Holocaust heritage is Kent’s first AFS student’s life’s work

When Dorothee Lottmann-Kaeseler of Germany reminded me by email, that 60 years ago, she was spending Christmas in Kent and the United States was awaiting the inauguration of its newly elected president, John F. Kennedy, the memories flooded my mind.

As Kent’s first American Field Service exchange student, Dorothee was a pioneer. She attended Roosevelt High School and received her diploma, but the following year had to finish up in her college prep program in Giessen with an academic curriculum far more rigorous than anything she would have experienced in an American high school. Significantly, she remembers her English literature class and transferring out of it second semester to a Speech class heavily peopled by African American students.

“It was clear African Americans were treated differently, but I learned my English by talking with all — students and grownups — and I have kept it up,” Dorothee said.

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