Dr. Gisela Holfter | Associate Professor in German, University of Limerick
From the beginning of the Centre for Irish-German Studies in UL (which is now almost 25 years ago) we have worked very closely with the Goethe-Institut and there are many memories I have of that. Some of these memories are not my own – in the context of my research on German-speaking refugees I came across someone who said that his mother, Berta Schwarz, was involved in setting up the Goethe Institute in 1961 and that she taught German to many people in Dublin in the 1950s and 1960s. She might be one of the people who could be rediscovered in an in-depth history of the Goethe-Institut Dublin. Among my own (inevitably very fond) memories is one that did not involve being at the Goethe-Institut at Merrion Square (or indeed Fitzwilliam Square where I also found my way also shortly after arriving in Ireland in 1996) but at the home of the then director Mechtild Manus for the second “Germany@Home” initiative in 2015, a wonderful evening with Irish short story writer Claire Keegan and Berlin author Judith Hermann, energetically chaired by the late Irish Times literary correspondent Eileen Battersby. A beautiful setting – views onto Hanover Quay – quirky and insightful discussions, and a lovely atmosphere. A treasured memory.