German-American Institute, Nuremberg

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The German-American Institute Nuremberg (formerly: Amerika Haus Nürnberg) is a bi-national non-profit institution located in the heart of Nuremberg, Franconia's biggest city. It has served the public for over 60 years with a great variety of cultural events, lectures, English language classes, and information sessions on topics related to the United States.

History[edit]

The GAI in Nuremberg was founded in 1946 by the American military government, to serve its own members and the inhabitants of its occupation zone. In 1947, it was renamed "Amerika Haus" and a public library and cultural program were added as part of the "reeducation" program of the US government. With the start of the Cold War, as Germany became a potential ally, the focus shifted to the distribution of anti-Communist information. At the request of German politicians, the America Houses remained after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. In the same year, the German-American Women's Club Nürnberg-Fürth e.V., which still exists today, was founded in the GAI.

In the 1960s, under President John F. Kennedy, there were plans to change some of the America Houses into bi-national cultural institutions, because in Europe the spheres of influence of the USA and the Soviet Union were already clearly defined and the USA wanted to focus more on South America and Africa. Therefore, in 1962, the "Amerika Haus in Nuremberg became a bi-national center. Its name was officially changed to the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Nürnberg e.V. The financial support was split between German governmental bodies (city, state and nation) and the USIS (United States Information Center). Both Germans and Americans were named as members of the board of directors and administrative board.

Today, the GAI receives funding from the city of Nuremberg, the state of Bavaria and the German national government, as well as support from the cultural affairs department of the American embassy. For the last several years, the yearly dues of the Friends of the GAI have helped support the goals of the GAI.

German-American Institute today[edit]

As a bi-national institute, the GAI is a meeting place for members of both nations. It is a place in which the points of view of both Germans and Americans can be discussed and a mutual exchange of values, ideals, and cultural achievements is possible. The GAI offers high-quality events on current societal, political, and economic issues relating to the U.S. as well as an extensive cultural program of concerts, readings by authors, English-language films and theatre performances. In addition, English language discussion groups, courses and tests are offered. The children's and youth program is the newest addition. GAI provides information on stays in the U.S. for university study, student exchange, trainee programs, and young graduates starting their professional career. The GAI has the largest English-language library in northern Bavaria, which offers a collection for both research and reading pleasure.

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