full education in art. The impressive trip through history finished in the 1960ies showing pictures of a young architect Korda just starting his career on the one hand and the aged leading authorities Gropius and Scharoun talking to each other on the other hand.
|Oath, balls and parades|
This was the topic of a lecture, dealing with the inauguration history of American Presidents, given by Mrs. Prof. Dr. Heike Bungert, chair for Northamerican History at the Historisches Seminar of the Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität Münster, on Thursday, February 4th 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senatssitzungsaal of the WWU following an invitation of the German-American Society Münster. After a general explanantion of feasts and celebrations being elements of a ritual for American identity and politics she outlined the meaning of that within an American discussion on civil religion. Finally she described inauguration peculiarities and continuities during the more than 200 years of experience and how they changed to the practice of today. The interested discussion mainly dealt with understanding and meaning of that topic Civil Religion which seems rather strange to us Europeans.
|German Ambassador to the USA Dr. Scharioth on one year Obama|
Organized jointly by the Amerika Haus NRW, the German-American Society Münster and the Westfälischen Nachrichten on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, the Ambassador of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland to the USA, Herr Dr. Klaus Scharioth, reported on his experience with the new Obama Administration and on his view of the current US politics. About 300 participants filling the Festsaal of the Münster Rathaus nearly completely indicated the high interest this event had won. For about half an hour Dr. Scharioth gave a brilliant lecture on nearly all important elements of the new American domestic and foreign politics, highlighted the changes in strategy and discussed chances for success but risks as well; many of these new elements were reported not to be political main stream in America. He described it actually as pretty nice to be German Ambassador in Washington because German views and experiences are actually very much asked for by the US-Government and the mutual understanding of the leading politicians is considered to be extremely close and based on trust. This was followed by a discussion moderated with consummate ease by Mrs. Dr. Kramer-Santel from the Westfälische Nachrichten and within which an obviously relaxed Dr. Scharioth answered many interesting questions of the audience. A reception closed this evening, which was generally considered extremely successful.
|German emigrants to the USA|
The DAG October meeting on 10/8/2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senatssitzungssaal der WWU Münster saw the repetition of a lecture by our member Dr. Hans-Jörg Hölscher , which he had given on July 7th 2009 already at a conference of the Akademie Franz Hitze Haus Münster . Dr.Hölscher described the history of the German emigration to the USA from the beginning in the 17th century and the big emigration waves of the 19th century up to the 1st World War, which meant a strong break regarding the assimilation of the German-Americans into their new home. By selected examples still today existing remnants of these early emigrations were shown.
|Fourth of July 2009|
On the afternoon of July 5th, 2009, there were 39 guests, friends and members of the German-American Society, young and old alike, meeting in the Pfarrgarten St.Agatha in Münster-Angelmodde to celebrate the yesterday’s 233. Independence Day of United States of America with barbeque and talks. On behalf of Prof. Korda, who was very sorry not being able to participate, Dr. Jörg Hölscher welcomed a number of American guests, on top Vice Consul Christopher Grossmann from the Consulate General of the USA in Düsseldorf, who especially had travelled from Düsseldorf to attend our meeting. Furthermore he welcomed Prof. Paul Spickard from the University of California in Santa Barbara, who will finish his one-year guest lecturing at the English Seminar of the WWU Münster this month. A special warm welcome was given to Carmen and Michael Heintzelmann together with their little kids Caroline and Luke, who altogether had moved to Münster some month ago from Atlanta, Georgia. Michael is working for the Münster company Armacell and has strong family roots to the Pennsylvania Dutch. The flagstaff of the American students at the WWU was carried by Eric Spall only this sunny, warm afternoon. Highlights of the afternoon were a lecture by Mrs. Lammers on the Fürstin Gallitzien and her son, who emigrated to the USA, became a priest over there and actually is going to be blessed by the Catholic Church, and following that a guides tour by Mr. Lammers, who very humerous showed and explained details and stories of the romance Pfarrkirche St. Agatha, first built in 13th century. Mrs. and Mr. Lammers are active in the local history club Heimatfreunde Angelmodde and have spent many years of research work in Angelmodde’s history.
