Chronology of the Carl-Schurz-Haus



Paul Neuland comes to Freiburg from the United States as an observer. He is responsible for reporting directly to the US High Commissioner John McCloy.


Neuland allocates 500,000 USD from the McCloy Fund to welfare institutions and to youth centers and facilities in the Baden region. An extensive exchange program with the United States is established.

The Freiburg Amerika-Haus is set up on the property opposite the Stadttheater (city theater). A 1 million USD donation from the American People Foundation goes towards its construction.


Paul Neuland is moved to Bavaria as a representative of the US State Commissioner.

On January 21st US High Commissioner John McCloy visits Freiburg and holds a talk at the university. 

The building plans for the Amerika-Haus at the Stadttheater have to be given up. A house located at 2 Goetheplatz is rented as a temporary location.

Under the leadership of John O. Riedl, a branch of the United States Information Agency (USIA) opens in Freiburg with information on culture, exchange programs, and films. The branch of the USIA employs 56 Germans and 5 Americans. 

A mobile library – das Bookmobile – is set up with more than 5,000 books, magazines, newspapers and audio and video materials. Residents of communities within a radius of 70 km have the opportunity to borrow materials from the mobile library.

The Freiburger Amerika-Haus 1952 - 1968


On October 17th the Freiburger Amerika-Haus is opened at 2 Goetheplatz as an information center of the USIA (United States Information Agency) as well as a branch of the US Consulat General in Stuttgart.


Relocation of Amerika-Haus Freiburg to the city center at 8 Bertoldstraße.


Das Bookmobile relocates to Freiburg and people from the city and the surrounding suburbs can rent the materials.  The books are then given to the public library.


Change of ownership of the property located at 8 Bertoldstraße.  Amerika-Haus Freiburg is subsequently forced to find a new place of residence by May 21, 1965.


Budget cuts of the US government make economic protection of the Amerika-Haus necessary by means of its reorganization into a bi-national institute.  The United States Information Center (USIS), the federal government, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Freiburg all take part in the costs.

The ten-year anniversary of the Freiburger Amerika-Haus includes a celebratory discussion about western cultural and educational policy.


Plans to move Amerika-Haus Freiburg to the reconstructed Kornhaus fail.  Instead, the Freiburger Amerika-Haus relocates to the newly built house of Café Herzog on Kaiser Joseph Strasse 266.  The state of Baden-Württemberg rents the house and provides a six-figure advanced payment.


In December, the Program Department and the Administration moves into the new building.


In May the Amerika-Haus opens on Kaiser-Joseph Strasse with the opening of the library and lecture rooms.  Dr. Rudolph Gruber provides funding for the furnishing of the conference room in honor of his father, Dr. August Gruber, a professor at the University of Freiburg.

Carl-Schurz-Haus / Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut e.V. 1969 - 2015


To celebrate the 140th birthday of Carl Schurz, the board of administrators of the Amerika-Haus proposes a name change of the institute to the “Carl-Schurz-Haus/Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut e.V.”  In March, the name change is publically announced and observed with a celebratory lecture about Carl Schurz.


The Freiburg “Aktion Umweltschutz” and the Carl-Schurz-Haus remain in contact as a series of events about the endangered environment begins.


Language courses are set up for different levels of command of the English language.


On the occasion of the bicentenary of the United States, the Carl-Schurz-Haus arranges a special issue of the paper at the University of Freiburg containing articles written by notable scholars entitled “200 Jahre amikanischer Unabhangigkeit” (200 Years of American Independence).


On April 21st a press conference addressing the twenty-five year existence of the Carl-Schurz-Haus takes place.


Exhibition honoring the 150th birthday of Carl Schurz.


Memorial year of the German emigration to the United States – the Carl-Schurz-Haus contributes to creating exchange between Pfaffenweiler and Jasper, Indiana where many southern Baden immigrants found a new home.


Because of cutbacks within the US budget, the United States Information Service (USIS) announces the suspension of its funding for 1986.


Other sponsors of the Carl-Schurz-Haus offer financial help for assistance.  For the first time in its history, the Carl-Schurz-Haus is exclusively under German leadership.

On the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes an exhibition and a student competition.


Due to increased membership, the Carl-Schurz-Haus is able to self-finance.


The partnership between Freiburg and Madison, Wisconsin is established.  The Carl-Schurz-Haus is the chair of the Freiburg-Madison partnership.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus sets up the first teachers’ training as an “American Studies” seminar in Lynchburg, Virginia USA.


