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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 20, 2007

UCG film crew visits Bundestag

Filed under UCG-Germany

The German parliament, the Bundestag, was the main item on today’s itinerary for Peter Eddington and Clay Thornton.

In 2000 the Bundestag officially moved to Berlin from Bonn press passes for Bundestag and now convenes in the "Reichstagsgebäude", as it is called officially. The Reichtstag was originally built during Kaiser Wilhelm’s time and was heavily damaged in the final days of World War II. Jesmina Allaoua was able to arrange for Peter Eddington and Clay Thornton (and herself) to be accredited as members of the press for the day’s visit to the Bundestag. Since the “Gute Nachrichten” magazine is a German publication, officially registered in Germany, obtaining the accreditaton was just a matter of a few phone calls and some paperwork, showing the advantage of being recognized as a domestic publisher.

Having the press pass provided access to press Peter Eddington and Clay Thornton in Bundestag box of the plenary hall of the Bundestag, where Peter and Clay were able to videotape the Bundestag in session. Later they visited the glass covered rotunda of the Bundestag and videotaped a brief interview with Mrs. Lisa Winkelmeier-Becker, a member of the Bundestag representing the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU). Jesmina had arranged the interview in advance and also asked the questions. Mrs. Winkelmeier-Becker commented on the state of the German-American relationship now that Angela Merkel is Germany’s chancellor. The interview also provided Peter and Clay a chance to videotape from the rotunda, since the use of videocameras is otherwise prohibited there.

The immediate vicinity of the Clay Thornton, Jesmina Allaoua and Peter Eddington at Brandenburg gate Reichstag provides a historic contrast of Germany. On the northwest side you see the new offices of Bundestag members and the office of the chancellor, and 250 meters to the east is the Brandenburg gate. During the days of the Berlin wall, the Reichstag was just a few meters on the West Berlin side of the wall, and the Brandenburg gate was just a few meters on the eastern side of the wall. With the Brandenburg gate as a background, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave his famous Berlin speech in June 1987, saying "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The Brandenburg gate – this time viewed from east to west – provided an interesting backdrop for Clay, Jesmina and Peter as they continued their videotaping. They also visited the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, which was destroyed during an air raid in November 1943 and preserved in its destroyed state as a reminder of "the wrath God wrought on Germany" during the war (as a memorial plaque on the church says).

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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