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Rotary- Conference

"dealing with the past"


Peace & Conflict Resolution

October 19,-22. 2021
Northfield, Minnesota, USA.

Featured Topics:

Rotary Mediation for South Africa

Holocaust Education

Legacy of 1848

Hubert Roestenburg (exhibit)


Welcome (Our 2017 Northfield Conference)

Dear Friends,


Two years ago, we began informing friends on both sides of the Atlantic about the Euro-Atlantic Conference which will be held in Northfield, MN, from March 30th through April 2nd. We are now pleased to provide you with the specifics for what promises to be a most enjoyable and informative event.

We have worked hard to make this a multi-faceted conference that will cover a number of topics of interest to our attendees ranging from the Legacy of 1848 to Untold Stories: The Holocaust Boxcar – a German History.


Special emphasis will be placed on the Forty-Eighters, that most memorable group of revolutionary immigrants who contributed so much to their adopted homeland.


Specific details about dates, transportation, lodging, meals, and the like can be found below. With your attendance, we know we’ll all enjoy a long weekend of German-American friendship by celebrating our common roots and learning about forgotten heroes who can serve as role models for all of us today.

Alles Gute und moin-moin!


Transplanted Ideas & Values in America's Past and Present


Conference Website:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

  • 4:00 PM — WELCOME RECEPTION in Conference Center – St. John’s Lutheran Church, Northfield, MN


  • 5:00 PM — MARTIN LUTHER’S CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION IN MANSFELD (opening of traveling exhibit)  

    • Speaker: Dr. Klaus Lemke-Paetznick, Wilhelmshaven, Church Historian & Navy Pastor.



Friday, March 31, 2017—Holocaust Education 


  • 8:30 AM — OPENING REMARKS by Steve Hunegs, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas, Minneapolis, MN; Herbert Quelle, German Consul General, Chicago.


  • 9:45 AM — PANEL DISCUSSION: Carol Kahn-Strauss, Leo Baeck Institute, NYC; Charles Fodor, Hungarian Holocaust Survivor; Herbert Quelle, Chicago; Steve Hunegs; Dr. Gabrielle Robinson, Jewish Federation, South Bend, IN; Ken Engel, Minneapolis, MN. (Moderators: Klaus Lemke Paetznick & Yogi Reppmann)


  • 11:30 AM — LUNCH TALK by Dr. Peter Lubrecht, Newton, NJ: "Growing up German-American with Holocaust Survivors in NYC"


  • 2:00 PM — PANEL DISCUSSION, German-American Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Chapter; Topic: The fusion of ethnic identities and German-American values in the context of today. Participants: Herbert Quelle, Chicago; Dr. R. Don Keysser, GACC, Bloomington, MN; Prof. Gerd-Winand Imeyer, Honorary Consul General of Bulgaria & Hamburg Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Esther Seha, Scholar, Minneapolis; Ken Engel, Minneapolis, MN. (Moderators: Dee Eicke & Yogi Reppmann)


  • 3:30 PM — College Campus tours.



  • Followed by: A Flensburg Perspective: Erna de Vries & The Holocaust Boxcar - World Premiere documentary by Stephan Witthoeft, SALVE MEDIA, Erfurt.



Saturday, April 1, 2017—1848 Through Today


  • 8:30 AM — INTRODUCTION, by Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Cincinnati


  • 9:00-10:30 AM SESSIONS



  • Moderator: Dr. Peter Lubrecht, Newton, NJ

  • "The Dual Aspect of the Forty Eighters - Revolutionaries in Germany and State Builders in America,"

  • presented by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Müller-Michaelis, Hamburg.

  • “A Different Republicanism: August Willich and the Trade Unions in Antebellum Cincinnati,” presented by Felix Zimmermann, Freiburg



  • Moderator: Dr. Gabrielle Robinson, South Bend

  • “The State Church in Schleswig-Holstein before 1848,” presented by Dr. Klaus Lemke-Paetznick, Wilhelmshaven

  • “Religious Aspects of the Emigration from Schleswig, 1848-1914,” presented by Jan Jessen, Denmark


  • 10:30-12:00 PM SESSIONS



  • Moderator: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Müller-Michaelis, Hamburg

  • “Carl Schurz: Radical Reformer, Abolitionist and Civil War General,” presented by Dr. Peter Lubrecht, Newton, NJ

