Honorary German Consul, Klaus Becker, visits App State to discuss the outcomes of the 2017 German Election
On Monday, Oct 25, Klaus Becker –upon invitation of the Judaic Department of Appalachian university in Boone- addressed the Jewish community, He analyzed the post-election results of Germany’s parliamentary election which had taken place the day before, described various coalition scenarios and pointed out the unpleasant fact that the right-populist AfD entered the Bundestag (German parliament) for the first time. They got 13% of the vote and are herewith third largest party in the Bundestag. They are an anti-immigration party with clear nationalistic, racist, anti-Semitic and above all anti-Islam characteristics.
Davidson College and The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation organized an election day watch event on Sunday, Sep. 24; complete with brats, potato salad and red cabbage.
Klaus Becker, Honorary Consul of Germany, described the pre-election background, introduced the main political parties and analyzed possible coalition scenarios while Dr. Besir Ceka, Assistant Professor with the Political Science Department at Davidson College, commented on the results.
Although the new right-populist party AfD was expected to enter the German parliament, its dramatic gains of 13%, making it the 3rd strongest party, came as a surprise, even as a shock. The relatively poor results of Germany’s two big parties, the Volksparteien or people’s parties, which have long been the pillars of a stable political system, are largely considered the political price for Merkel’s 2015 decision to open the borders to refugees from Syria and Iraq. The arrival of a million refugees over the last two years opened deep rifts in the population and weakened its support. Although Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance won the highest share of vote, it has not won enough that it can govern alone, meaning it will have to find coalition partners from smaller parties.
On Saturday, Sep. 9, the exhibition Gotha and the Thuringian Forest was opened at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia. Gastonia and Gotha in Thuringia (one of the five formerly East German states, have been sister cities for a while. With a lot of efforts, patience and dedication, they have erected this wonderful exhibition which is really worthwhile to visit.
Klaus Becker, the German Honorary Consul, was invited to address the audience of about hundred people on the old-fashioned farm next door to the museum. He pointed out that in times of unpredictable U.S. foreign policies, the changing of the relations among the countries, it is even more important that grass root organizations of the United States and Germany are working closely together. People have to talk to each other, continue the dialogue, work on projects together like this marvelous exhibition to contribute to a sustainable and peaceful relationship.
Klaus Becker reminded that he had opened the doors to a closer relationship with Thuringia: its President of the State Parliament Christian Carius visited Charlotte several times and recently Wolfgang Tiefensee was in town, formerly mayor of Leipzig, today Secretary of Commerce in the Thuringian government cabinet.
Renowned Director of the Evangelical Academy in Thuringia, Prof. Dr. Michael Haspel, Speaks in Charlotte, NC
One hundred guests gathered on Monday evening at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church to listen to Prof. Dr. Haspel’s discourse on engagement for freedom and justice as an imported tradition of the Reformation to the Civil Rights Movement.
Through separated in time and space, Prof. Haspel eloquently bridged the gap between Martin Luther, the German Augustine monk who started with his ninety-five theses the protestant reformation in 1517, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in the 1950s and 60s. Both men, deeply grounded in their unshakeable belief that men must follow their conscience, committed their lives to non-violent resistance against oppression and injustice.
Co-hosted by the N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation and the American Council on Germany, the program was sponsored by The Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Institute für Auslandsbeziehungen, and JP Morgan Chase.
Joint press statement of German Ministers on the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement
The United States is doing injury to itself, to us Europeans and to all other peoples of this world. Those who deny climate change and do not combat it will not only have to deal with the consequences of ever more extreme storms, droughts and floods, but this “not with me” strategy also impedes economic growth and technical progress. Saving energy and using free resources such as the sun and the wind would still be a great economic success, even if there were no such thing as climate change. They have created more than 400,000 jobs in Germany alone!
Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement is detrimental to economic growth – and to the key life resources of future generations.
Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is also a political mistake, as it undermines legal certainty at international level. The principle of pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept) is intended to ensure security and certainty. This is one of the most important practices followed in international politics. “The land of the free and the home of the brave” is acting contrary to its own principles and thereby setting itself against a worldwide consensus.
Our sound climate policy and our intensive international cooperation with other countries to protect the climate have already forged a strong alliance against the isolationist approach of the new US Administration to climate issues. Major nations such as China, Brazil, India and Russia stand shoulder to shoulder with us, as do the many countries which are particularly hard hit by climate change, such as the African states and the small island states. And let’s not forget that even in America there are a crop of federal states, local administrations and companies who have assumed a pioneering role in climate policy. We all support the Paris Agreement.
We will keep the door open to the United States should it wish to accede to the Agreement again at a later date. Let us not be swayed by the short-sightedness of a single party. The international community must stick together. Climate policy is a policy for peace.
Klaus Becker, Chairman of The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation attended in his function as German Honorary Consul the Consular Conference organized by the German Embassy in Washington from Nov. 13 to Nov. 15.
He met with Ambassador Dr. Peter Wittig, Deputy Chief of Mission Boris Ruge and with more than 30 other German Honorary Consuls.
The program comprised the discussion of following topics:
· Bilateral Economic Relations and Transatlantic Trade
· Current Political Situation
· Communications and Culture Department
· Administrative and Consular Matters
· Presentation by the Science and Technology Section
· Presentation of Bilateral Tax Issues
The Conference was a full success. The pictures show
· The whole group of the Honorary Consuls
· Picture with Margaret Rosenfeld, Honorary Consul in Raleigh and Deputy Chair of our Foundation.
A special thank you to the artists, our sponsors, our curator Johanna Steinz, and everyone who helped make the 2016 art tour a success.
Photos courtesy of Daniel Coston Photography
Charlotte, July 29, 2016—FC Bayern Munich board members, led by the Club’s chief executive officer, Karl-Heinz Rumenigge, invited dignitaries of city and county as well as representatives of the business community to an exclusive reception and subsequent dinner at the prestigious Charlotte City Club on the eve of the game vs. Inter Milan. The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation was the proud sponsor of the reception. Please click here to view the photo gallery.
October 2017: Ambassador Thomas Matussek