|Kassler Neger – Kassler Mohren|
Invited by the DAG Mrs. Prof. Dr. Maria Diedrich from the English Seminar der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, gave a lecture on May, 14th 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in the Seminarraum S 6 der WWU. Her topic was „Kassler Neger – Kassler Mohren, Vom amerikanischen Sklaven zum hessischen Tambour“. The research work of Frau Prof. Diedrich focus on African American Studies and in particular on the interactions between African America and Germany. She currently is designing a transatlantic research group together with American colleagues from the Duke University and the Seton Hall University to be called„Crossovers: African and German Interactions“. Since 1984 Frau Prof. Diedrich is Non-Resident Fellow at the Du Bois Institute of African and African American Research at Harvard University and has received 1984 the W.E.B. Du Bois Award granted by Harvard University and Ford Foundation.
|Change in Foreign Policy in the Obama Administration – Political Rhetoric or Reality?|
This was the topic of a lecture which Mrs. Polly J. Diven, Professor of Political Science an der Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan gave on Wednesday, March 25th , 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fachhochschulzentrum, Münster in English language. The event was invited jointly by the Fachhochschule Münster and the German-American Society Münster. Reflecting the high expectation to the new Administration Mrs. Diven explained limits and chances of the new Presidency within the frame of constitutional, political as well as social realities in the US. The relations between the US and Europe and Germany in particular were outlined in detail; common issues as well as differences on both sides together with reciprocal expectations connected to this took up the interest of the numerous audience in the following very engaged discussion.
|The US Indians|
Subsequent to the this years Member Meeting on Thursday, March 12th 2009, which approved the activities of the board after having heard the reports of the 1. Vorsitzender and of the Schatzmeister, Mr. Dipl.-Ing Ulrich S. Von Altenstadt gave a lecture on the US Indians. Other than announced his focal point was the history and the fate of the North American Indians after the arrival of the White Man and not so much the Battle of the Little Bighorn. An animated and interested discussion closed the evening.
|The new Man in the White House – an interesting panel discussion|
Invited by Amerika Haus e.V. NRW and Stadt on February 12th, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. in the Historisches Rathaus Münste Ruprecht Polenz, MdB, Vorsitzender des Auswärtigen Ausschusses im Bundestag, and Dr. Jackson Janes, Director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington DC, moderated by Mrs. Dr. Claudia Kramer-Santel from the Westfälische Nachrichten discussed and analyzed first impressions of the new administration and answered questions from the audience later on. The event was opened by Bürgermeisterin Frau K. Reismann, US-Generalkonsul M. Boyse and by Geschäftsführerin des Amerika Haus NRW Frau E. Metzen, who welcomed more than 100 participants including more than 20 members oft he German American Society Münster. Discussed were actual questions in foreign politics ranging from Near East to Irak, Iran, Afghanistan up to the international economical and money crisis. Aspects of domestic US politics connected with these questions were touched as well. Even that clear solutions of problems could not yet be outlined considering the new administration being in office only one month nevertheless an impression of an expectant time of departures was given but without euphoria. A closing reception gave opportunities for further talks.
|Wahlkampfmanagement in US-Präsidentschaftskampagnen in historischer Perspektive|
At our October meeting on 10/9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Schlossgartenrestaurant we were glad to welcome a good number of members and guests. Dr. Thomas Unterberg, lecturer in Media and Communication Sciences at the Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, talked on „Wahlkampfmanagement in US-Präsidentschaftskampagnen in historischer Perspektive“. He reported on the beginning of campaigning management in a modern sense in 1896 and outlined its development over the years up to present times. For Dr. Unterberg this development during the last decades shows a trend from campaigning focused on personalities of candidates towards campaigning driven and governed by consultants. Following his lecture we had a very interested and interesting discussion which besides other items made clear again the different views of Americans and Europeans regarding political elections.
|“Fourth of July” Barbecue 2008 |
Sunday, July 6th 2008, about 15 members of the DAG and some American students and their friends met at 4:30 p.m. in the Pfarrgarten of St. Agathe in Münster-Angelmodde to celebrate – somehow delayed – the American Independence Day having a typical barbeque. Fortunately the weather conditions allowed to grill in the beautiful situated Pfarrgarten on the banks of river Angel, so that all sausages, hamburgers and turkeys grilled to perfection by Ulrich Kuschnerus decisively contributed to a wonderful afternoon with interesting and stimulating talks.
|Practical training at the United Nations in New York - Gabriel Vockel reported on his experiences|
Mr. Gabriel Vockel reported on May 14th , 2008, in lecture room 6 of the Schloss on those experiences, which he could collect within the framework of his study of law by a three-month practical training at the German Embassy to the United Nations in New York. Mr. Vockel, who did enjoy us with some magic tricks during last years “Fourth-of July” garden party, could be supported financially by the DAG to realize his stay in New York. Following an overview on the United Nations and their organisation he focused on the practical work delivered by an embassy to the United Nations; to outline this the example of a typical Diplomats working day was very instructive. Of course the impressions of the city of New York were reported as well using some very beautiful and impressive fotos. Mr. Vockel were given a lot of questions from the audience, which he answered supremely well. Finally Mr. Korda thanked him for a highly interesting lecture and information.
