Christmas Markets in Bremen

The holidays are approaching… And beautiful Bremen does not have just one, not two, but several Christmas markets, for instance:

At the market place.

At the river promenade.

At the train station, welcoming you to to the city.

See a video by Deutsche Welle (German wave) here.

Here are some impressions of what it looks like in Bremen right now:

All sources: BTZ



Class on German-American relations

Mia Siemers, a student from the University of Bremen, shared a few thoughts on studying German-American cultural and political relations over 300 years in the course “Comparative Cultures – USA/Germany,” which is taught every fall/winter semester by Dr. Ludwig:
“I genuinely enjoyed taking this course on the comparison between Germany and America. It gave me a lot to think about and impacted my view on many things regarding the relation between these two countries. Even after the class ended, I still watched several documentaries about the topic. I also wanted to add that the excursion to the ‘Auswanderehaus’ made everything a lot more realistic in an way that you got to experience the journey from Germany to America under the circumstances of the time with your own eyes. I am glad I took the course because of the amount of knowledge I gained and the people I met during class hours.”

The William ’71 and Elke Durden Literary Series at Bremen #5: The Hamlet Syndrome – To Be or Not to Be in Ukraine

On November 29, 2002, we held the William ‘71 and Elke Durden Literary Series at Bremen, presenting a film about Ukraine called The Hamlet Syndrome at the movie theater City 46. It was a pre-premiere of a documentary that will be officially released in Germany in January 2023 and has received several awards, including the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique for Best Film at the Locarno Film Festival. After the screening, Anja Quickert talked with the co-director Piotr Rosołowski.

The documentary The Hamlet Syndrome (PL/D 2022) was directed by Elwira Niewiera & Piotr Rosołowski (original in Ukrainian, with German subtitles). It documented the rehearsals of the theater play The Hamlet Effect which was produced with the support of the International Heiner Müller Society.

A few months prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, five young wom­en and men participate in a unique stage production that attempts to relate their war experiences to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine. For each of them, the stage is a platform to express their grief and trauma through the famous question, “to be or not to be,” a dilemma that applies to their own lives. The protagonists fight against disappointment, powerlessness, and anger, trying to put their lives back in order while processing their painful past: Slavik, who went through the hell of war and captivity as a soldier, Katia, who longs for her mother’s forgiveness for joining the army, Rodion, who escaped from Donbas and is now fac­ing growing homophobia, Roman, who is still struggling with the traumatic memo­ries of his experience as a paramedic on the battlefield, and Oksana, who struggles on an artistic frontline as an actress.

Re-enacting being blackmailed to shoot

The rehearsals of the play are combined with an intense glimpse into the characters’ lives creating a powerful portrait of the generation coping with the trauma of war which now, after Russia invaded Ukraine, is their present and future alike. The Hamlet Syndrome is a powerful portrait of a vibrant young Ukrainian generation, the first one born after the collapse of the Soviet Union, shaped by the Maidan Revolution of 2013, empowered by political change and scarred by war.

The Hamlet Syndrome (2022) Trailer:


Piotr Rosołowski is a Polish director, screenwriter, and cinematographer based in Berlin. He graduated from the Katowice Film School and was awarded an Academy of Media Arts scholarship in Cologne. Co-author of Rabbit a la Berlin – Academy Award-nominated short documentary film and co-director of Domino Effect with Elwira Niewiera. Their latest documentary film The Prince and the Dybbuk won the Lion for Best Documentary on Cinema at the 74th Venice Film Festival. Piotr also works as director of photography, he shot many awarded feature and short films, among them: On the line, dir. Reto Caffi – Academy Award-nominated short fiction, The Wall of Shadows, dir. Eliza Kubarska – awarded with the annual prize of Polish Society of Cinematographers.

Elwira Niewiera is a director and scriptwriter born in 1976. She is the author of well-known and award-winning documentaries made together with Piotr Rosołowski, such as The Domino Effect (awarded with the Golden Horn and the Golden Hobby Horse at the 54th Krakow Film Festival as well as the Golden Dove at the IFF DOK Leipzig) and The Prince and the Dybbuk (including the Golden Lion for the best documentary on cinema at the 74th Venice Film Festival and the Polish Film Award 2019 for the Best Documentary Film). In her artistic work, she focuses primarily on political, social and cultural transformations in Eastern Europe. She is the winner of the Young German Cinema Award 2020 and the prestigious American Chicken & Egg Award 2021.

Anja Quickert lives in Berlin as a freelance writer (for Theater heute, among others). Since 2011 she has been the managing director of the International Heiner Müller Society. She curates, produces and directs theater. In 2021, she co-edited the first overview of independent venues in Berlin: Andere Räume – Die freien Spielstätten in Berlin and is a member of the DFG research group “Krisengefüge der Künste.”