  • “Why were Forty-Eighters in the Civil War?” presented by Larry Grill, Schleswig, IA



  • Moderator: Felix Zimmermann, Freiburg

  • “The Cincinnatti Germans in the Civil War,” presented by Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Cincinnati

  • “Epistolary Snapshot of a 48er: the physician Dr. Christian Sack in Bavaria and Indiana,” presented by Dr. Gabrielle Robinson, South Bend


  • 12:00 PM — LUNCH PRESENTATION: “Holstein, IA  - Virginia Degen Lecture Series,” presented by Richard Crawford, Sioux City, IA


  • 2:OO-4:00 PM SESSIONS



  • Moderator: Jan Jessen, Denmark

  • “New Ulm’s German Heritage: A Forty-Eighter heritage,” presented by Denny Warta and George Glotzbach, New Ulm, MN

  • “New Ulm’s German Bohemian Heritage,” presented by Wade Olsen, St. Paul

  • “He was asked to leave Luxembourg by the Grand Duke,” presented by Terry Sveine, New Ulm, MN




  • Moderator: Dr. Klaus Lemke-Paetznick, Wilhelmshaven

  • “The Founding of New Holstein, WI in 1848,” presented by Dietrich Eicke, Lübeck

  • "Braunschweig-Toledo-Aspen: E.W. Edward Koch’s Pedagogical, Agricultural, and Mining Pursuits," presented by Dr. Julie Klassen, Northfield, MN

  • “Theodore Bracklow: A German Revolutionary and the Republican Party,” Marcus Bracklow, Bad Soden


  • 5:30 PM — DINNER CARL SCHURZ AWARD CEREMONY — Diane Fagen, President, Fagen Fighters WWII Museum, Granite Falls, MN  &  Carol Kahn-Strauss, Leo Baeck Institute, NYC


  • 6:00 PM — KEYNOTE ADDRESS - “Thoughts on Being German,” presented by Eric Braeden


Sunday, April 2, 2017

  • Church Service

Conference Website:


Keynote Speakers

Eric Braeden

Eric Braeden, from Bredenbek, in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, is a  German-American  Hollywood  star  whose original name is Hans-Jörg Gudegast; he lives in Pacific Palisades, CA (known as “Weimar am Pazifik“ since 1933). Across from his house is the elegant villa where Thomas Mann, a German literature Nobel laureate from Schleswig-Holstein, had spent his years in exile during the Second World War. Braeden has appeared in over 120 TV productions and films, including “Titanic“ (1997). Beginning in 1980, he has made daily appearances on US TV, as well as in 28 other countries world-wide with “The Young and the Restless,“ and in 1989 he founded the “German-American Cultural Society.“ In 2007, Eric became only the second German actor (after Marlene Dietrich) to receive a Star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Herbert Quelle

Herbert Quelle, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago, was born on December 27, 1953 in Herford, Germany.  He is married and has two grown daughters.  After school, military service and university, he joined the Federal Foreign Office, then still in Bonn, in 1980.  His postings abroad include Los Angeles, Pretoria, Havana, Warsaw, London, Baku and Boston in various functions.  In Baku he served as Ambassador.  His attachment to the Consulate General in Boston was combined with a fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University.  Herbert Quelle has been in Chicago since July, 2014.

Dr. Peter Lubrecht

Peter Lubrecht has a PhD in Educational Theatre from New York University and Master’s Degree in English and Drama from NYU’s Graduate School of Art and Science. He is an adjunct professor of English, at Berkeley College. He has been teaching at other colleges including Lehman University Graduate School and Lincoln Center (Performing Arts in the English Classroom); Jersey City University and at local Community Colleges. He is the author of New Jersey Butterfly Boys – The Third New Jersey Cavalry in the Civil War, Germans in New Jersey, and Liebe Kück: A German Soldier’s Story of the Great War. He has traveled as a presenter to University of Roehampton in London, University of Portsmouth, Southern Utah University, Toronto, Wartburg College, Iowa, and to his alma mater NYU for international Shakespeare Conferences. He has been lecturing locally on the Civil War, German American History and Genealogy and 19th Century American Theatre.

Richard Crawford

Richard P. Crawford Jr. was born and raised in Grinnell, Iowa, where he attended a school for the blind.

