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You are here: Home / Farewell to Hans-Dietrich Genscher

Farewell to Hans-Dietrich Genscher

While a Russian military jet provoked last weekend once again an American military airplane, while the European Union is in danger of falling apart and the state of the world has perished year by year in recent times, Germany said goodbye to a man who proved how the opposite is possible: Hans-Dietrich Genscher was the architect of reunification, of European Unity and a peaceful cooperation between East and West.
The Man who brought down the Berlin Wall: Gorbachev and Genscher at Cinema for Peace.

Cinema for Peace with the President of Germany at the Ceremony

Die Witwe Barbara Genscher verneigt sich beim Staatsakt für den verstorbenen früheren Außenminister Hans-Dietrich Genscher

The last honor for Genscher at the former German Bundestag
Cinema for Peace with Genscher in Slovenia

BERLIN - While a Russian military jet provoked last weekend once again an American military airplane, while the European Union is in danger of falling apart and the state of the world has perished year by year in recent times, Germany said goodbye to a man who proved how the opposite is possible: Hans-Dietrich Genscher was the architect of reunification, of European Unity and a peaceful cooperation between East and West.

The German heads of state and foreign guests such as former US Secretary of State James Baker remembered how Genscher experienced the horrors of World War II, became the closest ally to the United States - he even changed the German chancellors and government to push through the NATO double decision against the Soviet-Union - and how he also became the closest western ally of the Soviet leaders Shevardnadze and Gorbachev -  who appeared at Cinema for Peace with Genscher and Leonardo DiCaprio. Gorbachev called in a meeting with Cinema for Peace last December Genscher his closest German friend.  

After he masterminded the Fall of the Berlin Wall, especially by negotiating the release of the German refugees in the Prague embassy, Genscher had the vision of a united European House - including Russia. His diplomatic mantra in recent years was never to stop speaking with each other: `As long as everybody talks with each other, nobody shoots.` The message at the State Ceremony was: It is not too late for Russia to come back to reason and it is not too late to save the European idea. 

Genscher was a supporter and advisor of Cinema for Peace and has inspired a film and the new Wall museum in Berlin, which opened just after his death and will keep his legacy alive. During a Cinema for Peace celebrations marking the anniversary of Slovenian sovereignty, Genscher joined our screening of an important Oscar winning film by Danis Tanovic, which became one of his favorite films: No Man’s Land, a satire on the absurdity of war.


Genscher at the German Embassy in Prague 1989
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The most emotional moment of modern Germany: Watch Genscher at the German Embassy in Prague 1989.

 

Země nikoho (2001) - trailer

Trouble in South America

BRAZIL/VENEZUELA - Supporters of the president wore red, whilst those that favored her impeachment were donned in green and yellow. One thing’s for certain; there’s widespread dissatisfaction with perceived corruption in Brazilian politics. External observers are increasingly concerned about how the ongoing struggles for power will manifest. The nation was divided, with a vote in support of her impeachment.

In Brazil, the building pressure against president Dilma Rousseff came to a passionate head this week. Brazil is not the only South American country facing turbulent times. In Venezuela, the worsening economic and political situation threatens to spiral into a dangerous collapse. The government led by Nicolás Maduro is seen as inept and has grown increasingly unpopular among the general population. This has resulted in protests and strikes in Caracas and beyond, particular from the country’s socialists.

As these major countries teeter on the edge of disaster, it is vital that they find a peaceful, democratic solution to their troubles. On April 14 Cinema for Peace hosted a screening of the film CONDOR together with the Lateinamerika Forum e.V. This insightful documentary investigates Operation Condor, a harrowing campaign of state terror carried out against suspected communists throughout South America. The screening with director Roberto Mader served as a platform to speak up for democratic values in South and Latin America. Cinema for Peace will open an office in Latin America and is producing a documentary about the processes in Venezuela.


Watch the trailer of 'Condor'

The Lady in Action

BURMA/BERLIN - Whilst instability threatens in South America, we can look to the other side of the world for hope and inspiration. In her new leadership role, Aung San Suu Kyi continues to strive for liberation for the people of Burma. She has recently been calling for incarcerated political prisoners to be freed.

Cinema for Peace presented the Human Rights Film Award to Suu Kyi in 2011 at the annual Gala in Berlin. We also honored Luc Besson’s movie 'The Lady' in 2012 and held a special screening with guests such as Angelina Jolie. This film depicted Suu Kyi’s long imprisonment and her struggle for justice and positive change.

Just as Hans-Dietrich Genscher stood for peace and unity at a time of division, it is inspiring to see influential world figures such as our honoree Suu Kyi working towards the same goal.
Watch the trailer of 'The Lady'

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