The Words of the Piepenburg Family
Dr. Moon's Arrival In Europe - First Stop: Poland
October 24, 2005
IIFWP-Europe Secretary General
Dr. and Mrs. Moonís party arrived in Warsaw, the first stop of their thirteen city European tour, on a cheerful autumn morning in late October. Coming from the Baltics where the seasons were more advanced, Mother Moon commented on the beautiful sight of the colors of the autumn trees. At the hotel, the door was widely opened and the elevators were waiting to take the party up to the 20th floor, giving a view of Warsaw, a city completely reborn in the past 15 years.
Meanwhile volunteers continued to invite people by way of bringing them to an exhibition about the Universal Peace Federation, organized in the center of Warsaw in the upper rooms of a well known café, dating back to 1866. Because of this exhibition, we could crack the 500 mark two days before the event and came very close to the 700 confirmed invitations.
Then at the event itself, people started to stream in in ever increasing numbers. It became clear not everybody would possibly fit into the hall. Several times the MC had to announce and ask those families with young children to stand up and empty their seats for our guests. The hall had a capacity of 550, but there must have been a total of over 700 people. The doors at the entrance of the hall could not be closed, because people were crowding there and standing all along the wall.
Apart from Warsaw residents, there were a lot of foreign visitors: 240 from Germany; a busload of 50 from Holland.. In fact the hotel management became so worried about the big influx of people that at one point they closed the hotel completely, and let only as many people in as were going out. Only towards the end they would allow everybody in.
Before long Father Moon was on stage in Europe for the first time in almost two decades, and he had plenty to say. He was full of vigor and stamina and stayed on the podium for over one and a half hours. At one point he said that he was feeling very close to the audience. "You may feel so close to me that you wonít want to leave me anymore" he said as he explained about exchange marriage as a way to peace, and elaborating on the significance of this day for the UN.
After the speech Mother Moon joined him on the stage and they were given bouquets of flowers and a large trophy by a combination of Polish and German Ambassadors for Peace.
One of the German Ambassador for Peace, a long term friend and Bishop of the Mormon Church, expressed his dismay at the fact the Dr. and Mrs. Moon canít enter Germany: at this point. "Nobody understands this entry ban, when it is clear that Rev. Moon works for bringing peace and harmony among the nations, races and religions," he said. Feeling the Spirit present, he urged all participants to join the work of Rev. Moon in "establishing Godís Kingdom on earth."
Then, unexpectedly Imam Sajid from Great Britain took the podium and congratulated the Polish people on hosting such an event. He himself would always refer to Father and Mother Moon as True Parents, he said. Sajid was followed by Christoph Gago, the Secretary General of for the Peace Federation in Poland, who took to the podium and, within three minutes summarized Dr. Moonís message and called on the Ambassadors for Peace to make a commitment to develop the Universal Peace Federation.
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