Rich overcame many obstacles in his high school career. He graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, with majors in Business Administration and Business Education.

Rich and his wife Sara have been married since November 20th, 1982 and have three children and two granddaughters. He enjoys fishing, reading, deer hunting, and other outdoor activities.

Today, Rich is Senior Vice President of Private Wealth Management with R.W. Baird & Co. in Sioux City, Iowa, in his 38th year as a Financial Advisor.

Conference Information



Click the "Registration" tab in the menu above to pre-register for the conference. For those unable to pre-register, on-site registration will be available on Thursday, March 30 (from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M.), on Friday, March 31 (from 8:30 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.), and on Saturday April 1 (from 8:30 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.) at the conference center, St. John's Lutheran Church in Northfield (500 Third Street West, Northfield, MN 55057;


Please remember to wear your registration badge during the conference, as only persons wearing these will be permitted in the conference area.

Should you have any registration questions that are not answered on this site, please contact Yogi Reppmann (103 Orchard Street North, Northfield, MN 55057 / 507-581-6734 /



We have a block of hotel rooms reserved at Country Inn & Suites, which is within walking distance of the conference and of downtown Northfield. The room rate for a double or single room is $93.82 (with tax). 


Country Inn & Suites

Angie Robinson, Manager

300 South Highway 3

Northfield, Minnesota 55057


Reservations: +1 (507) 645-2286

                   or +1 (800) 830-5222

Rooms are also available in downtown Northfield at the Archer House River Inn, with rooms starting at $99.33 (including tax) through $209.70 (tax included).

Archer House River Inn

Amy or Chase

212 Division St South

Northfield, MN 55057

Reservations: +1 (507) 645-5661

                   or +1 (800) 247-2235


Attendance at the meal functions is by registration only. After March 18, the availability of meal tickets cannot be guaranteed. Meal tickets will be available on the registration site and at the on-site registration. Please do not forget the meal tickets which you will receive via email after registration, since they will be required for your admission to any meal event. If you lose your printed meal tickets, you can pick up another copy at check-in.


Conference Info

Conference Organizers

Dr. Joachim Reppmann
Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann

Northfield, MN

+1 (507) 664 - 1065

Holocaust Boxcar

When Berlin lay in ruins and following Hitler’s cowardly suicide, the North German city of Flensburg wrote a chapter of its own history in the first days of May 1945. This city on the border with Denmark welcomed thousands of German refugees from the eastern territories and people who had been freed from the concentration camps. But at the same time hundreds of top-brass Nazis went into hiding in the city, which became the new “Reich capital” for a few days. A TV documentation of this unusual complex of events during the final days of the war in Flensburg, also under the aegis of the Stoltenberg Institute, will be broadcast by a variety of television stations in 2017.   


The story of the boxcar is inseparably connected with the history of the Nazi death camps. Erna de Vries (née Korn), a Holocaust survivor, makes a journey through time more than seventy years after her liberation. Now she wants to see and feel how the perpetrators, who considered themselves members of the master race, showed their true colors at the end of the war. Three days before the surrender on May 8, 1945, several of the mass murderers, among them SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höß, and the Chief Inspector of Concentration Camps Richard Glücks, met at police headquarters in Flensburg.

Carl Schurz Monument in Berlin?

In the spring of 2016, DER SPIEGEL (Dirk Kurbjuweit) inspired the German Secretary of State, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to support the creation of a Forty-Eighter Monument. The article suggests the monument be placed in front of the newly renovated Berlin City Castle/Humboldt Forum.

The significance of the legacy of Carl Schurz has become more timely. With the steady increase of immigration to the United States and Germany, it has become ever more important to establish the proper framework for the absorption of newcomers. Schurz’s solution - assimilation with the retention of the newcomers’ ethnic heritage - is as valid today as it was when he articulated it in the nineteenth century. The fusion of ethnic identities and American values is of the greatest importance, and Carl Schurz’s life is a worthy paradigm for all immigrants to emulate.

Schurz’s insistence on Americanization while retaining one’s ethnic heritage would seem to be the perfect answer to the problem confronting the United States today.

The great immigrant leader remains a figure of great consequence both in his adopted and in his native countries. His example cannot be forgotten, and his role in showing immigrants how to assimilate while maintaining their identity is as important today as it has always been.

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