Public Health Postgraduates Germany

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The association of Public Health Postgraduates Germany was founded on June 7, 1997, in Kassel, Germany. The German name is "Public Health Absolventen Deutschland (PHAD) e.V.", registered as VR 18241 Nz by Registergericht Berlin-Charlottenburg on May 20, 1998. The first seat was located in Berlin. Early in 1998, PHAD e.V. was integrated into the umbrella organisation German Public Health Association (DGPH e.V.) - Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Public Health e.V., Berlin.

After the Wende, Public Health became re-established in the re-united Germany as an own education topic. For almost 60 years, Public Health did not exist as a subject of academic teaching, education and research because of the disastrous consequences of Nazi Germany and the subsequent division of Germany. In order to study Public Health, German graduates had to go abroad to for example Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, Yale School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health or London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and others, mainly within the German Academic Exchange Service, called DAAD-Program.

Since 1990, German graduates were able to study Public Health within a postgraduate university course in Berlin, Bielefeld, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Hannover, Munich and Ulm.

In 1997, the first generation of Public Health Postgraduates made their first attempts of finding a common language beyond all theories and ideologies especially in this field based on "We agree, to disagree". Agree to disagree is marking the minimal possible consent in the tradition of many pluralistic concepts. Everybody, who fulfilled the basic inclusion criteria, was able to join. But due to the fact, PHAD e.V. was initiated by medical doctors, members of Marburger Bund and AMREF, there is a blocking minority reserved to doctors. Until today the internet domain is still the initiators' private property.

The University of Kassel was chosen because of its geographical location in the heart of Germany, but also because of personal contacts to the faculty (Kassel is most famous for the documenta exhibition of contemporary art with roots in Bauhaus). Since 1987, the University of Kassel was very active researching the philosophical consequences of the Holocaust within Germany itself. The Franz Rosenzweig Visiting Professor stood in the tradition of the Freies Juedisches Lehrhaus in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1974, historian Fred Rosenbaum founded Lehrhaus Judaica in Berkeley, California, USA. In spite of the Holocaust, committed by Germans, he still took the German word "Lehrhaus" as its name (meaning “house of learning”) and inspiration from this school for Jewish studies founded by philosopher Franz Rosenzweig in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1920. Furthermore, the Free Speech Movement (FSM) from 1964 to 1965 at the University of California, Berkeley was a historical precursor of the German student movement in 1968. While founding Public Health Postgraduates Germany between 1996–1997, founders had personal contact to Prof. Schmied-Kowarzik in Kassel, Fred Rosenbaum in Berkeley and Rafael Rosenzweig, son of Franz Rosenzweig, in Switzerland.

The focus was on dialogue, not competition or power struggle. Race combat or class struggle are definitely exclusion criteria, since both are aimed in disruption and termination of any kind of dialogue.


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