Sunday, May 03, 2009

Hambach Castle - the cradle of German democracy

There was a Journey of Hope event in Neustradt/Weinstraße (="winestreet"; it's located in an area which is known for its wines) on Sturday evening. Although unfortunately there was not the largest audience in the world, the words of the speakers really got to the hearts of those listening and some students in the front row were crying.

But let me tell you a bit about the afternoon, when we went to the Hambach Castle which is considered the cradle of German democracy. Don't get me wrong: this is definitely a work trip and the speakers do work quite a bit (actuelly it will get really though next week) but it's also important and nice to get to know a bit of the country one is visiting and so the hosts over here made sure that Terr, Bill and Ray got to see a (very small) bit of Germany.

"Arise, German men and boys of every rank, ablaze with the sacred spark of the fatherland and liberty, gather together!"

Some 30000 people responded to this exortation. Let by trumpet calls and music they marched up the hill path bedecked with garlands to the Hambach castle. On the highest battlements of the castle they raised the black, red, and gold colours, In numerous speeches, messages of greetings, songs, and toasts they gave voice to their demands. Amimated eve heated exchanges of ideas and opinions took place in countless conversations and discussions.

The Hambacher Fest was a German national democratic festival celebrated from 27 May to 30 May 1832 at Hambach Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstraße (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany).

About 30,000 participants came from all ranks of society, workmen, students and members of parliament, as well as from different nations such as France and Poland. Amongst the Polish there were many who fled after the November Uprising (1830–1831) from Poland to Germany and further on to France.

The Palatinate on the west bank of the Rhine was at that time under the control of Bavaria, and the local population suffered from high taxes and censorship. The main demands of the meeting that had been disguised as a non-political county fair were Liberty, Civil rights and National Unity.

One of the key demands of the Hambach Festival was freedom of opinion and of the press. The representation of the development of democracy up to our time emphasis the lasting impotance of the pursuit of democratic principles and shows that the struggle for democracy remains an ever-vital duty.

The meeting had no immediate results, but the meeting is considered a milestone in German history. It also confirmed the establishment of the combination of Black, Red and Gold as a symbol of a democratic movement for a united Germany. These colours, which were later used by democratic revolutionaries in the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, were adopted after 1918 by the Weimar Republic as National colours of Germany, and used in the Flag of Germany.

Ray, Bill and Terri dressed in the cloth people wore at the Hambach Festival

Listening to one of the speaches

1 comment:

CN said...

What a journey you are having - and a little fun too, eh? Wow, I am so impressed with the current timing of all these gems - photos, audios, etc.

I would love to send around NOTICE to our Journey FAMILY email list and more.

So IF you get time, a short quote, anecdote and or note from any one of you or all would be great. OR I will find these from within what you have sent.

HUGS all around...I have a short anecdote myself from Texas journey