International quilt exhibition in Freiburg.


The Carl-Schurz-Haus plays a crucial role at the “Freiburg Fair” in Madison, Wisconsin.


Spotlight USA issues a special program about the 500 years since Christopher Columbus featuring film week, German-American environment days, exhibitions, and a meeting with American writers under the title: Home Abroad – Abroad Home.


US Ambassador Robrt M. Kimmitt visits on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Carl-Schurz-Haus.


By means of an amendment to the statues of the Carl-Schurz-Haus, the administrative board and the board of directors are brought together.  As of August, Professor Dr. Eva Manske is the director of the Carl-Schurz-Haus

Former presidential candidate of the Democratic Party Senator George McGovern visits the Carl-Schurz-Haus in December.  He holds a lecture titled “Beyond the Cold War: America and the New Global Challenge


Based on the model of the “Freiburg Fair” in Madison, Wisconsin, the Freiburg-Madison partnership sets up the “Madison Fair in Freiburg.”  Over 150 guests from the partner state attend this event which lasts several days.

The Quilt Club of the Carl-Schurz-Haus displays their exhibit “Kontraste” (Contrasts) in Freiburg and St. Peter.

The reading series “Neue amerikanische Literatur” (New American Literature) begins with seven American authors.


The Quilt Club displays their exhibit “Kontraste” (Contrasts) in Kirchzarten, Waldshut, Bad Bellingen and Hinterzarten.  Project “Patchworkstraße” in Freiburg.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes its first study trip to New York.


Exhibition and colloquium of “Marienbad Paintings” by New York artist Phil Sims “The Presence of Color: Phil Sims und die Farbe Blau” (Phil Sims and the Color Blue).

First art trip to San Francisco.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus begins regular joint lecture series with the office of women’s studies of Universität Freiburg which expands the traditional joint lecture series within the Colloquium Politicum.  

The “Literature Club” is established in the Carl-Schurz-Haus.  Members discuss new American literature at monthly meetings.

The library print offers as well as video offers are expanded (over 1,000 movies and documentaries in their original forms).


The Quilt Club of the Carl-Schurz-Haus celebrates its ten-year anniversary with an exhibition of American “Amish Quilts in the Midwest” in Freiburg.

The Square Dance Club – the “Dreisam Swingers” – celebrates its ten-year existence with an anniversary gathering. Second art trip to New York.


The ten-year anniversary of the Freiburg-Madison partnership is celebrated with a special program of events.

Third art trip to New York.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus begins its cooperation with film theaters in Freiburg – including CinemaxX and Friedrichbau – and organizes a film program featuring films in their original forms.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus webpage is set up at offering information on language courses, program offerings, and information about the institute.


In cooperation with numerous partners, the Carl-Schurz-Haus offers a multimedia program of events featuring “Bilder von Krieg und Frieden” (Images of War and Peace).

In cooperation with the University of Freiburg and the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, the Carl-Schurz-Haus sets up the German-American conference “The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): The First Decade” based on the lecture series “Asien im Wandel – Herausforderung der Moderne” (Change in Asia – Challenge of Modernity).


The 25-year anniversary of the language course program at the Carl-Schurz-Haus is celebrated.  The wide range of course offerings is available to adults, students, and children.

“Election Night Party” on the occasion of the 2000 Presidential Election in the United States. Attended by the Carl-Schurz-Haus along with Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung, the Politicum of Universität Freiburg, SWR 3, der Badischen Zeitung, and CinemaxX.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes the fourth art trip to New York.


In cooperation with the Freiburg-Madison body, the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes the first “4th of July Party” in honor of the Independence Day of the United States.  Members and friends of the Carl-Schurz-Haus as well as international guests and the Freiburger public attend this event.

Two days following the September 11th terrorists attacks, a well-attended panel discussion with Gernot Erler (MdB), Dr. Jürgen Busche (Badische Zeitung) and Professor Dr. Eva Manske takes place at the Carl-Schurz-Haus.

The German American Business Community in Baden (GABC) is created as a working group of the Carl-Schurz-Haus in the Baden region.  The GABC serves as a network for all companies and their employees involved in German-American economic discourse.

Second art trip to San Francisco.

International Quilt exhibition in Freiburg.


The German American Business Community (GABC) sets up a day-long seminar in the Carl-Schurz-Haus on “Wirtschaftsforum USA: Strategien für den erfolgreichen Einstieg in den US-Markt” (Economic/Business Forum USA "Strategies for effective entry into the US Market") with American experts in cooperation with the US General Consul in Frankfurt, the Amerika Haus in Frankfurt, and the IHK Südlicher Oberrhein (Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Upper Rhine).

