Welcoming Letters of
Message from Annalena Baerbock,
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Member of the German Bundestag,
for the project
Krzyżowa-Music: Music for Europe
The documents of the Kreisau Circle, formed more than 80 years ago as a civil resistance group against National Socialism, declare that Europe’s strength lies in the power of its cultures. While the Nazi war of annihilation was raging in Europe, the members of the Circle discussed how a new social order could be established on the continent once the war was over, on the basis of humanity and international understanding. Most of them had to pay for this vision with their lives.
Today, Krzyżowa – or Kreisau – stands like hardly any other place for the desire for a peaceful Europe united in a spirit of neighbourliness.
At a time when Russia’s war of aggression has inflicted immeasurable suffering on the people in Ukraine and dealt a severe blow to our European peaceful order, work on the peace project that is Europe is more important than ever. That is why Germany and Poland stand side by side within the European Union in their support for Ukraine. And that is why, together with our partners, we are working for a stronger NATO and a more sovereign Europe on our continent.
Last year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the signing of the German-Polish Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness. The Treaty laid the foundations for a new start in relations between the free and democratic Poland and the reunited Germany. Today we look back with humility, but also with relief and pride, on the reconciliation that has taken place between our two countries over the last three decades. This reconciliation process remains an ongoing task for us. For our friendship is not something we can take for granted. We need to breathe life into it every day.
For this, too, Krzyżowa is a crucial symbol. Since 1998, the International Youth Meeting Centre there has served as a place for cross-border interaction and understanding. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, around 100 Ukrainian refugees found shelter there. That is another reason why we are delighted that in May we signed a joint declaration on securing the future funding of this special institution together with our Polish partners.
Europe’s strength lies in the power of its cultures – that is also the motto of the Krzyżowa music festival. The founders not only established a world-class musical event. They also created a space for international understanding in Europe. Musicians from almost all continents gather here to demonstrate the power of culture.
I am particularly delighted that this year the festival is sending a strong signal of European solidarity. With the campaign “Musicians Help Musicians”, the festival is helping musicians who have had to leave Ukraine to continue to pursue their careers in exile. This embodiment of the “Kreisau spirit” of international solidarity and creative exchange lies at the heart of this festival. Through performances and events in many other cities, this spirit shines out far beyond Krzyżowa throughout Poland and Germany.
It therefore gives me great joy to assume the patronage of this project together with my Polish colleague Zbigniew Rau.
I wish the 8th Krzyżowa music festival every success and hope that all visitors take away with them lasting impressions.
With kind regards,
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Member of the German Bundestag