Hannes Richter

Distinguished German-American of the Year 2007

Hannes Richter

krewson_grp1.jpg
On April 17, 2008 Margrit B. Krewson was honored by the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA as the Distinguished German-American of the Year for 2007.  The awards gala was held at the Austrian Embassy under the Patronage of Ambassador Eva Nowotny.  Guests of Honor included Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg and Nobel Prize laureate and Distinguished German-American of the Year of 2005, Dr. Günter Blobel. 

Born in Hamburg, Germany Margrit Beran Krewson received an M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literature from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she was awarded the Buka Prize for outstanding scholarship in Germanic area studies. After many responsible positions at the Library of Congress, she served as the German/Dutch Area Specialist in the European Division of the Library of Congress (a position which was created in 1942 for Thomas Mann). In this capacity she also cooperated closely with Austria and dedicated much effort to the Austrian collections, thereby raising awareness of Austrian historical documents within this highly important, scholarly and cultural institution in Washington, D.C. As supporter and advisor, Margrit Krewson opened many a door for European researchers at the Library of Congress and, subsequently, the United States - something which many today recall with gratitude. For her contributions to scholarly exchanges she received numerous honors and awards including the Special Achievement, Meritorious, and Superior Service Awards from the Library of Congress, as well as distinguished recognition from the governments of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium. These include the Grand Decoration of Honor of the Republic of Austria (1991) and the Cross of Honor for Science and Art, Austria (1997) honoring her special contribution to Austrian-American relations. 

During her retirement, she spent an additional six years successfully completing the Library of Congress’ acquisition of Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world map. It is best known as the birth certificate of America since it was the first time "America" was mentioned. Due to her tireless efforts the Waldseemüller map was incorporated in the library’s map collection last year and an additional four million dollars were raised for the purchase of another large world map, the Carta Marina, which is part of the Waldseemüller portfolio. This was the catalyst that prompted Jay Kislak to donate his collection of Early Americana to the Library of Congress. In addition, she facilitated the display of the exhibit, “Treasures from the Saxon State Library,” in Miami and is currently supporting a similar project, “600 Years University of Leipzig,” which will open at the Grolier Club in New York City in 2009.