September 17, 2009

175-year-old trans-Atlantic link endures

By Alyssa Schafer

More than 175 years after his countryman Prince Maximilian explored North Dakota, the German ambassador to the United States paid Washburn a visit last week. German Ambassador Klaus Scharioth toured Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center exhibits Wednesday to explore the connection between Germany and North Dakota history. Scharioth was especially interested in learning about the German Prince Maximilian of Wied who explored the area with Swiss artist Karl Bodmer from 1832 to 1833. "I think it’s fascinating," Scharioth said. "For me, there were quite a few new things to discover." Maximilian kept a detailed journal and collected specimens for scientific study while Bodmer sketched and painted the Native Americans and the landscape. "There has always been, for Germans, a special interest in the American west," Scharioth said. President of the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation David Borlaug said, "The great fear of the old country (Germany) was that the new world was becoming old too quickly. That’s what drew Prince Maximilian here in the first place."

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