The Carl-Schurz-Haus sets up a German-American conference under the title “Benign Neglect?  American Third World Politics in the Post Bipolar Era” in cooperation with the University of Freiburg, the Arnold Bergstraesser Insitute Freiburg.

Reference material at the English library is expanded with the new online-database EBSCOhost Academic Search Elite Periodical Database.  The online-database offers entries from about 3,000 magazines in the English language covering a wide rage of interests including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  The library is also equipped with four computer work places for visitors.

Independence Day is celebrated with the “4th of July Party.”

On the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, a discussion featuring Dr. Andrew B. Denison (USA), Gernot Erler, MdB, and Professor Jürgen Rüland on the topic of the effects of the attacks on German-American relations is held.

The 50th anniversary of the establishment of Amerika-Haus Freiburg/Carl-Schurz-Haus is celebrated on October 17th with a ceremony and Festschrift.

Joint Thanksgiving Dinner with the German American Business Community in Baden (GABC).


Ambassador of the United States Daniel R. Coats is invited to visit the Carl-Schurz-Haus.  Coats holds a public lecture under the title “The Transatlantic Partnership: Continuity and Change” followed by discussion.  His visit is closely related to a lecture series by the Carl-Schurz-Haus featuring lectures such as: “Weltmacht USA – Historische und aktuelle Perspektiven,” (Worldpower USA – Historical and Present Perspectives) “‘Neues’ Amerika vs. ‘Altes’ Europa?  Deutsch-Amerikanische Ansichten zum Translatischen Verhältnis und zu aktuellen politischen Entwicklungen in den USA” (New America vs. Old America – German-American Views on the Transatlantic Relationship and Political Development in the USA) and “USA im Wandel.” (The USA in Change).

Now a tradition, Independence Day is celebrated with the “4th of July Party.”

The first Freiburger Symposium addressing developmental issues and questions under the title “Demokratie durch Intervention” (Democracy through Intervention) is held in cooperation with the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, der Stiftung Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg (SEZ – the foundation for development cooperation) and the Colloquium Politicum of the University of Freiburg.

Many new American films are shown in their original forms in cooperation with CinemaxX, the Friedrichsbau Lichtspielen, the aka-Filmclub and the English Seminar of the University of Freiburg.  These screenings are widely attended not only by those who wish to see films in their original forms, but also by those who are interested in discussion with experts and others with shared interests.

Fifth art trip to New York over Easter break.


For the 2004 Presidential Election in November, the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes a lecture series under the title “Blickpunkt USA – Election Year 2004” (USA Point of View – Election Year 2004).  On election night there is an election-party with test elections, discussions, and live broadcasts in the Mensa-Bar.  The results are analyzed and discussed with coffee and muffins at a Post-Election Breakfast at the Carl-Schurz-Haus the following day.

The German-American Business Community in Baden (GABC) organizes a day-long Business forum on the topic of “Risk-Management und aktuelle Sicherheitsaspekte bei Export und Investition” (Risk Management and Present Security Concerns with Exports and Capital Investment) with German and American business, financial, and economic experts.

A large number of lecture series as well as individual events occur in cooperation with foundations, educational institutions, and associations, including the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, the Colloquium Politikum, and Studium Generale as well as the Center for Anthropology and Gender Studies (ZAG) of Universität Freiburg.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus is the co-organizer of a study trip to Geneva under the slogan “Genf – ein Weltzentrum der internationalen Politik” (Geneva – A World Center of International Politics).  The study trip includes a trip to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and a tour of the city.


After 40 years on Kaiser-Joseph Strasse, the Carl-Schurz-Haus has to change locations once again.  In spite of all the organizational challenges with the relocation which arose at the end of the year, the Carl-Schurz-Haus was still able to offer a wide range of cultural and informational events.

For the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes a lecture series under the title “A More Secure World?”  A handful of other political lecture series are on the program from “Herausforderungen der internationalen Migration und Antworten der Politik” (Challenges of International Migration and Policy’s Responses), to “Lateinamerika: Politik, Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft und Umwelt” (Latin America: Politics, Economics, Society, and the Environment” to “Zwischenbilanz Ost” (Interim Balance East).  Domestic and international social problems and challenges were also the focal points of independent lectures and series.  A lecture series on Parenthood and the topic of “Erinnern und Geschlecht” (Memory and Gender) also takes place.

