In celebration of the 24th anniversary of Germany’s unification, the German Senior National Representative, Colonel Peter M. Baierl and the German contingent based in Stavanger, Norway, hosted a festive reception on 3 October for all JWC staff, represented by 16 Nations, and their families.
“The Day of German Unity” (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is a national holiday in Germany and it commemorates the anniversary of the German unification that went into effect in 1990, a year after the Iron Curtain was torn down.
Welcoming the guests, Major General Reinhard Wolski, Commander JWC, provided insight into the events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, an event which is as much a part of world history as it is a milestone of German history.
Major General Wolski said: “We are truly grateful for the support European countries provided to Germany and its people during that fragile phase before 3 October 1990. Undoubtedly, the United States of America has been always the earliest and greatest supporter of the re-unification idea and its swift realization, and General Watkins, Roger, a special thank-you to you and all American people.”
Major General Wolski then noted that because the German unification was based on great effort and support from other nations, Germany today actively participates in multi-national operations to defend or restore peace and human rights when called upon by organizations such as NATO, the UN or the European Union.
“Germany, as of today, is engaged in 12 coalition operations around the world,” Major General Wolski said, adding: “The gift of freedom in peace and unity is the reason why Germany assumed responsibility for making Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia a better place --- together with you, our partners and friends. Thank you.”
Another highlight of the celebration was the guest appearance of Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr (established in 1957) which later in the evening performed a joint concert with the Royal Norwegian Naval Forces Band (Sjøforsvarets Musikkorps) in Stavanger’s Kuppelhallen (details below).
Following the band’s performance, the guests enjoyed the anniversary reception featuring traditional German culinary specialties along with German wines, a splendid anniversary cake baked by Tanja Eissfeldt, as well as various cultural presentations.
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Outstanding joint concert by the Royal Norwegian Naval Forces Band and the Concert Band of the German Armed Forces
The evening performance in Kuppelhallen was an outstanding example of cooperation through music: “Thank you and well done to all that took part in this event; the concert was outstanding,” Major General Reinhard Wolski said.
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Terje Boye Hansen from the Norwegian Naval Band as well as Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Scheibling from the Musikkorps der Bundeswehr. We had the opportunity to listen to an extraordinary entertaining programme tonight. And those who are not here missed a great performance.”
Major General Wolski then praised the young Norwegian recruits who were present and said: “We hope you enjoyed the concert, but even more important than this, thank you very much indeed for serving your country and NATO; you can feel very proud about this honourable duty.”
Major General Wolski also thanked the Chief of Madla Camp for their outstanding support to the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC). He said: “Stavanger is home to both the JWC and Camp Madla, and without your support JWC’s mission would be quite impossible; so thank you very much for your strong support and cooperation.”
Following Major General Wolski’s speech, the concert concluded with the national anthems of Norway and Germany.
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