Posted by Christian Noll
Dr Christoph Israng,  Ambassador of Germany to the Czech Republic joined Members and guests at our club meeting. Dr Israng explained the importance of the relationship between Germany and the Czech Republic in a number of dimensions. "In trade, the volumes are greater than those traded with the Russian Federation" said Dr Irsang, emphasising that the Czech Republic is a key partner of Germany not least because of its 815km long border. Dr Israng commented that in some areas there is always room for improvement, not least in logistical matters of ambulances or snowploughs crossing the border - here we can make things more efficient.
Dr Israng also reflected on the historic relations of the countries starting with the 16,000 people who sought refuge in the West German Embassy in Prague in 1989 as they sought a way to a new and free life in the West which they were granted.  Dr Israng invited Members to join the "Festival of Freedom" on the 28th of September where, 30 years later, the Embassy will open its doors and events of 1989  will be remembered.He also did not shy away from discussing the impact of the second world war. "I have visited many places where atrocities were committed including Terezin. I have met the families and survivors of the atrocities and whilst I understand that some cannot forgive, many recognise that the Germany of today is a changed country. These are the most emotional experiences of my work."
RCPI President Josef Simpartl thanked Dr Israng on behalf of Rotary Club Prague International for his insightful and interesting account.