This event of the “William ‘71 and Elke Durden Literary Series at Bremen” was organized by the Durden Dickinson Bremen Program at the University of Bremen, in cooperation with the International Heiner Müller Society, RFF – Real Fiction Filmverleih e.K. and Kommunalkino Bremen e.V. / City 46. The evening was supported by Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, USA, and by William G. and Elke Durden, whose generous donation we gratefully acknowledge.

Christmas Party 2022

Amidst international turmoil, we held our annual Christmas party again in the Dickisnon Room. However, this year, we did not perform the traditional “Julklapp” (giving each other gifts), but packed Christmas bags for children in Ukraine. The initiative was started by the Evangelical Church Community St. Markus in Bremen, organized by pastor Andreas Hamburg.


Students writing lists of contents and a Christmas message in Ukrainian

Thanksgiving Dinner 2022

As every year, we were happy to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Carl Schurz German-American Club in Bremen in a festive atmosphere…

Our student Vasilisa with her family and the President of the German-American Club, Ulf-Brün Drechsel

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful evening and a great meal!

Listening to a welcome speech before dinner

Day trip to the Emigration Center

by Mia Siemers

Students as emigrants

Our course “Comparative Cultures–USA/ Germany” went on a trip to the “Auswandererhaus” (Emigration Center) in Bremerhaven. In the beginning, each of us received a biography from one of the immigrants who travelled from different cities to the United States. As the tour continued, we got more information about their crossing as well as their lives in a foreign country. The guide told us a variety of interesting aspects and facts from 1620 to the present. We were able to get an insight into the history of immigration due to a multimedia exhibition. Over all, it was a great experience with lots of new knowledge and laughter.

On the transatlantic ship passage

The final destination

Public Health at Uni Bremen

by Liam Pauli ‘21

Public Health classes at Uni Bremen can be interesting for Dickinson Biology majors because they explore health-related topics on a more macro-level. Often in biology classes at Dickinson, we are studying material on a micro-level in order to discover the root of a process or function. Taking a Public Health class at Uni Bremen allows you to contextualize that information with relevant topics to see science from a more interconnected perspective, especially when it could be relevant to Germany and Bremen. I took a course on the historical development of public health at Uni Bremen, which often had a focus on Germany, and I really liked being able to connect my knowledge of biology with historical information. The Public Health department at Uni Bremen is fantastic, and I truly felt like I learned a lot during my time in the course. For someone who is interested in German studies and Biology, taking Public Health classes could be an interesting way to blend your interests while staying connected to the sciences at Dickinson.

Ecotoxicology and lab work

by Karen Hoang ’20

I took ‘Ecotoxicology,’ which was a Masters course that was taught in English. The class itself was very straightforward with lectures, a test, and a group presentation. The lab component of the course actually took place later in the year, but Prof. Juliane Filser was kind enough to organize a lab assistant position for me so that I could still take the course for full credit. I helped 3 different researchers with their respective projects and I got to use various equipment and facilities around Uni Bremen. I counted tiny insects, prepared soil samples, and conducted literature reviews.
The project that I worked on the most was with Dr. Moira McKee. At the Biologischer Garten (biological garden), we maintained preexisting macrocosms and planned/installed aquatic microcosms (think of it as a tiny simulation of a lake/pond but in a bucket).  Some of my favorite times in Bremen were taking those short sunny walks over to the Bio Garten with a basket of equipment, recording data and observations I collected in the quiet garden I often had to myself. The times that I did run into people there, they were very kind; one grower even gifted me a large plant! I sometimes had lunch with the Ecotoxicology lab team, had coffee and ice cream breaks, and I enjoyed practicing German with them.

Biology Courses at Uni Bremen

by Katelyn King (’18)

Structure and function of vertebrate is your basic vertebrate biology intro. I specifically remember learning about the parts of an egg and drawing a bird skeleton for lab and dissecting a fish. Lots of labeling the parts of different animals.

Animal diversity had a lot of insects. I remember the professor explaining that every insect plays a role and that’s why she doesn’t even kill a fly. I think this class went through the phylogenetic tree and focused on some of the systematics.

I also took ‘Ecology of the Giant Mountains’ which was mixed undergrad and masters students. It was offered in English and had a week-long trip to Poland for independent research. I collected and pressed wildflowers. That trip happened in May and I was so sad it was at the end. I was able to actually make some friends who invited me to things and were interested in what I had to say even if they had to decipher it. It was a very emotionally and physically challenging trip that pushed me to work on a mountain building trails the summer after graduation.