MEMORIES from the 2009 European School of High-Energy Physics, Bautzen, Germany, 14 - 27 June 2009

Ninety-seven students coming from twenty-four different countries attended the seventeen School in the new series of the European School of High-energy Physics, jointly organized by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), Dubna, Russia, with support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Germany and the Physics at the Terascale, Helmholtz Alliance, Germany.

The school took place in Bautzen, Germany, from 8 to 21 June 2009 and was hosted in Spree Hotel using the Hotel’s conference facilities.

Bautzen Spree Hotel

The Hotel, located 4 km outside the historical center of the almost 1000 year-old city of Bautzen, was entirely booked for the school participants. During the whole School Peter Rausch, the Hotel owner and Manager was omnipresent. He was a great help to the Organizers, committing himself a lot and acting as the go-between each time a “logistic” problem appeared. The students were sharing beautiful twin rooms.

The lectures were held in a conference room located in the basement and smaller rooms were used for the discussion sessions.

Wolfgang Hollic on stage

Glen Cowan contemplating his notes in front of the hotel.

During the breaks, tea, coffee, fruits and cookies were served in the "yard".The meals (buffet style) were taken in the nice restaurant of the hotel. Very unfortunately during the School the weather never permitted the Hotel to prepare a barbecue. Only once it was possible to have lunch outside on the terrace set in the garden.

Coffe Time

In the evening thursty (and courageous) participants where having drinks in the rain outside where a special beer bar had been set up.
During the free time the students had the possibility of swimming in the lake, playing football on the green, strolling in the nice surroundings, hiring bikes or walking to Bautzen town.

Siegfried Bethke, Director of Max-Planck Institute for Physics, Munich acted as local School Director and together with Egil Lillestol, Director of the CERN Physics Schools, they greeted the participants with short speeches during a welcome drink the first evening.

Several interesting excursions and special events were organized during the school.
On Tuesday, 16 June, Klaus Schubert gave an interesting  overview about History and Culture of Saxony.  This lecture was very good introduction to the excursion to Dresden planned the following week.

On Wednesday, 17 June,  an guided tour to Bautzen was organized.

In the beautiful streets of Bautzen

Bautzen is over 1000 years old and is the hub of Sorbian culture. The city has an historical town center with a medieval skyline of 17 towers, an original city wall and a cathedral. We were guided through the old town and assisted to an exclusive performance at the Theater where a pantomime show was a great success.

Humoristic pantomime show by the "retro" group Floppy Dolls

The tour included a visit to the disreputable “Stasi Prison”, first used by the Nazis to incarcerate communists and from 1956 to 1989 by the East German secret service (MfS), to silence political dissidents. In 1989 discoveries were made in the Bautzen prison complex of the largest mass grave of post-World War II Germany, where the remains of more than 17,000 political prisoners from the Soviet occupation era after 1945 were found at the site.
In 1993 the former Bautzen prison was turned into a memorial of the people who fell victim to the totalitarian political system of the GDR. More info at this link.

Poster Session
On Thursday, 18 June the students displayed their work in the form of posters at a special evening session. The posters, of very high quality both technically and in content, were put up on the walls of the lecture and discussion rooms where they stayed on display for the remaining part of the school.

from the Poster Session

On Saturday,  20 June a full day excursion was organized to Saxon Switzerland, a beautiful and impressive landscape. The walk/climb was a little more impressive and difficult than foreseen, and the guide forgot his duties with the result that several groups lost track of their whereabouts.
It was therefore an exhausted and hungry group that finally arrived at destination where a very late lunch was well appreciated. The organizers were particularly happy when everybody finally had arrived.

...climbing and climbing...

See also the link "Saxon-Switzerland

At the end of the day we visited Königstein, a unique early example of a fortified building in Europe with 2.2km long and 40 m high walls, sitting on a mesa in the middle of the beautiful area of Saxon Switzerland and with fantastic view of the Elbe sandstone. The first mentions of Koenigstein came in 1241 when it was a medieval castle belonging to the Czech kingdom. Since 1591 the fortification was a feared prison in Saxony. And during the German-French war (1870-1871), World War I and World War II it served as a concentration camp. In 1955 the fortification was opened as a museum. More info at link.

On Wednesday, 24 June, a half day excursion was organized to the impressive town of Dresden, with a guided tour followed by free time. Dresden is the capital city of the state of Saxony and sits in an area that races back human habitation to the Neolithic period. Dresden's rich cultural heritage makes it a popular tourist site in Germany. See for instance this link.

the Semper Opera

Dresden visit

The Dresden day ended with dinner, drinks and a Dixie concert in the famous Dixie Bahnhof. The trio was also for a little while joined by the famous piano playing HEP student Dmitry Medvedev from JINR. A little clip from his performance can be seen here.

Following the school tradition the CERN and JINR DGs presented overiews of the CERN and the JINR scientific programs at the end of the school.


The Farewell Banquet

The Farewell Banquet on the last evening is a well established School tradition. After dinner, all the participants joined the conference room where a party was set up, starting with a few semi official speaches and followed by the Great Student Show.
Tanja, who had been elected by the students as the Master of Ceremony, presented the show, which <not unexpectedly, was of excellent quality. We particularly enjoyed the sketch when President Nicolas and his new wife where discussing some of the more delicate points of the lecture course on Cosmology.

Link to the official School photograph.

A lot of the student's photos are on facebook. Below are some links.
Susanne K.:
Tanja R.:
Kirill S.:
Vito P.:
Anton K.:
Aras P.:
Anastasia B.:

We are sure that all the students join us in thanking the lecturers and discussion leaders for their inspiring lectures and discussions. Also the local organizers of the school and Peter, the Spree Hotel Manager deserve a big thanks for their job !