History

In 1945 Studentenwerk Kiel inherited the Niemannsweg 152 property from the Reichsstudentenwerk. Situated on the property was the partially damaged building of a previous students’ dormitory. One dwelling house remained intact, yet had been heavily damaged, this being the part situated towards Lindenallee, which is still in use today.
Studentenwerk soon began with planning a new CAH. Prof. Hallermann as the chairman and Mr Frey as the manager developed the concept of the International Hall of Residence, for which, after long years of struggling, the financial means were eventually provided. A generous donation from the McCloy Fund and a share from the Canadian University of Manitoba finally lead to the beginning of constructions.
It was planned to build a hall of residence for 50% German and foreign students each with 48 beds, several common rooms and a library. Furthermore rooms for general academic use (like the Grand Hall with a seperate entrance), common rooms and a conference hall were planned. The Grand Hall was equipped with a film projector.

On 23 June 1951 the house was solemnly inaugurated as International Hall of Residence – CAH – by the Federal President of Germany, Prof. Theodor Heuss. He very explicitly welcomed the international spirit of the house and saw a new form of academic life brought into existence. He also stressed out his general disapproval of the revival of old fencing fraternities. For inaugurating the house it was important that from the beginning life in the residence hall was directed by the institution itself and the daily schedule to become a making of friends and a coexistence. On the one hand there were mostly double rooms where a German and a foreign student would live together. Then, on the other hand, one would meet each other in the restrooms, after that you would congregate for breakfast and in the evening for dinner, and, during the holidays, for lunch too. The daily schedule had been created in a way that all residents would get to know each other step by step. Every newcomer would be welcomed by the House Secretary and was shown the different facilities of the house. To the secretary also the rent and meals would be payed for many years to come. The House Secretary used to be a resident who would be able to be present during afternoons and who could counsel especially the new students on a multitude of matters.

Every semester the residents elected a House Representation which was responsible for organizing life in CAH, they were called Senior, Prosenior and Seniorita. The facilities for the university’s publicity were then used by student groups during the first years due to the lack of rooms at the campus. Also an annual summer school of the university used to take place and was catered for at CAH. The work group ‘Stage and Journalism’ organized international film days in the great hall and many feasts and festivities were celebrated there by the community of residents and their guest. For many years even a diplomatic reception used to take place during Kiel Week. The diplomats of those nations represented in CAH who were in town during Kiel Week were then invited.
As the maintenance of the house from the low income of rents alone caused Studentenwerk Schleswig-Holstein a lot of trouble, despite of an allowance by the state, an extension was planned under the management of Mr Schulz-Gärtner. On the property across the road three pavillions (Houses 1, 2 and 3) with 60 beds overall, 20 of which in single appartments, were erected. House 3 was provided with a public working room for all residents. Those houses were moved into in winter term 1954/55. Yet the constructions would not be finished in time, so for a few days a small camp with matraces had to be put up in the great hall. One advantage of this emergency solution was that the new residents made acquaintances very fast. So after all the extension meant not a big change for life in CAH, since daily routine had not changed.

Additionally to the daily meetings there were continuos events, such as a political colloquium, language work groups, literatery circles, film series and many others. In summer term 1955 the house was granted a tutor’s post. Later there were even two tutors who were provided with money at their disposal. Thereby and through the funding of the university’s Akademisches Auslandsamt series of lectures by well-known persons as well as author’s readings could be organized. Moreover many excursion were made available by the tutors. One special activity of the community was without a doubt the house’s magazine, which was published from winter term 57/58 thru winter term 69/70. It depicted life in CAH and was also sent to former residents across the globe. The expenses for publishing this magazine were borne by the Club for Promotion of the CAH. This club had been revived in 1953 and since then strives for the support of the CAH.

The abolition of the double rooms in winter term 77/78 meant a remarkable incision for life at CAH. Thereby the number of residents dropped to 77, which severely decreased the rentability, more even since the state had cut the above mentioned allowance. Consequently, Studentenwerk decided the construction of a spacious annexe and a general renovation of the main building. Yet this also meant that the two halls and the old ping-pong room in the cellar would vanish. Since the early 1970s there had been no catering any more because of low rentability. At the start of winter term 78/79 people moved into the newly built annexe with 54 appartments, featuring private bathrooms. All in all, CAH had now 131 beds.

Already in 1970 the state run tutor’s post had expired. The House Secretary’s position was also gone, Studentenwerk provided a secretary. Meanwhile, also the secretary has fallen prey to financial cuts. Only the caretaker is left. The house is directly run by Studentenwerk. As the tutors were gone, there was noone left who would introduce the newly arrived students, especially the foreigners, to life in CAH and help them in general. After talks with the house’s administration and the residents, the club offered to install a tutor’s post, although on conditions which could not be compared to the former tutor’s office. Since 1976 this tutor’s post is now active, Sonja Uhlhorn was the first tutor to fill the position. Meanwhile Dorina Arndt is acting as tutor of the CAH. All those tutors have found their very own ways of providing an open minded, international atmosphere at CAH. Currently, attempts of restoring the original ratio of 50% foreign and 50% German students have succeeded. In the 1980s a kindergarden was established by Studentenwerk in houses 2 and 3.. Thus CAH lost another 20 beds. Today there are 106 beds.