|Consul General Boyse visiting the DAG|
On February 27th , 2008, Consul General of the United States Mr. Matthew Boyse visited the German-American Society Münster to discuss actual aspects of the German-American relations. The event took place at 7:30 p.m. in the Dienstgebäude des Regierungspräsidenten von-Vincke-Haus am Domplatz, which gratefully was offered by the Regierungspräsident for this occasion. About 80 members, guests and friends of the German-American Society, including Bürgermeister Varnhagen representing the city of Münster, were welcomed by Chaiman Prof. M. Korda and - in the name of the Regierungspräsident - by the Leiter der Abteilung 3 des Regierungspräsidiums Mr. Erich Tilkorn, who presented a very entertaining short cut of Münster’s history. Mr. Boyse after having finished his statements, which essentially underlined the stability of the German-American relations, was ready to answer a number of questions. Saying “Danke schön” Prof. Korda submitted a Book on Münster to remember Mr. Boyse to his visit to Münster this day. Before the event board members of the German-American Society had welcomed Mr. Boyse for some refreshments in the Restaurant Stuhlmacher.
|„The Kissinger Saga“ Henry and Walter, two brothers from Fürth|
The film presentation, organized by our German-American Society together with the German-Atlantic Society e.V. on November 18th 2007 in the Erbdrostenhof Münster, had been a really extraordinary event. Producer and director of that film Mrs. Evi Kurz explained the coming into being and the making of the project as well as the attitude of the brothers Kissinger toward this project. Mrs. Kurz was born in Fürth as the Kissingers and this was motivation enough trying to reduce the emotionally based reservations which for sure had existed on the side of the brothers.
“Big brother” Henry is well known as political adviser of several Presidents of the USA and as Secretary of State during the Nixon and Ford Administration; but "the other Kissinger" his brother Walter was a real surprise. Escaping from Fürth 1938 right on time both brothers were offered unusual and unforeseeable chances. Henry came back to Germany as GI soon in 1945 and started then his political career. Walter began an industrial career with extreme success. Together with Mrs. Kurz both came back for the first time to the city of their childhood and youth, last not least to show their roots to their own families and to face the historical events. Talks within their families and the appreciation of Henry’s political partners - Helmut Schmidt and Dietrich Genscher – clarified the historical dimension.
The discussion following the film further pointed out what had been a matter of concern for Mrs. Kurz but showed as well the problematical reintegration of refugees then and today besides referring to the actual German American relations. The panel was built besides by Evi Kurz by US Consul Mrs. Humphries from Düsseldorf and by Dr. Waldmann from Westfalian Wilhelms University Münster.
Closing the event the audience was invited by German-American Society for a reception in the foyer of the Erbdrostenhof which offered some drinks and with this opportunities for further talks and contacts.
|A visit to Chicago|
The first fall meeting of this year on September 13th centered on the capital at the Lake Michigan. Ulrich Kuschnerus reported on a recent visit to Chicago. His lecture covered the history of this fascinating big city as well as the pulsating present in showing many beautiful pictures and photos of his own. During the animated discussion some of the numerous members and guests contributed their own experiences in and with the "Windy City".
|Lecture of the German-American Society Bergisch Land in Münster|
On October 12th, 2006, Mr. Christian Goedeking, member of the German-American Society Bergisch Land, following our invitation gave a lecture on Richard Neutra, one of the great architects of the 20th century, at 7:30 p.m. in the Schlossgartenrestaurant.
|Another lecture at the German-American Society Bergisch Land in Wuppertal|
On October 26th, 2006, our member Ulrich Kuschnerus gave a lecture at the German-American Society Bergisch Land in Wuppertal. Titled "Romantic America" he showed and presented black-and-white pictures of the photographer E.O. Hoppé, taken during a trip through the USA in 1926. This lecture was given earlier on February 12th, 2004, in Münster .
|Lecture at the German-American Society Bergisch Land in Wuppertal|
As „kick-off“ event for the intended cooperation between our both German-American Societies our member Dr. Hans-Jörg Hölscher gave a well received lecture the 30th of May, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. in Bookstore Schöningh in Wuppertal on the eruption of Mount St. Helens. This lecture had been held already one year ago in Münster. Further lectures from both societies are planned in exchange