NEW ULM - The City of New Ulm recently renamed North German Park in honor of Hans Joohs. This history of Hans Joohs and his connection to New Ulm was prepared by the New Ulm Sister Cities Commission to explain why.
"The man most responsible for our unique Sister Cities connections is Mr. Hans Joohs and it is truly fitting that New Ulm has named a park after him as a form of gratitude. The existence of the Hans Joohs Park will not only continue to remind New Ulm citizens of the fulfillment of a dream that many shared but that it was the dedication of a Ulm/Neu Ulm man that brought it into reality.
"Hans Joohs was born in Neu Ulm on Feb. 22, 1921. He served in the German Army when he was wounded in action on the Russian front, losing his left arm. He studied foreign trade at a school in Bremen in 1942 and transferred to the University of Munich in 1944 and his command of the English language was impressive.
Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney
Mayor Robert Beussman recently helped dedicate the former North German Park, behind the New Ulm Community Center, as Hans Joohs Park, named in honor of the Ulm, Germany, city official who was so instrumental in building the Sister Cities partnership between Ulm/Neu Ulm, Germany, and New Ulm. Members of the Sister Cities Commission witnessed the ribbon cutting.
"This skill resulted in his work as an interpreter at refugee camps until 1949 when he was invited by the U.S. Government to study one year at Syracuse University in New York. Emphasis was on administration, macro-economics and sociology. He was one of only 108 candidates from the American Zone in Wuerttemberg and thus began his lifelong passion with the United States and her people.
"He met New Ulm Mayor Dr. Ted Fritsche in 1954 when New Ulm was celebrating its 100th anniversary. In Ulm and Neu Ulm he assisted the U.S. Army Wiley Barracks base in its relations with the cities of Ulm and Neu Ulm.
"On-going exchange of correspondence and visits resulted in numerous connections between the leaders of Ulm, Neu Ulm and New Ulm. His daughter Ute was a high school exchange student under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club and ever stronger relationships were thus also created and enhanced.
"No one in Ulm/Neu Ulm or in New Ulm was more dedicated than Hans Joohs to create the bonds which are now more formalized and which are destined to continue between these cities into the future.
"Hans Joohs truly loved the City of New Ulm and it is only fitting that this beautiful park is named after him. This honors him in a similar way that the cities of Ulm and Neu Ulm honored Dr. Ted Fritsche with the naming of the pedestrian bridge over the Danube River, The Dr. Ted Fritsche Weg. Hans Joohs died in Ulm on Nov. 7, 1998."