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March 200
3 - Nr. 3


The Editor
Vorsicht Satire!
Elizabeth Kuehn
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Ball Austria 2003
Echo-Lines 2
Herwig Wandschneider
Those Crazy Germans
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
SOS Villages
German-Russian Arts
Mozart im Sudan
Old Masters Collection
Berlin's New Landmark
New Luther Exhibition
Steinway Anniversary
Praise for BMW
Poet Klopstock Celebration
Einen Guten Klang
Lack of Education
Computer As Boss
Int'l Book Club
Humbolt's Mexican Trip

Rau and Putin Open German-Russian Arts Series

  TWIG - German president Johannes Rau and Russian president Vladimir Putin have launched a two-year program of joint cultural events to reinforce ties between their countries. During a ceremony in Berlin’s Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt Sunday (February 9), the two leaders praised the arts as a foundation of German-Russian friendship that can help bridge differences of opinion.

Calling the opening of the cultural series "a moving moment" in the history of German-Russian relations, Rau spoke of a level of partnership "that we have not known in decades." That partnership may be especially significant for Berlin, he added, which more than any other German city has become a second home for many Russians. More than 130,000 native Russian speakers live in the German capital today, he observed. Rau also thanked Putin for his gesture of reconciliation during a ceremony commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad last week, when he asked Russians to remember both German and Russian soldiers who had fallen there.

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic kicked off the German-Russian arts program with a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s "Coriolanus Overture" and Peter Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. The program will continue throughout 2003 and 2004 with some 350 musical events, exhibitions, theatre productions, film screenings and lectures in both countries. The project was conceived in part to honour the Russian city of St. Petersburg, which is celebrating its tercentennial this year. On May 31, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will join President Putin for the unveiling of the city’s legendary Amber Room, an 18th-century gift from Prussia that was stolen at the end of World War II and has been reconstructed with financial aid from Germany.


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