New chairman of the association
Bernd Böttcher became acquainted with Kreisau in 1996, when he completed a year of voluntary service there. Since then he has been associated with the place and the idea in various roles: He was already a member of the board of the Kreisau-Initiative from 2003 to 2009 and has been again since 2019. In addition, he was a member of the advisory board of the International Youth Meeting Centre in Krzyżowa from 2016 to 2021.
“For me, Krzyżowa is a very special place: I myself learned here that international encounters can really change life profoundly. Because of its diverse history(s) and themes, Krzyżowa is predestined to bring very different people together and into conversation. And that is what matters, today more than ever,” he said after his election. Then he added: “The Kreisau-Initiative has always managed to update the Krzyżowa-related ideas and to develop attractive educational formats, especially to motivate young people to visit the place and participate in an international encounter.”
Professionally, Bernd Böttcher has coordinated “Austausch macht Schule” since 2016, the joint initiative of the nationwide specialist and funding agencies for international youth work and an advocacy group for international exchange. It is particularly committed to improving the political framework conditions for student exchanges. Previously, professional assignments took him to Ukraine, among other places. In Berlin, he managed a skilled worker exchange programme between Germany, Eastern Europe and Central Asia at APOLLO e. V.
Bernd Böttcher studied cultural studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder).