Houstonians visited Leipzig in October 2009 for the 20th anniversary celebration of the peaceful demonstrations that led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship in East Germany.  Click here to see the official program for the celebration.

Freedom Bell, Leipzig

Freedom Bell, Leipzig

Members and friends of the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association, Rotarians from the Houston area attending the Rotary Peace Conference organized for the same occasion, together with the members of a Rotary Group Study Exchange that included Deanea LeFlore, Director of the Houston International Protocol Alliance and  Ryan Geiger, artist from Houston who placed second for the design of the art competition for the peace window, jointly attended the major events.

The core program at the Gewandhaus included speeches by the German President, the Mayor of Leipzig Burkhard Jung and speakers that participated in the demonstrations 20 years ago.

Other highlights included the dedication of the peace window (click here to see the story behind the peace window), the world première of the peace cantata, and the walking along the city ring, lighted candle in hand, following the route of the marches 20 years ago through a breathtaking lightshow.

Leipzig "Sculpture"

Leipzig "Sculpture"

 

A particular highlight of the Rotary World Peace Conference was the key note speech of fellow Rotarian  and former German Minister and Head of the Foreign Office Hans-Dietrich Genscher who related the events of 20 years ago with firsthand knowledge.

In remembrance of the 20th Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution a peace bell in the shape of an egg (the “Freedom Bell”) was dedicated on the morning of October 9, 2009.

The following is a slideshow of various pictures taken during the trip:

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