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History

Today's "North German Mechanics Colloquium" emerged from the "Lower Saxony Mechanics Colloquium", whose nucleus was in Braunschweig. In the house of the Braunschweig mechanics professor Hermann Schaefer, an internal "Colloquium for Mechanics" already existed after the war (since 1946 ?). Schaefer's colleague, the Hannoversche Mechanik-Ordinarius Otto Flachsbarth, wanted to establish something similar in Hannover, and so in 1947 a first informative meeting with colloquium character of the Hannoversche and Braunschweig mechanics took place in Braunschweig, which was organized by Schaefer's assistant. Even then, at a time when the appropriate stamps were still required to buy food, clear broth and buttered rolls were offered during the breakfast break (an indication of organizational talent)! In the first years - the mathematical aspect had a higher priority at that time - the round had been extended by the locations Clausthal (Chair of Mathematics and Mechanics, Eberhard Mettler) and Göttingen (Max-Planck-Institute and AVA, Walter Tollmien), and at the latest since 1951 one could speak of the fixed institution "Niedersächsische Mechanik-Kolloquium", which took place at the four locations alternating every semester. The Berlin colleagues as "islanders" had been welcome guests at the colloquium since 1968; Berlin as a venue would have proved too difficult - five years after the building of the Berlin Wall. The name was adapted: "Mechanics Colloquium Lower Saxony-Berlin". In the meantime, the clear broth had long since turned into a real soup, and the buttered rolls had given way to sandwiches. In 1978 the circle was extended to include Hamburg (Hochschule Bw); from then on the name "Norddeutsches Mechanik-Kolloquium" became customary. Later, the universities of Bremen, Kassel, and Hamburg were added. The last expansion (1994) of the North German Mechanics Colloquium took place as a result of German reunification, with the addition of the universities ofMagdeburg and Rostock, bringing the total number of participants to ten.