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German-Jewish Relations

Speaker Tour on Contemporary German-Jewish Relations

A Program of the American Council on Germany
in collaboration with the American Jewish Committee

From October 14 to 30, 2018, former German diplomat, Stefan Schlüter, undertook a two-week speaking tour of 12 cities in the southeastern and mid-western regions of the United States. The goal of this project – which was organized in collaboration with the American Jewish Committee – was to engage Jewish communities in smaller U.S. cities to examine German-Jewish themes, to openly discuss Germany today in the context of its history, and to provide opportunities to learn about contemporary Germany. Mr. Schlüter focused on a number of topics during the speaking tour, including Jewish life in Germany, Germany’s coming to terms with its past, German-Israeli relations, rising anti-Semitism, and populism in Europe. In addition, he had the opportunity to discuss a wider range of topics, such as transatlantic relations, migration issues and refugee policy, developments in the EU, Brexit, and the Middle East conflict.

About Stefan Schlüter:
Dr. Schlüter has been engaged with the Jewish community for many years and strongly believes German diplomats have an obligation to reach out to Jewish communities due to the legacy of the Holocaust. After studying political science at the University of Hamburg, Dr. Schlüter went to Israel as a 23-year-old in 1975 and lived on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem. He joined the German Foreign Office in 1979, and was sent to Buenos Aires, where he met his wife, and then Algiers before moving to Tel Aviv as spokesman for the German Embassy. While in Tel Aviv from 1986 to 1990, his daughter was born. During diplomatic postings in Los Angeles (where his son attended a synagogue preschool), New York as Deputy Consul General, and San Francisco as Consul General, Dr. Schlüter engaged in dialogue with Jewish organizations and at synagogues about Germany’s relationship with the Jewish people and organized several trips to Germany for rabbis. In the summer of 2017, he left the German Foreign Service and currently serves as a Program Director at the German Foreign Office’s Diplomatic Academy in Berlin.

Speaking Tour Cities and Schedule:

Dr. Schlüter gave presentations in the following locations:

Charlotte, North Carolina – October 14-15
Charleston, South Carolina – October 16-17
Atlanta, Georgia – October 17
Montgomery, Alabama – October 18
Birmingham, Alabama – October 18-19
Nashville, Tennessee – October 19-21
Cincinnati, Ohio – October 22-23
Indianapolis, Indiana – October 23-24
Champaign/Urbana, Illinois – October 25
Bloomington/Normal, Illinois – October 26
Madison, Wisconsin – October 26-27
Minneapolis, Minnesota – October 29-30

Funding for this project was provided by the German Federal Foreign Office and Allianz and is administered under the auspices of the Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/2019 – Year of German-American Friendship.