In addition, a wide range of lectures, films, talks, and workshops covers topics addressing issues with and topics related to the United States today.  

In the spring, the Carl-Schurz-Haus offers the sensational exhibition “Purple Hearts – Mein Herz brennt” (Purple Hearts – My heart burns) featuring work by Nina Berman – a photographer from New York.  Berman photographs injured US veterans in everyday settings and draws attention to the fate of individual soldiers.  The artist is present at the opening of the exhibition and she is accompanied by an injured soldier who served in Iraq.

Art trip to New York in the fall under the leadership of art expert Dirk Görtler and in cooperation with Forum Reisen.

The language program for children extends to: English with Music, English with Art, and English for Bilingual Kids.


On January 28th the Carl-Schurz-Haus opens at 62 Eisenbahn Strasse.  The editor in chief of the Badische Zeitung, Thomas Hauser, moderates a press conference on transatlantic relationships.  Other speakers at the press conference include Freiburg’s Mayor Dr. Dieter Salomon, the director of Amerikahaus Freiburg and Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate General Scott M. Rauland, the prorector of Universität Freiburg Professor Dr. Gerhard Schneider, the leader of the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Dr. Michael Wehner and Christoph Stump from the Deutschen Bank AG Freiburg.  In addition, the opening of the new location is celebrated with live music performed by the Down Home Percolators, the photo exhibition “Images of the Deep South” by Axel Küstner and the multimedia show “New York City Stadtbilder” (New York Cityscape) by Frank Jerman.

The English Library of the Carl-Schurz-Haus offers more than 800 books and DVDs for “Mediathek für Kinder und Jugendliche” (Media Library for Children).  Computer work stations are used primarily for research and the EBSCO Database.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes the “Kids’ Academies” for youth and adolescents between the ages of six and fifteen.  The Kids’ Academies take place during holidays of the academic year.  About 300 students study English under the instruction of the native speakers who teach at the Carl-Schurz-Haus.  The Kids’ Academies consist of a healthy balance of learning within the classroom as well as hands-on learning outside the classroom.

In May, the 100th anniversary of the death of Carl Schuz is honored with a scientific symposium under the title “Carl Schurz and the German-American heritage.”  A photo exhibition featuring original documents from the Schurz family is also on display for the event.

The Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes a lecture with the title “Death Penalty in the United States.”  The lecture is followed by a heated discussion with a panel featuring the chairman of the American section of Amnesty International, Professor Rick Halperin, as well as State Secretary Gernot Erler.

Renowned philosopher Professor Dr. John Searle gives a lecture on a principle theme of linguistics: “What is Language?”  The AudiMax lecture room of the University of Freiburg is filled beyond capacity.

The German-American Business Community (GABC) also boasts an eventful year with a wide variety of lectures and luncheons.  The most memorable highlight is the “Thanksgiving Dinner” with a lecture entitled “The United States of America and Globalization” by the guest of honor Professor Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner for economics in 2001.


The lecture series “Capitalism Now – In welcher Zukunft wollen wir leben?” (Capitalism Now - in which future do we want to live?) is continued regularly and with much success.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the Quilt Club of the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes four well-attended exhibitions in three different cites.

The language Academies for kids and teens are offered during Easter break, summer vacation, and fall break.  The Academies have increased in popularity and have become a permanent part of the program of the Carl-Schurz-Haus.

As part of the lecture series “Analysen und Kommentare zum Zeitgeschehen” (Analysis and Commentary on Current Events), Professor Dr. Rita Süßmuth, former President of the German Bundestag, speaks on the topic of “Deutschland, ein Einwanderungsland: Konsequenzen für Politik und Gesellschaft” (Germany, a Country of Immigrants: Consequences on Politics and Society).

With regard to the lectures and lecture series relevant to the United States, the Carl-Schurz-Haus, among others, places increased emphasis on American Youth Culture, African Immigration, and the “Erfinderung sozialer Räume” (Room with a View).


In May, the Rent an American Program is launched with the motto “Die USA zu Gast in deutschen Klassenzimmern” (The USA as a Guest in German Classrooms).  American exchange students are matched with German classrooms and students and engage in dialogue and share personal stories.  These informal meetings are created with the intent to correct prejudices we may have of another culture through direct and open interlocution.

