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University of Erfurt supports application of the city of Eisenach for a Future Centre

The University of Erfurt has promised the city of Eisenach its continued support for its application as a location for the "Future Centre for German Unity and European Transformation" planned by the federal government. Eisenach had declared that it would stick to the application and continue to push it forward, even after the Thuringian State Government announced this week that it favoured and supported Jena as a location.

The mayor of Eisenach, Katja Wolf, has announced that she will do everything in her power to make the application a success after all. Eisenach, she said, is an excellent location for such a centre of the future. The city meets all of the federal government's criteria for the award and can score points not only with its central location in Germany, but also with the original approach of the "double transformation" with a view to Germany and Europe, as well as with the transformation of regional automobile production that is currently taking place.

With the planned Future Centre, the federal government wants to honour the East Germans' experience with change and upheaval. The federal government wants to invest 200 million euros in the project, and about 200 jobs are to be created. The centre will be a scientific institute that will also be a meeting place and venue for events. A site competition is currently taking place. Local authorities from Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia can apply until 30 September 2022. Eisenach, Jena and Mühlhausen (together with Eschwege, Hesse) had announced applications from Thuringia. Frankfurt/Oder, Plauen and Leipzig as well as Magdeburg and Halle-Wittenberg are planning further applications.

In addition to the University of Erfurt, other partners from science and culture are supporting the Eisenach application: the Wartburg Foundation, the Gera-Eisenach Cooperative State University, the University of Mannheim, the Fulda University of Applied Sciences, the Point Alpha Research Institute and the Point Alpha Academy. Actively involved at the University of Erfurt are: Christiane Kuller, Sandra Tänzer, Jörg Seiler, Agnès Arp, Iris Schröder, Frank Ettrich, Andreas Anter, Ned Richardson-Little, Sophie Lange and others. "With colleagues from various disciplines ranging from history to education, political science and social science, the University of Erfurt supports the Eisenach project with a great deal of expertise," explains historian Professor Christiane Kuller. "Whether in the 'Research Network on the Experience of Dictatorship and Transformation' or with our Oral History Research Centre - we have undertaken extensive research in recent years and created a network, which would be extremely important for a future centre like the one now planned by the federal government. It could not only put its future work on a secure scientific footing, but also significantly promote it."

In the course of the application, various events are planned in the coming weeks and months as part of the "Campusforum Zukunftszentrum Eisenach", with which Eisenach would like to recommend itself as a suitable location for science in social dialogue. The first event will be the second "Geisa Talk" by the Point Alpha Research Institute in Geisa on 18 July 2022 on the effects of the ongoing Ukraine war on politics, society and the public. Immediately afterwards, on 21 July, the Gera-Eisenach Cooperative State University will host a citizens' discussion at which the science partners of the citizens' application for the Eisenach Future Centre will present themselves.

Also planned are a future workshop on "Education in a World Shaped by Uncertainty and Transformation" on 30 September, an international conference entitled "The Secret Atomic Clock of the GDR - from Confrontation to Cooperation in Timekeeping" - also in August - and another international conference of the Point Alpha Research Institute with Sofia University and Central University Budapest in September. The University of Erfurt (Research Network on Dictatorship Experience and Transformation) invites you to a citizens' forum on the GDR's newer movement at the Automobile Welt Eisenach (AWE) on 30 September, and on 4 October the photo exhibition "Industrial Culture 4.0" will open in Eisenach with remembrance talks as a cooperation event of the Duale Hochschule Gera Eisenach and the University of Erfurt ("Oral History" research unit).

Further information on the events can be found in good time on the Eisenach city websites.

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