The Words of the Schmidt Family
The amphitheater on May 19, when Father spoke; the little Angels had performed at the same venue the day before.
A dream came true for Germany. For German brothers and sisters, it was a very intense and long struggle to overcome the Schengen ban, which had prevented True Parents from entering not only Germany but also all other European countries that had signed the Schengen treaty. I regret this very much. After a long legal battle, we were internally so desperate and determined to win; we started a national condition of heart. In every possible way we expressed to God our desire to bring True Parents back to Germany and Europe. Shortly after offering these conditions, a miracle happened: the Supreme Court fully agreed to lift the ban, applying the constitutional law for religious freedom. This year, True Parents entered Germany on May 16 without immigration even checking their passports.
Preparations to welcome the Little Angels in Berlin had started in March. When I heard about True Parents' upcoming world tour, I immediately felt that they should come at the same time to Berlin. Is there a better "John the Baptist" than the Little Angels for True Parents? I was sure that their performance could greatly help to change the negative image of True Father in Germany. The combination of a pure-hearted professional performance given by young girls would open the German people's hearts toward True Father.
True Parents stayed at the renowned Adlon Hotel, a symbol of German unity, situated on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate. In 1965, True Father had prayed on the west side of the gate for German unification. No he could experience the fulfillment of his prayer.
Heaven had prepared a very special venue for the event as well. We had signed contracts with two theaters that just a few weeks before had both been cancelled. It seemed impossible to find another place in so short a time. But then, thanks to God and the spirit world, we found the Tempodrom, which is much bigger in size and was available not only for the performance of the Little Angels but also for True Father's address, which we wanted to have the following day. When I saw the venue from the outside, my heart was moved and inspired. The roof looks like a crown. This is the crown God wants to give the True Parents at the end of the European tour, I thought.
In 1987, many European brothers and sisters came to Berlin to demonstrate against the Berlin Wall. Under Hyo-jin nim's leadership, we held the largest demonstration against the wall in the history of Germany. The persecution at that time was immense from all political parties, from communists as well as from Christians and the media. This time we did not have any persecution. To the contrary, we received congratulatory messages from the mayor of Berlin, from former chancellor (1982-1998) Dr. Helmut Kohl and from acting President Christian Wulff. All of them praised the Little Angels and wished them much success, knowing that Rev. Sun Myung Moon is their founder. What a miracle!
The biggest challenge for us was to fill the hall, which holds three thousand seats, on two consecutive days. We announced the performance less than a month in advance. However after three weeks all the tickets, more than three thousand five hundred, were already ordered. We had not even started our poster campaign. We could not give out any more tickets but started to explain that ticket holders had a chance not only to see the Little Angels but also to listen to the Founder's Address directly the following day. In the end, the hall was completely packed on both evenings. The first evening, True Parents were in the front row watching the Little Angels performance. "This is the first time in forty-seven years that True Parents have watched the program from beginning to end," Dr. Bo-hi Pak shared with us later. True Father did not leave the hall even during the intermission. He wanted to stay there. For me this was the most moving moment: to see Father sitting there, radiating his love with a full crowd behind him. We had all hoped for such an appropriate audience to welcome the Messiah.
The feeling of unity, respect, trust and harmony was always present during our mobilization in Berlin. First and second generation members worked together, reaching out to religious, cultural and public institutions, as well as to embassies. From the heart, everyone was willing to do anything. Members of staff at the hotel and the Tempodrom said they were deeply impressed by our church members.
What True Father did in his short time in Berlin was the biggest miracle. He demonstrated to us the joy of living in Cheon Il Guk during Hoon Dok Hae, when he started dancing and singing with other True Family members and with all of us. It felt as if the whole German spiritual world was dancing with us.
We experienced his determination and seriousness when we heard that he had been speaking all night long to Korean elders. We sensed his love for nature while strolling with the True Family through the beautiful Castle Charlottenburg park, where Father enjoyed the beautiful spring flowers. All of us experienced the power of God when True Father spoke with authority to the German people in the Tempodrom. Our ambassadors for peace appeared deeply impressed and said that the German people are serious and they need such a strong speech. Mrs. Gudrun Botembe, who received a plaque of honor the day before, had read almost the whole autobiography during the night. She said that she prayed through the whole of Father's speech, anxiously wishing that Father would finish well, aware that at his age it is difficult to stand for so long. Even a formerly antagonistic journalist commented in an article that one could not gauge Father's age, he spoke with such power.
Father suggested we change the German flag by removing the black from the top, symbolizing that the dark German history is behind us, and a new bright future lies ahead. Twenty-one years after the peaceful reunification of East Germany and West Germany, the Messiah came to open a new era for Germany. A new history can begin now and we will be victorious, as Father promised us at the end of his speech.