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February 2007 - Nr. 2


The Editor
Herz und Rose
KW & Beyond
Albert Kergl
Herwig Wandschneider
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Growing Organic Needed
New German Films
Goethe Institut President Limbach
Peter Hessel's New Book
A Schubert Valentine
Canadian Opera Company
The Erik Bruhn Prize
Orchestra Toronto Event
Yo! Germany Raps
Grade 5 SnowPass
Crime of the Century
The Falun Dafa Association
Arctic Voyage
Ontario Good Citizen Award
Boost to Arts Education
Heart-Healthy Meals
Clean Wood Burning
Wood for Energy
Centre of European Union
'Industrial Revolution'
Food to Karamoja

Goethe Institute President Limbach

An Experienced, Strong-minded Politician

TWIG - As an experienced politician and jurist, Jutta Limbach has often had to reconcile the preferable with the feasible - whether as a legal professor during the reform-days of the early 1970s at the Free University of Berlin, as a Social-Democrat senator for justice in the state of Berlin or as the first woman at the head of the Federal Constitutional Court.

As president of the Goethe Institute, the 72-year-old leads the organizational and programmatic reform of Germany’s 142 German cultural institutes which are spread across 81 countries, with more than 3,000 staff.

Limbach took over the presidency of the Goethe Institute from her predecessor Hilmar Hoffmann in May 2002 amid a period of turbulence.

In view of general budget restraints, the federal government insisted on financial austerity. Yet, at the same time, the political demands on the Goethe Institute as a mediator of the cultural image of Germany abroad remained unchanged.
Limbach took up the challenge with determination. In doing so, she won widespread respect for her strong-mindedness, stamina, clear head and solid methodology. She demanded greater flexibility from the institutes and a program targeted towards a wider audience.

"It is a question of whether the Goethe Institute in Istanbul reaches not only residents of the metropolis, but also the villages and regions bordering Anatolia with German culture," Limbach describes the institute’s new challenges.

With the same determination Limbach convinced Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the members of parliament responsible for the budget that a shift of attitude was required in financing Germany’s foreign cultural policy.

After years of economizing, the federal subsidy for the Goethe Institute will be increased again for the first time – by 13.5 million euros (17.8 million US dollars).

Limbach concludes, "One difficult stage is now over - yet the reforms will have to continue."
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


Goethe Institute Homepage


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