Healy, John D.
One year on the border, pp. 9-10 PDF (1.3 MB)
One Year on the Border By John D. Healy US Cultural Officer, Kassel A PASSAGE from Faust was used by a German school teacher to express his estimate of the US Information Center in the northern Hessian community of Eschwege. In an essay on "My Opinion of the America House", the teacher quoted: "He, who brings variety to his audience, presents something to everyone, and upon leaving, all are satisfied." Located only a few miles from the border of the Soviet Zone, the America House, during its first year, has been practically adopted by the people of Eschwege as their own - so much so that the local newspaper in commenting on US economy moves said the citizens "plead that their Ame- rica House will not be touched." Even the Kassel Post, often outspokenly critical of Amer- ica policies, found words of praise in saying: "They (the America House) have in every way promoted civic think- ing, the idea of European integration and, as far as possible, friendship between Germans and Americans." SPEAKING at the first anniversary festivities Feb. 6 of Sthe US Information Center in Eschwege, Byron B. Sny- der, US Consul in Frankfurt, hailed the America House as contributing to "the strong but imperceptible bridges which are being built by men and women of good will on both sides of the Atlantic." Also comparing the America House to a bridge County Administrator Gerhard Pforr of Eschwege went on to say that the America House had broken down many old barriers, healed many old wounds, and had become the accepted center of Eschwege cultural activity, indeed living up to the slogan on its printed program "The House of Understanding." Attending Eschwege ceremony were (left to right): John D. Healy, author of this article; Byron B. Snyder, consul, American Consulate General, Frankfurt, and Karl Bartho- lomaeus, chairman of the county agricultural committee. MARCH 1953 In paying tribute to the first birthday of the Eschwege America House "analogy" seemed to be the key word, for in an impressive article which appeared in the Kassel Post of Feb. 5, the America House was referred to as a "well developed child." The article entitled "One Year America House", which was written in editorial form and which appeared in a column known as "The Town-Crier from the Werra Valley," went on to say: "On the birthday of this well developed child a word to its parents, America and its taxpayers, is in order: If it should, for urgent reasons, ever become necessary to cut the budget for such cultural activities, then many hundreds, if not thousands, of Eschwege citizens plead that their America House will not be touched. Their argument is that in a city of 25,000 souls, and particularly in one located on the East Zone border, the message of the West finds tremen- dous reception and favorable reaction and that it is a politi- cal pillar against the flood of Communism. It is for this reason that they wish, this now one-year-old child many more birthday celebrations here." THESE different forms of approbation, the speeches, the newspaper articles, letters of congratulation from all of the leading city officials as well as the presence in the anni- versary audience of officials, organizational leaders and citizens representing all three of the counties of Eschwege, Melsungen and Witzenhausen, in which the America House conducts extension activities, were without doubt dynamic proof of a year of success. The century-old city of Eschwege is located in northern Hesse, south-east of Kassel in the scenic Werra River valley. From the library windows of the America House the Also participating in the first anniversary ceremony Feb. 6 were Joseph Starkey (left), director of the America House in Eschwege, and Paul Lutzeier, deputy public affairs officer of the American Consulate General in Frankfurt. INFORMATION BULLETIN 9
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