30th Anniversary of "Friends and Sponsors of the Martin-Buber-House"

For celebrating its 30th anniversary the “Friends and Sponsors of the Martin-Buber-House” organized the first Ruth-Weyl-Memorial-Lecture on April 3rd 2014. As we were expecting quite a crowd, we chose as venue the larger and more festive Marstall in Heppenheim. Roughly 50 people turned out to hear the lecture on Edith Stein, presented by Prelate Prof. Dr. Helmut Moll, Cologne; among them were Inis and Karl-Heinz Henn, old friends of the ICCJ.

Among our guests we were proud to greet Dean Kreh and his wife as well as the political representative of the area Philipp-Otto Vock. But the most exciting fact was that our Patron, Prof. Dr Rita Süßmuth, former President of the German Bundestag, whom we had invited and who unfortunately could not attend, sent us a two-page welcoming speech (see original letter in German or English translation). She had found laudatory words for our organization and the value of its work and assured us her political support in the future. The greeting was read to the audience by Michael Korn and extremely well received. The President, Eva Schulz-Jander welcomed the guests, mentioning Ruth’s great commitment to interreligious dialogue and to the Friends and Sponsors in particular, being one of its founding members. She also focused on the purpose of the organization as well as on its 30-year history. Abi Pitum spoke on behalf of ICCJ representing the Executive Committee. In his most humorous and rhetorically accomplished greeting he mentioned the importance of the Martin-Buber-House, where the ICCJ has its home office, to Heppenheim, thus giving an international flair to the town. He also found warm words for Ruth, and appreciative words for the work of Friends and Sponsors which supports not only local events and the Martin-Buber-House but also the international work of ICCJ. Thus working locally and globally.

In his lecture on Edith Stein Prelate Moll (see picture; photographer: Gerlinde Pfirsching) focused on the motives of Edith Stein and other Jewish women for their conversion to Christianity in the early years of the 20th century. Their motives, he pointed out, were spiritual and certainly not opportunistic. He also mentioned their opposition to national socialist ideology, their courage in accepting the inevitable fate and most impressive – their late re-identification with the Jewish people.

Since the event started only at 8:00 p.m. it was decided to have the discussion at the Martin-Buber-House, where Birgit Meurer and Petra Grünewald-Stangl had prepared a few snacks. In spite of the late hour, it was already close to 10:00 p.m., most of the people came along and there was such a vivid discussion with the speaker and among the guests that the last guests left shortly before midnight.

A new and annual tradition was successfully established in Heppenheim on the 3rd of April 2014.

Our thanks go to Birgit Meurer, Petra Grünewald-Stangl and Anette Adelmann for the organization and facilitation of this most impressive event.

Further Information:

  • Greeting letter from the Patron of the Friends and Sponsors of the Martin-Buber-House Prof. Dr Rita Süßmuth, former President of the German Bundestag:
    Original version in German / English Translation
  • Do you wish to support the work and activities of the Friends and Sponsors of the Martin-Buber-House? Become a member and be one of our friends or sponsors!
    Please visit our website.