The importance of German themes and subjects for the Cambridge academic community has been demonstrated by the foundation of the Cambridge DAAD Research Hub in German Studies, which officially began its work in January 2016, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Vice Chancellor and the President of the DAAD Professor Margret Wintermantel in March 2015 in Berlin. (DAAD stands for Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst or German Academic Exchange Service.) Neil MacGregor, formerly director of the British Museum, and author of Germany : memories of a nation (570:5.c.201.10), published in conjunction with the BBC Radio 4 series of the same name, has agreed to serve as patron.
In the introductory speeches which preceded the inaugural lecture on March 2nd the German ambassador Dr Peter Ammon praised the new research hub as “an interdisciplinary soundboard for British-German relations”. Professor Christopher Young emphasised the interdisciplinary nature of the academic research relating to Germany which is being carried out in Cambridge:
The University’s two Humanities Schools can claim a critical mass of internationally renowned scholars working on German themes and subjects that is unrivalled in the United Kingdom and probably anywhere in the world outside German-speaking Europe. In a broad range of fields – from History, Law and Economics to Divinity, Philosophy, Literature and Linguistics (to name but the most prominent examples) – Cambridge scholars have contributed eminently to debates about, and enhanced an understanding of, the German world in its many facets, both present and historic.