The end of another year approaches, with 2019 promising interesting events for MLM veterans. I have been conferring this year with both the BRIXMIS and FMLM Association heads, Peter Williams and Jean-Paul Staub on a number of issues. Both are interested in improving access and support to their respective archives and in gaining formal recognition from their accomplishments. I met with Jean-Paul in Paris in August and with Peter in September in London.
Jean-Paul has taken on the bulk of the work in planning for a joint Mariotti-Nicholson memorial ceremony that will take place in Halle on 23 March. Norbert Böhnke of the “Stadtmuseum Halle (Saale)” has been provided some assistance and has planned a ‘Round Table” discussion in which Jean-Paul, some interesting locals and I will take part. Anyone wishing to attend the memorial ceremony is welcome, of course. Please respond individually if you wish to participate in the memorial.
There are several organizations that are lending their support to the conference. They include the Allied Museum (http://www.alliiertenmuseum.de/home.html); the German-Russian Museum Karlshorst (http://www.museum-karlshorst.de/); the Berlin Wall Foundation (https://www.stiftung-berliner-mauer.de/de/); the Center for Contemporary History Potsdam (https://zzf-potsdam.de/); the Potsdam Museum (http://www.potsdam-museum.de/); the USAREUR Command Historian; and the University of Maryland, University College, Europe (UMUC) (https://www.europe.umuc.edu/).
The UMUC Europe Director is a former (Korean) FAO and has connected me with his friend, the USAREUR G2 and Deputy G2. I met with the G2 SGM, who is going to organize busses for interested soldiers and civilians to travel to Potsdam. There are still others I am speaking with. Several of the organizations have agreed to provide funding to support conference activities. In addition, a great friend of USMLM who resides a stone’s throw from the Potsdam House on Am Lehnitzsee, has agreed to host a reception on the shores of our favorite lake! I have met with the USAREUR
In addition to the conference, we are planning a trip to the GSFG command bunker on Friday 21 June. See attached for details.
I have met several times in Berlin with the heads of organizations that are supporting the conference/reunion that will take place in Potsdam from 20-22 June. The German portion of the conference will be on Thursday, 19 June. While our German partners are supporting our efforts, they also wish to present material in German for the local audience on Thursday. If your German is good enough to understand lectures and discussions, you are of course welcome to attend.
The conference title is “Mission Potsdam: the story behind the Bridge of Spies.” Inasmuch as this is also a reunion, there will be ample time to mix and mingle with others. The Potsdam Museum (http://www.potsdam-museum.de/) is providing space—free of charge—for the duration of the conference. The main hall seats approximately 250; there is also a café and other space to sip local beverages and sample Kiste sandwiches.
I will send out a complete schedule of panel topics and participants in a few weeks. Additional information and a registration form will be available on our website shortly after the New Year.
The conference will be videoed and made available for those paying members unable to attend. There will also be some surprises for those willing to make the trip to the city you would no longer recognize!
I believe that a realistic date for everyone to register is 1 March. The cost for members and non-members will also be listed. The opening reception will most likely be sponsored by UMUC Europe, from which many MLM stars have degrees. The MLM and Friends barbecue/banquet will be held at a private house; we will try to keep the individual contribution at less than $15 for members and $25 for non-members. (Become a member to save money!)
I hope that 2019 will be a fantastic year for everyone. I look forward to seeing you in Potsdam in June!!!