Bavarian economic development officials and local chamber of commerce leaders joined Atlanta’s German Consul General Hans-Jorg Brunner in Huntsville, Ala., last week in celebrating the cooperative efforts of Germany and the United States in the space and aeronautics industries. Alabama is among seven Southeastern states in the consulate general’s jurisdiction.

Among those at the event in which GlobalAtlanta attended – held in honor of the 100th anniversary of the German Consulate General in Atlanta – was Ernst Stuhlinger, 91, an original member of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun’s German team that came to Huntsville in 1950 to develop guided missiles for America’s armed forces.

Mr. Brunner said the strong relationships remaining from the collaborative efforts of Huntsville’s space and aeronautics projects, “are living proof of the close and genuine friendships between Germans and Americans.”

Dr. von Braun’s team developed the Redstone, Jupiter and Pershing missles; Explore 1, the first satellite in the free world and Pioneer 4, the first close-proximity probe of the Moon.

In 1960, President Eisenhower decided the Army’s rocket development group headed by Dr. von Braun would become part of the newly formed NASA. The group continued to conduct its research and development in Huntsville for NASA at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, where it developed the family of Saturn rockets used in the Apollo missions.

The United States’ Bavaria economic development office co-sponsored the reception at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center with the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the excellence of both Bavaria and Huntsville in the aerospace, aeronautics and satellite navigation industries, said Barbara Maurer, project manager at the Bavarian economic development office.

“Both Huntsville and Bavaria are forward thinking areas that focus on building and maintaining superior location conditions that make them ideal for business,” she said.

In addition, Munich-based Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Erlangen, Germany-based Siemens AG have operations in the vicinity of Huntsville, she said.

According to the German consulate general’s office, Alabama is Germany’s biggest growth market in both dollar and percentage terms.

For more information on the German consulate general, contact Monika Reuter at (404) 659-1280 or For more information on Bavarian economic development contact Dagmar Cassan, executive managing director of the New York office, at (212) 317-0588.