The European Charlemagne Prize means “special merits in promoting understanding and cooperation between the peoples and countries of Central Europe”. With the award presented to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Sudeten-German Landsmanchaft organization, which has about 200,000 members, consciously wanted to send a signal of solidarity with all people in Ukraine, according to Federal President Bernd Bosselt.
Switching the video with Selenskyj is still not clear
It remains unclear whether Selenskyj will call Sudeten German Day in Hof via video message. Representatives of the Ukrainian embassy promised to come. “As soon as possible, I want to present the award in person to Selenskyj in Kyiv along with a delegation from the German Sudeten national team,” Posselt explains when asked by BR24.
Yohannes in court
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis receives the 2020 European Charlemagne Prize at the site in Freiheitshalle Hof on Saturday. Due to the Corona pandemic, it was not possible for the German Sudetenland Day to take place in 2020 and 2021. The “European Charlemagne Prize 2021” was awarded to former Czech Minister of Culture Daniel Hermann on a small scale.
The League of Displaced Persons has awarded the European Charlemagne Prize – named after the Bohemian King and German Roman Emperor Charles IV – since 1958. Previous winners of the prize include Otto von Habsburg, concentration camp survivor Max Mannheimer and several CSU politicians such as Franz Josef Strauss and Edmund Stoeber, Barbara Stamm or Horst Seehofer.
Whitsun meeting of German Sudeten
The slogan of the 72nd edition of the traditional Pentecost meeting of the IDPs is “Dialogue transcends borders”. Many events and workshops in Hof revolve around the transmission of the culture and customs of Sudeten Germans, but also about German-Czech relations at a political level. Federal President Bernd Posselt also expects many visitors from the Czech Republic in Hof. He notes “the increasing interest of the Czech population in Sudeten German elements in their own culture”.
As a sign of good cooperation, the program “German Sudet Day” will also take place in the Czech Republic. At the beginning of Friday, for the first time, there was a German-Czech municipal conference in Franzenbad / Frantiskovy Lazne and meetings between pupils from Pfaffenhofen and Schip/Eiger in Hof and Schip. The end of the Pentecost meeting is a Monday pilgrimage – buses take us from Hof to the traditional Czech Marian pilgrimage site Maria Kulm/Klum Svati Mari.
Souder is coming on Sunday
The Grand Rally of Germany Sudet will be held on Sunday. The keynote speaker is Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), at the European Charlemagne Prize presentation ceremony, Social Affairs Minister Ulrike Scharf (CSU) giving a welcoming speech. In the 1950s, the Free State of Bavaria took over the patronage of the German Sudetenland Confederation. CSU Prime Minister Alphonse Juebel (1962-1978) called Sudeten Germans “the fourth tribe of Bavaria”—along with the Old Bavarians, Swabians, and Franks.
According to Federal President Bernd Bosselt, about 200,000 people are officially organized into various groups of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft. “Actually, many are active, and often there is only one family member,” Bosselt says. At Landsmannschaft there is no problem with young people – on the contrary: the younger generation in particular is very interested in its Sudeten German roots. Now a new project will be presented at the Pentecost meeting: via the Internet platform sudeten.net, one can communicate around the world or, for example, exchange information on genealogical research.