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Information bulletin
(September 1950)

Vogel, Leroy; Rhoades, Hillard Anthony
Midway on the main,   pp. 11-14 PDF (2.4 MB)

Page 12

Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins (left), chancellor of the Uni-
versity of Chicago, is greeted by Prof. Walter Hallstein,
then rector of Frankfurt University, on his arrival in
Germany to inspect his university's project in Frankfurt.
Paul Weiss, professor of zoology, who recently won
national recognition for his work in cancer research;
Wilhelm Pauck, professor of historical theology; Everett
C. Hughes, associate professor of sociology; Elder J.
Olsen, associate professor of English, and Roger B. Oake,
assistant professor of Romance languages, who acted as
executive secretary. Professor Pauck was elected, as
group representative, to the Frankfurt University Senate.
All of the teachers except Oake, who, because of his
secretarial responsibilities, did not start teaching until
the second term, pitched in immediately on their teaching
assignments. Each lectured and conducted a seminar,
without great language difficulty since most of them
spoke German fluently. In May 1948, on the occasion of
the Goethe Centennial, Hutchins came over to visit the
group and speak at the celebration.
Thornton Wilder, the noted American playwright,
headed the faculty for the second semester. In addition
to his courses at Frankfurt, Wilder also found time to
deliver lectures at the University of Marburg, several
other German colleges, and the then embryo US Infolma-
tion Centers.
THE THIRD SEMESTER saw another group of distin-
7guished faculty members come to Frankfurt to head
seminars and give lectures, and also welcomed an Ameri-
can graduate student, Edward A. Maser, to aid Prof. Otto
G. Simson in his work in the history of art.
The fourth group, headed by Prof. Walter Blair, who
conducted a seminar in Mark Twain and his contem-
poraries, also included George K. Lirik, the distinguished
American botanist; Ludwig Bachofer, professor of the
history of art; Helena M. Gamer, professor of Germanics;
R. E. Buchanan, professor of bacteriology at Iowa State
College, who at the time was a guest lecturer at Chicago,
and three American students.
The fifth term has just started. It is headed by one
of America's leading European historians, Louis Gott-
schalk, who is acting as dean of the group and as its re-
presentative to the Frankfurt University Senate. Professor
Gottschalk is giving a course entitled "The Power-Free-
dom Problem in Europe and America in the 17th and
18th Centuries," and conducting a seminar in the methods
and theories of history.
His colleagues on the current Midway on the Main
faculty are Arnold Bergstraesser, professor of Germanics,
who is giving a course in cultural history and philosophy
and conducting a seminar on Goethe's concept of culture;
Chauncy D. Harris, professor of geography; Karl P.
Schmidt, lecturer of zoology and curator of zoology of
the Chicago Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Helmut
P. G. Seckel, professor of pediatrics.
THE GROUP LIVES together in a private home near
1HICOG headquarters which has become known as
"Chicago House." Mrs. Gottschalk, who came over with the
professor and their I 1-year-old son, Paul, is hostess for the
home, which is a typical American college faculty home,
replete with warmth, hospitality and grace. The group
breakfasts and lunches together every day, but evenings
are left free for student and German faculty entertaining,
informal discussions, which often become involved
seminars, and for private dining and study.
Gottschalk, tall, tweedy, athletic and humorous, is a
man of tremendous intelligence, noted scholarship and
vibrant personal charm. His opinion of the German stu-
dent is that, "He, with a few minute changes of dress and
speech, could sit in any college classroom in the United
States and be a complete part of the group." Gottschalk
found that the average German student is as unprepared
as the American student, is a little more respectful of pro-
fessorial authority, and a little less inquisitive about
political issues.
Professors Harris and Schmidt agreed with their dean,
with Harris pointing out that the postwar German student
was far weaker on languages than prewar university
students. Both instructors stated that the popular opinion
that German students were far more serious than Ameri-
The pioneer Chicagoans who brought the "Midway to the
Main"'-the first group of Chicago University professors
assigned to Frankfurt University-arrive at Rhine-Main
Air Base in April 1948 to take up duties for one semester.

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