In cooperation with the Battery Dance Company (NY) and Drastic Action (NY), the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes a six week long dance workshop program in English for approximately 120 students from five different Freiburg schools.  The theme of the workshop is “Tanz verbindet” (Dancing unites).  Students from the PH Freiburg methodically and scientifically monitor the intense project and are pleased with the results.  The outcome is celebrated with two sold-out performances at the Großen Haus at Theater Freiburg.  The US Consul General Jo Ellen Powell from the US Consulate General in Frankfurt also attends the acclaimed event.

In October 2008, Dr. Christine Gerhardt becomes the director of the Carl-Schurz-Haus.  Originally from Berlin, Dr. Gerhardt completed her accreditation at the University of Dortmund and had taught at universities in the United States as well as in Germany.  Dr. Gerhardt led the Carl-Schurz-Haus with plenty of enthusiasm, professionalism, and commitment.

In cooperation with SWR, the Badische Zeitung, and Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, the Carl-Schurz-Haus organizes “Election Night” once again with great success.  An audience of over 1,000 is comprised of mostly young people who eagerly tracked the live transmissions from the United States in addition to engaging in discussion and analysis in the Mensa-Bar.  The “Post-Election Breakfast” by the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung the next morning brought together all of those interested in America and American politics in discussion and analysis of the results.


This year’s highlight is the Town Hall meeting with US President Barack Obama in Strassburg, France.  The President remains true to the theme, that through open dialogue, people of different cultures and nationalities can learn about each other.  The Carl-Schurz-Haus assumes the organizational responsibilities of the “Freiburger Delegation.”  The meeting of international youth is subject to the most strict security measures and safety precautions and it is transmitted live through the ARD.

Two important events from US history are celebrated this year.  First, people all over the world celebrate the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.  Second, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 is observed.  The Stonewall Riots prompted social upheaval and reform and are said to have marked the start of the gay rights movement in the US and the world.  The Carl-Schurz-Haus addresses the impacts of these events on society with lectures, films, and numerous international speakers.      

The 2008 lecture series “Ethik oder Ästhetik?  Gibt es eine ökologische Ethik?” (Ethics or aesthetics?  Is there an environmental ethic?) continues in 2009.

The language courses as well as the Academies offered at the Carl-Schurz-Haus continue to gain popularity.  In both areas, the number of members increases.


At the start of the 2010 program, Jeremy Rifkin, a famous contemporary thinker of society gives a lecture in which he presents his plea for a new era of empathy.

Nancy Fraser, an American among the most famous feminists and critics of Capitalism, joins the ranks of the most highly-qualified guest lecturers at the Carl-Schurz-Haus in April.    Fraser presents a new approach to the area of comparative Capitalism.  This new approach includes social, economic, and environmental aspects.

In the fall, the new series – “American Food Cultures” – takes place.  This new series includes workshops, film, and lectures.

On October 1st the leadership of the Carl-Schurz-Haus changes and Friederike Schulte takes over the position of Director after Professor Christine Gerhardt.

From October to December, the Carl-Schurz-Haus unveils an exhibition displaying quilts by Pat Kumichich.  Kumichich’s work reflects private and political concerns; for example, the rising Tea Party movement.


Die Anschläge vom 11. September 2001 jähren sich zum 10. Mal. Das Carl-Schurz-Haus lädt Zeitzeugen ein, begeht mit Mitgliedern der deutschen und amerikanischen Feuerwehr eine Gedenkstunde, zeigt Bilder des World Trade Centers (Fotograf Tom Bloch) und diskutiert „Die Welt nach 9/11“ mit Gernot Erler, MdB, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hochbruck und John Bauman, US Embassy Berlin.

Mit einem Vortrag des amtierenden US-Botschafters Philip D. Murphy wird die neue Reihe „Carl-Schurz-Lecture“ am 25. Oktober 2011 inauguriert. Im jährlichen Rhythmus sprechen transatlantische Persönlichkeiten über das deutsch-amerikanische Verhältnis. Der Festvortrag findet in Kooperation mit der Stadt Freiburg und weiteren Partnern statt.


Im Juni 2012 kuratiert das Carl-Schurz-Haus seine erste Ausstellung: Gemeinsam mit der Aktivistin und Fotografin X Bonnie Woods werden Fotografien und Video-Installationen von 40 Aktivisten der Occupy Wallstreet/Occupy Boston-Bewegung gezeigt. Als Zeitdokument erstellt das Carl-Schurz-Haus einen begleitenden Ausstellungskatalog und veranstaltet mehrere Vortrags- und Diskussionsveranstal-tungen zum Thema „Occupy Wallstreet“.