Teta Moehs is Acting Consul General at the United States Consulate in Leipzig. She played an instrumental role in establishing the American Space Leipzig, the first such institution in eastern Germany. In July 2014 we asked her three questions about the American Space and her future.
Teta, why was establishing the American Space Leipzig important for you?
Partnering with institutions which share in furthering German-American relations has been an important goal ever since the U.S. Consulate General Leipzig re-opened in 1991. So working to establish an American Space in Mitteldeutschland has been very important to me since my arrival in 2011. The Department of State has more than 800 American Spaces worldwide, 10 of them in Germany, but December’s opening was the first in this region. While other parts of Germany have benefited from Amerika Hauses, as well as other formal and informal institutions, there has been nothing comparable to profile information about the U.S.in a long time. Partnering with the second-oldest university in Germany to establish the Space in the Biblioteca Albertina and Institute for American Studies was a natural since we already worked well together, collaborating on speaker programs, information materials, and more.
What do you hope that the American Space Leipzig can contribute to German-American dialogue in Mitteldeutschland?
The American Space Leipzig (ASL) is already increasing dialogue with the public about German-American relations and a host of topics ranging from business and politics to literature and education. ASL provides information about study and exchanges in the U.S., electronic and print information on a wide variety of topics, and activities such as discussions, lectures, English language learning and cultural presentations. ASL’s programs, information and networks help both sides come together in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia to learn more about each other. As U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson said at the opening: „In foreign policy, people are crucial. Nowhere is that lesson of history more obvious than right here in Leipzig.“
Your tour-of-duty in Mitteldeutschland is alas coming to a conclusion. We will miss you! What will you miss the most from the region while serving at your next posting?
Moving is part of life as a diplomat, but I have to admit this transfer will be the hardest one yet! My family and I have enjoyed living here tremendously and will be back to visit. Aside from the wonderful people I’ve met, I will particularly miss the rich culture and history of Mitteldeutschland. There are so many wonderful concerts, museums, historic sites, festivals and much more to enjoy. From larger cities such as Leipzig, Magdeburg and Erfurt to national parks, monuments and beautifully restored buildings and towns, there is so much to see and do.