Mr. Schlüter has been engaged with the Jewish community for many years and strongly believes German diplomats have an obligation to reach out to Jewish communities due to the legacy of the Holocaust. After studying political science at the University of Hamburg, Mr. Schlüter went to Israel as a 23-year-old in 1975 and lived on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem. He joined the German Foreign Office in 1979, and was sent to Buenos Aires, where he met his wife, and then Algiers before moving to Tel Aviv as spokesman for the German Embassy. While in Tel Aviv from 1986 to 1990, his daughter was born. During diplomatic postings in Los Angeles (where is his son attended a synagogue preschool), New York as Deputy Consul General, and San Francisco as Consul General, Mr. Schlüter engaged in dialogue with Jewish organizations and at synagogues about Germany’s relationship with the Jewish people and organized several trips to Germany for rabbis. In the summer of 2017, he left the German Foreign Service and currently serves as a Program Director at the German Foreign Office’s Diplomatic Academy in Berlin.
Stefan Schlüter undertook a two-week speaking tour of 11 cities in the southeastern and midwestern regions of the United States. The goal of this project was to engage communities in smaller U.S. cities to examine German-Jewish themes, to openly discuss Germany today in the context of its history, and to provide opportunities to learn about contemporary Germany. Thematically, a number of topics were covered during the speaking tour: Jewish life in Germany, Germany's coming to terms with its past, German-Israeli relations, rising anti-Semitism and populism in Europe. In addition, the meetings provided opportunities to discuss these and a wider range of topics, such as transatlantic relations, migration issues and refugee policy, developments in the EU, Brexit, and the Middle East conflict.
Funding for this project was provided by the German Federal Foreign Office and Allianz and is administered under the auspices of the Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/2019 – Year of German-American Friendship.