Frankfurt: Nerve Center of Mormon Europe


A modern four-story office building in a suburb of Frankfurt, Germany, is the headquarters of “Operation Goosegg.”

The building houses the 42 Church employees whose job it is to produce on time and in the right quantities several hundred publications, films, filmstrips, tapes, report forms, and other materials for use by the Saints in Europe.

“Operation Goosegg” is the name of the program that works to get the materials out on time. Each time a project is completed, a zero (or “goosegg”) shows up on the computer printout that is used to keep track of the work. The employees are working for a whole printout of “gooseggs.”

Employees of the printing and distribution center in Frankfurt share the building with representatives of other Church departments providing service in Europe, including the legal, finance, building, real estate, genealogy, seminaries and institutes, and German translation departments.

Across the building’s parking lot is a meetinghouse for two branches of the West German Mission.

Almost all materials available to Church officers and teachers in English-speaking areas are now available in Europe. Curriculum materials written in English are sent to translators for each of eight languages. When they have completed their work, the materials are sent to Frankfurt, where most of the layout and printing is finished in the Church plant. Some printing jobs—such as Church magazines, the family home evening manual, and Melchizedek Priesthood manuals—are printed by a commercial firm.

Most of the employees at the printing and distribution center are Church members, and all are Europeans. Some of the employees of the other departments are Americans who have been sent to Germany on special assignments.

From the Frankfurt center the acquisition of Church property and the design, construction, and maintenance of Church buildings are supervised; genealogical forms and materials are distributed; early-morning seminaries are supervised; and financial experts assist stake and mission authorities in receiving, spending, and auditing in the currencies of each of the countries.

[photo] Above: Gunther Galz operates one of the four large offset presses that prints many of the manuals used by the European Saints.

[photo] Far left: Frankfurt Distribution Center was constructed four years ago to bring all European printing and most of the distribution facilities together.

[photo] Left center: Poul Stolp, European language coordinator, oversees the translation of more than 12,000 pages of material each year. He is assisted by more than 60 translators, reviewers, proofreaders, typists, and administrators in translation offices in each of the countries served by the center.

[photo] Left: Lothar Kramer is one of five layout artists assigned to major Church projects in Europe. Much of the layout work is done at individual translation offices.

[photo] Above left: More than 1,000 items are kept in readiness here, to be shipped out as needed.

[photo] Far left: Maria Banser is a secretary in the finance office, which helps Church groups in Europe account for Church funds and deal in currency exchanges.

[photo] Left center: Elena Spedicato prepares plates from which materials are printed.

[photo] Left: Pino Drago prepares an order to be shipped out to one of the 3,000 wards, stakes, branches, missions, and missionaries served by the center.

[photo] Top right: Trays hold address plates for the nine European language Church magazines mailed monthly.

[photo] Above: The bindery line is the last stop before materials are stored and kept in readiness for delivery.