Board President Michael Willis reports from the German Consulate
On 6 October 2014 I was invited to the German Consulate in SF to celebrate German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). Although Unity Day is actually 3 October, and there was a flag raising at City Hall, the 6th of October is also important. President Reagan declared in German American Day. So to open, the orchestra from the German International School of Silicon Valley played both the national hymns of Germany and the United States of America, and then the anthem of the European Union, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Quite stirring.
And so there we were, in the consulate with a contingent representing other countries from the consulates of Italy, Belgium, Austria, and Norway. Wealso represented by others from EGC and the German School, and GSANC: The Linnenbachs, Hank Stoffel, Nancy and Larry Grabow, and Pamela Scholz among others.
It was a special treat because it was the first Unity Day for our new Consul General, Stefan Schlüter and his wife, the Brasilian born Ana Luisa de Carvalho-Schlüter. Wonderful people.
Also present was the Vice Consul Johannes Bloos and his wife Beatrice, who spent their first week in the Bay Area coming to the EGC’s film showing of “Sound of Heimat”. We’ll be seeing more of them to be sure.
“We have the privilege to welcome new residents from the Eastern part of Germany to our city in Hamburg where we are able to enjoy their newly gained freedom with them just like the rest of the nation of Germany…”
Hon. Frank Horch
The featured speaker was the Honorable Frank Horch, Senator for Economic Affairs of the Free and Hanseatic City Hamburg. Senator Horch spoke of the connections between SF and Hamburg, being both port cities and having a very important place in the economies of both countries. He also spoke of the city’s economic importance in regaining influence in the “hinterlands” and forging strong trade relations with the former East and with Central Eu
rope in general. To be sure, there was a large entourage from Hamburg there, rounding out their visit with trips down to Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
A wonderful affair, filled with guests from all over, and in the consulate an exhibition of the Wall from its building in 1961 to its fall in 1989.
What the event represented for me was the continuation of a great relationship between the EGC and the Consulate, and long may we reach out in our common mission–to represent German culture and heritage to the Bay Area—East and West.