After the fall of the berlin wall in 1989, the gates between burggrub and neuhaus-schierschnitz opened after decades of brutal cordoning off by the GDR rulers, on 24. November 1989. New friendships were formed after total isolation. Joy and gratitude fill the citizens of both communities. And this gratitude is visible and has a name: the first german border and peace chapel in burgggrub.
It was built by volunteers at the former german-german border between burggrub in bavaria and neuhaus-schierschnitz in thuringia, which was secured by barbed wire, minefields, firing ranges and watchtowers. This exemplary initiative caused a sensation throughout germany and continues to do so to this day. Finally, messages of peace were more important than ever, especially today in a world in crisis, said pastor michael foltin.
However, the well-attended church festival service at the border and peace chapel in burggrub took place under difficult conditions because of the corona pandemic. For the organizers, this was a special challenge. Invited by the burggrub chapel building association with its chairwoman angelika rosenbauer-chukwu. Among the visitors were also citizens from the large municipality of stockheim and from neuhaus-schierschnitz. For 28 years, the 44-member interest group has been in charge of this symbolic structure, which commemorates the peaceful reunification at the former iron curtain. Willi bischoff chaired the club for 26 years. Since 1992, men and women have invested a lot of free time in the maintenance, care and finally also in renovation work.
Chairwoman rosenbauer-chukwu, together with the board members, most of whom have been active since the founding, invited the members to the church consecration service on the 13th of this year. Sunday after trinitatis invited. Finally, according to the chairwoman, it is still of great importance to use this chapel to commemorate the former ill-fated border and to call for peace in the world. "I can safely say that this memorial has become a place of contemplation and a place of refuge for the burdened. The 16 gastebuchers bear witness to how many tears have been shed in this place and how much suffering and pain have been brought before god in request."
Peace, faith and hope
The church festival service, which was musically framed by the burggrub trombone choir under the direction of herbert hempfling, was also attended by the pastor of the church district of sonneberg, armin kordak. After all, there is a close and cordial relationship with the neighboring municipality in thuringia, said the chairwoman. The service, which was celebrated by pastor michael foltin together with pastor kordak, was marked by peace, faith and hope. After all, this chapel had lost none of its symbolic power. She is still a strong force to overcome the divisive," she said.
Father foltin recalled in particular the consecration 28 years ago with international participation. At this place one could experience the strengthening of faith. Pastor kordak appealed to the faithful to practice a christianity of action. Love of the neighbor is in the foreground. Ultimately, one must always find the right word to the fellow human beings.
The service was opened with the sound of the former neuhaus castle bell, which has found a fitting place in the tower of the chapel. Finally, pastor foltin announced that on the occasion of 30. Anniversary of german unification on saturday, 3. October, an ecumenical thanksgiving service will be held at 10 a.M. At the border and peace chapel.