Kurt Brenner

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Kurt Brenner (right) at the awarding of the citizen's medal by the Mayor of Heidelberg, Eckart Würzner

Kurt Brenner (born May 13, 1935 in Schwäbisch Gmünd ) is a German cultural mediator, German and Romance scholar . Brenner held teaching positions at the universities of Heidelberg and Montpellier . From 1969 to 2011 he headed the German cultural institute Heidelberg-Haus (French: Maison de Heidelberg) in Montpellier .


Kurt Brenner passed his Abitur in 1956 at the Parler Gymnasium in Schwäbisch Gmünd , where he also temporarily held the office of student parliamentary president. He then worked for a year as a foreign correspondent in the export department of the lead crystal company "Graf Schaffgottsch'sche Josephinenhütte". From 1957 to 1964, Brenner studied Romance and German at the Universities of Heidelberg and Paris- Sorbonne . In the 1960/61 academic year he taught as “Assistant d'allemand” at the Lycée Carnot and the preparatory course for the École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC) in Paris . He completed his studies with the state examination for higher teaching qualifications.

From 1965 to 1969, Brenner held a lectureship at the "Applied German Linguistics" Institute at Heidelberg University . On September 1, 1969, Brenner took up the position of director of the German cultural institute “Maison de Heidelberg” in Montpellier , which he held until his retirement in 2011. From 1969 to 1973 he was entrusted with a teaching position in the field of “Civilization allemande” at the German Department of the University of Montpellier . He was a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Montpellier for several years until his retirement in 2011.

Other functions and offices

As head of a German cultural institute, the “Maison de Heidelberg”, which was a novelty in France, was brought into being as part of a university and city partnership Heidelberg - Montpellier (1966), Brenner also sat intensively in the preparation and Foundation of new community partnerships in the greater Heidelberg and Montpellier areas. Through his mediation work and his participation, he was decisively involved in the establishment of the town twinning partnerships Castelnau-le-Lez - Plankstadt , Pérols - Flörsheim am Main , Pignan - Sinzheim , and beyond the regional framework, in the partnership between his hometown Schwäbisch Gmünd and Antibes .

From 1997 to 2007 he headed the fate of this organization as the founding president of the "Federation of Franco-German Houses". In his function as President of the above-mentioned federation, he launched the France-wide language advertising campaign “DeutschMobil” in conjunction with the Robert Bosch Foundation and Mercedes-Benz , which he headed until 2013.

  • since 1980: Founding member of the Maison de l'Europe in Montpellier
  • 1985–2011: General Secretary of the Maison de l'Europe in Montpellier
  • 1993: Founding President of the Langues d'Europe Association
  • 2011: Advisory board on the board of directors of the Heidelberg House in Montpellier eV

Honourings and prices


  • Montpellier- A la croisée des chemins with the photographer Bob ter Schiphorst, Heidelberger Verlagsanstalt und Druckerei GmbH, 1981.
  • Montpellier- Facettes d 'une millénaire, with the photographer Bob ter Schiphorst, with a foreword by Geneviève Bon, HVA-Axone, Montpellier and HVA Heidelberg, 1990.
  • Ten years of DeutschMobil, 2000–2010 in Festschrift DeutschMobil, ten years for the German language and culture in France. Retrospect - Present - Perspectives with a cover picture by Tomi Ungerer, 2010.
  • Source stratégie pour développer le plurilinguisme en Europe ?, publication des Actes du Colloque, organisée par l'Association Langues d'Europe avec le soutien de la commission des Communautés Européennes, Montpellier, 1993.
  • Forty years of the Heidelberg House in Montpellier: on the success of a cultural-political experiment in: Regards croisées-Blickwechsel, ed. By Volker Sellin, Heidelberg, 2007.
  • Experienced story told, Michael Buselmeier in conversation with Kurt Brenner, in: Experienced history told 2005–2010, with u. a. Contributions by Jan Assmann, Klaus von Beyme, Wilhelm Genazino, Bernhard Vogel, Wunderhorn-Verlag, Heidelberg 2011.