37 years of service for Friedensau – Rüdiger Schröter

17. Mar. 2023 / Campus Living

Friedensau is not primarily an institution, it is above all the people who shape this place. Some come here only briefly to study or spend the last years of their lives here. For others Friedensau is more, it is the place where they live and work. Some come with great expectations, but are often surprised by reality and then, after a few years, prefer to take on new challenges elsewhere. Those who stay and contribute nevertheless have something of what used to be called - perhaps a little too pathetically - the "Friedensau spirit". It is the staff who identify with the "Friedensau idea" that led to the foundation of the place 124 years ago.

With improvisation through the economy of scarcity
Rüdiger Schröter is undoubtedly one of them. When the position of caretaker became vacant in Friedensau in 1986, Rüdiger applied. Back then caretakers were confronted with shortages on a daily basis! Being a caretaker at that time meant being responsible for the various (student) craftsmen and coordinating their activities so that operations in the Theological Seminary and in the various areas of the institutions could run as smoothly as possible. A lot of improvisation was needed here. At the end of the 1980s, the position of Technical Director was created to meet the demands of the many tasks in this field.

In the years following German reunification, many things changed. In 1993, the Technical Director in charge at the time moved to the property management department in Hanover and Rüdiger Schröter took over responsibility for this department. In the 1990s and 2000s, there seemed to be a spirit of optimism everywhere. For Friedensau, this meant the gradual general renovation of almost all the buildings, combined with far-reaching conversion measures and the redesign of the extensive parks. Rüdiger was supported in many of these tasks by Dr. Kurt Frantz. The technical director was not only an executor over the years.

Commitment to a more beautiful Friedensau
Many ideas that have visibly changed Friedensau came from Rüdiger: the redesign of the square at the old mill building, the culture and museum barn, the shop café, the natural swimming pond. Some other things (such as the combined heat and power units) are not visible at first glance. In order for this to be realised, a great knowledge of the funding programmes was a prerequisite.

His special love were the scouts
One area, however, must not go unmentioned: Rüdiger and Siegi's special love for the scouts. Both immediately recognised the ideal conditions that Friedensau offers for working with children and young people. One example of this is the tent site with the arena. This is where the Easter camps took place, where thousands of kids and teens could experience exciting days in Christian fellowship. Or not to forget the children's and youth centre KJZ with the "Montagsmühle".

Straightforward, sometimes blunt
As the "person in charge of order and safety", Rüdiger often made his rounds long after the end of the working day. In this function, he had to address things that were not always to everyone's liking. But that is probably why the people of Friedensau elected him as their mayor. They could be sure of his commitment to the village and were not disappointed.

The green work coat belongs in the museum!
Rüdiger officially retired on 1 February 2023. Actually, he should give his already almost legendary green work coat to the museum as an exhibit! Many thanks for the many years in high responsibility and with so many ideas for the future of Friedensau as a place of study and encounter (Johannes Hartlapp).

Bild der THH Friedensau
Rüdiger Schröter – officially retired since 1 February 2023.
Photo: Sabine Schorcht