Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Early Connections between the DAAD and The University of Chicago

As the DAAD contact at The University of Chicago I have long been interested in the history of the DAAD and the early connections it has had to the University. During my recent efforts I learned that Arnold Bergstraesser who founded the DAAD and from 1937-1953 he taught in the United States with his last appointment as Professor of German Literature and History at the University of Chicago. You can learn more about Arnold Bergstraesser here: http://www.arnold-bergstraesser.de/arnoe.htm.

Similar to Senator Fulbright, German Chancellor Adenauer also had a vision to create a major international academic exchange program that Germany could call her own and in the years following the end of the Second World War he re-founded the DAAD, Deutcher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service). German Chancellor Adenauer was so engaged in this process that he actively took part in the signing of exchange agreements with a variety of partner institutions in the United States.

[1] Chancellor Adenauer’s active participation in the signing of partner institution exchange agreements is evidenced at the University of Chicago where the original DAAD-University of Chicago exchange agreement from 1953 is housed at the Office of International Affairs. This exchange agreement between the University of Chicago and the DAAD contains Chancellor Adenauer’s original signature and on the agreement it is evident that he crossed out the word “eins” (meaning “one” in German) and wrote in the word “zwei” (meaning “two” in German) for the number of guaranteed exchange students from the University of Chicago.

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