Greeting of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, patron of the Freya von Moltke Foundation for the New Kreisau

Berlin in September, 2017

Kreisau is a place where European and German-Polish history becomes tangible. A place that stands for overcoming injustice, hatred and crime that National Socialist Germany caused its eastern neighbors. It stands for overcoming what divided us and stood between us. A place of historical awareness where we can reflect on our common future - a future in democracy, rule of law and respect for the dignity of every human being.

It should not be taken for granted that Krzyżowa, as Kreisau is called today, has become such a place. A combination of important circumstances was necessary to establish Kreisau as a site of international encounter and peaceful exchange. However, first of all it also required the willingness for reconciliation, which Poles expressed to Germans and which was early reflected in the 1965 letter of the Polish bishops to their German brothers. Further preconditions were provided with the vision of Freya von Moltke, who already hoped in the 1960s that "one day Kreisau could become a home for Polish-German understanding," and the common considerations of East and West European citizens, how and with which content concepts the decaying buildings could be transformed into a meeting site. Eventually, on June 9, 1990, the "Stiftung Kreisau für Europäische Verständigung" was founded. Since then, it has become a place of peaceful coexistence of different nations, social groups as well as individuals - and in this way not only sensitizing young people to a culture of responsibility and openness to others.

With the Freya von Moltke Foundation for the New Kreisau, the international memorial and meeting site Kreisau has found a sponsor who is committed to preserving this important site in the long term as well as raising public interest for its important work. As a patron and friend of the Freya von Moltke Foundation for the New Kreisau, as a Democrat, German and European, I wish that this place will continue to grow. I hope that during their time in Kreisau, in spite of different backgrounds and motivation, people will experience what it means to think about the past and future independently and freely, and to fight for the right way into the future - for peace and freedom in a united Europe."

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