did you know?

That the Castle Neuschwanstein erected by King Ludwig II of Bavaria was used as a model for the Disney Castle?

Its true, the castle Neuschwanstein, Bavaria which attracts more than 1 million visitors from around the world each year was the inspiration for the Castles in the Disney Theme Parks.

One just has to look at the pictures and see the similarity.


Castle Neuschwanstein


Disney Castle



Sabine von Mering
vonmering@brandeis.edu Associate Professor of German. Area of Expertise: German Women Writers. German Cinema. Age of Goethe.

Sabine von Mering came to Brandeis as Assistant Professor of German in 1998. She completed her Staatsexamen in German and English Linguistics and Literature at the University of Goettingen, Germany in 1991. After a year as German-Language Scholar at Reed College, Portland, Oregon she went to the University of California at Davis. She completed her Ph.D. in German Literature on "German Women & Tragedies in the 18th Century: from Gottsched to Guenderrode", at UC Davis in August of 1998. At Brandeis she teaches courses in German Language, Literature, and Film.

She has worked for CGES since her first days at Brandeis, initially as Assistant Director, since 2002 as Executive Director and presently as Director of the Center. Key aspects of her work have been the organization of meetings of the Jewish-German Dialogue at Brandeis. She also co-edited two volumes of conference proceedings, International Green Politics with Sarah Halpern-Meekin, in 2002, and Russian-Jewish Emigrants after the Cold War: Perspectives from Germany, Israel, Canada, and the United States with Olaf Gloeckner and Evgenija Garbolevsky in 2006. Most recent publication: von Mering, Sabine, Timothy Wyman McCarty. Right-Wing Radicalism Today: Perspectives from Europe and the US. Londonon: Routledge, 2013.

Academic Administrator

Heidi McAllister

Heidi is originally from the Black Forest in Germany near the borders of Alsace Lorraine and Switzerland. She also resided in Munich for several years before immigrating to the east coast of the United States. Heidi joined the CGES team at Brandeis University in the fall of 2005 and became Senior Program Coordinator in the summer of 2006. She has worked part-time in the same capacity for the Classical Studies Department at Brandeis since the fall of 2009. Heidi has extensive experience as a technical illustrator and in computer drafting with AutoCad certification from the University of New Hampshire. She was a student of the Elisabeth Kaiser Davis Program at Wellesley College and graduated in 2004 with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and a minor in Psychology.

Current Student Assistants


Julia Karr '19

Julia Karr
Julia was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She began studying German in high school and participated in an exchange program in Tübingen that solidified her interests in German language and culture. Julia is majoring in German Studies and IGS and spent a semester abroad in Berlin. When she's not studying or daydreaming about moving back to Berlin, Julia enjoysspending time outdoors and exploring Boston.
Oliver Koch ‘20
Oliver was born and raised in Saarlouis, Germany. He got his Abitur in 2015 and proceeded to volunteer as an EMT with the German Red Cross for a year before he came to Brandeis. He is planning on majoring in neuroscience. Outside of academics you will find him singing for Voices of Soul, sailing or generally trying out new things across campus and in Boston.
Paul Jiang '21

paulstaffPaul was born and grew up in the city of Berlin, Germany. He and his parents moved to China when he was 14, and attended a normal public high school near Suzhou. In 2015, he started studying at United World College Changshu China and finished his IB diploma in 2017. In fall of the same year he started his Undergraduate at Brandeis University. He is planning on double majoring in Biochemistry and Biology and is on the Pre-Med track. Outside of class, he loves meeting new people, making friends and having interesting conversation. He is an outdoor enthusiast and has a big love for traveling.

Alexander Holtmann '21
Although being born in New York, Alexander grew up in the Swabian city of Geislingen an der Steige in Germany. He got his Abitur in 2017 and is now planning to major in Economics and Philosophy at Brandeis University. In his past time he fences for the German national team and the Brandeis Judges. When not on the fencing strip, you will find him playing guitar or reading.

Theresa Weis '20


Theresa was born in Massachusetts, but since both of her parents are from Vienna, Austria she learned German at a young age. All of her family still lives in Austria so she visits frequently. At Brandeis, Theresa studies Chemistry and Biology on the Pre-Med track. She is also an undergraduate researcher in the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, a coordinator and E-board member in the Waltham Group and a tour guide.



Benedikt Reynolds '19

Benedikt ReynoldsBenedikt moved from Germany to the U.S. with his family when he was thirteen. Now, he studies both Computer Science and Anthropology at Brandeis, is the student body Vice President, and spends his extra time listening to music and hanging with friends.
Benjamin Dombrowski '22
Benjamin Dombrowski
Benjamin Dombrowski is a first year at Brandeis and is pursuing an IGS major. He comes originally from Rheinstetten Baden-Wurttembergand now lives in Plymouth MA. On campus, Ben is involved in The Right to Immigration Institute and the Brandeis Men's Rugby Team. In his free time, Ben loves watching German movies and learning about German history and culture. Ben also enjoys hiking, especially in the Schwartzwald and Pfalz regions of Southern Germany. 
Yannik Esser '22
Yannik Esser
Yannik was born in the northeast of Germany in Crivitz am See, but grew up in the British Virgin Islands. At 14 Yannik moved to boarding school at New Hampton School, situated in New Hampshire, where he Became the Senior class president of the Class of 2018. He graduated in 2018, and received his IB diploma in the summer of that year. He Began to attend Brandeis University in the fall of 2018, and is planning to major in biology, and do the pre-med track. Outside of class he enjoys traveling, and playing sports, especially soccer and tennis.

Margo Worman

Margo WormanOriginally from Minnesota, Margo is currently a Master of Public Policy student at the Heller School concentrating in Health Policy. She started studying German her first semester at Macalester College. She enjoyed the language and program so much that she ended up double majoring in German Studies and Political Science. A highlight of her undergraduate experience was studying abroad for a semester in Berlin and Vienna. In her free time, Margo enjoys reading, baking, theatre performances, and pub trivia.