In Frankfurt we were given a tour of Campus Westend from 1929, a monumental building in the new Realism style which first served as headquarter for the chemical concern I.G. Farbenindustrie AG (responsible for the development of Zyklon B) and then, in one of history’s many staggering turns, as coordinating centre for the Marshall plan and the office of General Dwight D Eisenhower. Since about a decade ago, the complex has become the main site for the University of Frankfurt and thereby also the setting for the exchange year undertaken by my friend Marcus. With such a back-story, one cannot help to feel envious of his new philosophical hunting ground, especially in the light of its prominent faculty consisting of people like Axel Honneth.
Sitting down afterwards for asparagus and “Grüne Sauce”, I was reminded about how much all this has come to mean to me, at first maybe as an insecure identity marker when growing up in small-town Kalmar and being all too eager to differentiate myself, but then later as ever richer memories and unfinished dreams.