By Joe F. Bodenstein
Point Alpha Prize in Germany: Red carpet for former political leaders George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (center) at the award ceremony in the forest of Gaisa on June 17, 2005. On the left: Christine Lieberknecht, president of Kuratorium Deutsche Einheit. On the right: Ministerpräsident Roland Koch (Hessen, CDU), Ministerpräsident Dieter Althaus (Thüringen, CDU)
Berlin/Washington/Moscow (bpb) Great honour for the former leaders George Bush, Soviet Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl took place in Germany. The statesmen were honoured with the German Point Alpha Prize, named for a Cold War era U.S. military observation post on the border between East and West Germany. The president of Kuratorium Deutsche Einheit (KDE), Christine Lieberknecht, handed over the unique award for their role in ending Germany's Cold War division.
It was an impressive situation, seeing the former leaders from the time of the East-West confrontation, standing side by side while paying respect to the national flags and listening to the national anthems. The ceremony took place on Friday June 17, 2005 in a forest area at Geisa near the city Eisenach (the home of the reformer Martin Luther).
We remember: The Berlin Wall fell in November, 1989 as the communist rule collapsed in East Germany and in the Soviet dominated Eastern Europe, thanks to Gorbachev's easing of Soviet political repression. Kohl, Gorbachev and Bush have all played key roles in working out Germany's reunification the following year. The majority of German people of today are very grateful to U.S.A. and Russia; even if they have not achieved all the goals that they wanted.
More than 10,000 people from all over Germany came to the point Alpha, where once the troops of the communist Soviet Union and the democratic USA were for 50 years facing each other across minefields and barbed wire. The spot is now a tourist attraction on the border of the German historical states of Thueringen and Hessen. The people came from all at their own expenses to this remote area. Men, women and youth welcomed the former US President George Bush, the former leader Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl with standing ovations.
A festival for politicians and the people
Standing ovations for George Bush on June 17, 2005 in Germany. Under his leadership it became a reality, what the US President Ronald Reagan was fighting for and had prepared during the many years of his successful presidency: the German Unity. At the ceremony, Mr. Bush released an eagle from the wild-life nature park Hellenthal (Nordhrein-Westfalen,Germany) of the famous European wildlife expert Horst Niesters.
This successful demonstration for friendship, peace and freedom was organized by the event management media-event (10117 Berlin, Dorotheenstraße 90). Curator Stephan Vogel arranged this historical political event also as a festival for the people with popular music, food and drinks. The politicians and the ordinary people could meet face to face and shake hands as friends.
George Bush said: "I think history would definitely say, of all the things that happened in the last 50 years, the reunification of Germany was very, very special. I'm very proud to have played a part in it."
The former German Chancellor Kohl said: "The integration of Europe will be nothing, if everyone one just thinks of himself." And his friend Gorbachev added: "One has to have patience, and reserves of patience for the process of European unity. A unified Europe is not against Russia or the United States, but for Russia and the United States."
To the dignitaries and politicians at the Point Alpha Prize ceremony belonged: Thüringen Ministerpräsident Dieter Althaus, Landtagspräsidentin Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schipanski (President of Deutsche Krebshilfe), Hessen-Ministerpräsident Roland Koch, Staatssekretär Dr. Jürgen Aretz, Niels Lund Chrestensen (IHK-Präsident Erfurt), Berthold Dücker (Chefredakteur der Südthüringer Zeitung), Prof. Justus Frantz (Philharmonie der Nationen), Prof. Dr. Hermann Schäfer (Präsident der Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Werner Küstenmacher (author), Maybritt Illner (ZDF), Horst Niesters (Greifvogelstation Hellenthal, Nordrhein-Westfalen) Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann (Eisschnellläuferin mit 19 Weltrekorden, Erfurt), Princess Maria zu Stolberg-Wernigerode.
© PROMETHEUS 97/2005