The Words of the Koch Family

Eurasian Glory -- Master's Trip Through Europe - Germany to Italy

Peter Koch
August 22, 1965
New Age Frontiers -- September 1965

You are probably anxiously awaiting a report on the Master's trip through Europe, so I will continue the story where Elke left off last month.

On August 6, our Leader, Mrs. Choi, Miss Kim, Mr. Nishikawa, Paul Werner and I left our Center in Essen for a trip across the European continent.

Our first goal was Amsterdam, Holland. We arrived there in the late afternoon and phoned Theo Verheyen. He came to the hotel and presented the first copy of the Dutch translation of the Divine Principles to the Leader. Without losing any time the Leader looked for a suitable place and blessed the Holy Ground in Vondelpark.

The next day we went up on a high building at the port of Amsterdam from where we had a wonderful view. This was followed by a sightseeing trip by boat taking us through the many channels and under the numerous low bridges of this "Venice of the North." We then visited the Rijksmuseum and the RAI building, a huge international conference center. A nice incident occurred in a park that day. On one of the ponds we saw a number of ducks. We all tried to call them but they would not come to us. They stayed near our Master. No matter how hard we tried they would not leave him. Not only that, but from the other side a whole swarm of sparrows came, and some of them even ate out of his hand.

The following morning Theo came along with us to accompany our Leader to Brussels, Belgium. After blessing Holy Ground in a park opposite the king's residence, our Leader wanted to visit a certain museum. However, by the time we arrived there it was almost closing time. Nevertheless, in order to make a condition we had to visit the museum. The whole building! In eight minutes! I never laughed so much as I did on that occasion. Imagine seven heavenly soldiers with smiling faces rushing through the exhibition halls like a storm! In the evening we took Theo to the train station since he had to be back in Amsterdam the next morning.

On August 9, we left Brussels for Luxembourg. In the afternoon Holy Ground was blessed on a hill north of the city. When we visited the city of Luxembourg, we didn't even miss the nice little University which is about the size of our Berkeley Center. In order not to waste time we proceeded directly to the French border which we crossed shortly after midnight.

We reached Paris early in the morning. As usual, the first thing to do in a city was the selection and blessing of Holy Ground. In this case it was near the Eiffel Tower. After this we took a sightseeing trip by bus and boat through Paris, and visited Napoleon's tomb.

The second day was also spent in sightseeing Paris. You can stay for weeks in that city doing nothing but sightseeing, but we had to cram it all into two days. We saw the cathedral of Notre Dame and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. After a picnic at the Holy Ground, we visited the Louvre, that indescribable collection of art. Here, as in all museums we visited, our Master bought a lot of color slides for a cultural center in Korea. Although we have been to a great number of tourist places during our trip, it was obvious that our Leader was not there as a tourist.

Since our visas were valid only for a three-day stay in France, we had to get out of the country in a hurry. A good day's drive through the beautiful Provence brought us to Geneva, Switzerland, where Reiner Vincenz of Frankfurt had been waiting for us.

The first thing next morning was the blessing of Holy Ground near a huge tree in the Parc Trembley. In the afternoon we made a trip to the Alps, and by cable car we went up to the glacier of Les Diablerets (10,000 feet). Here the Leader blessed Holy Ground just below the third, and highest, cable car station.

On August 14, we visited the building of the League of Nations (now UNO building), Calvin's church and a museum. At noon we set out on our trip across Switzerland, and at night we arrived at Vaduz, the tiny capital of the country of Liechtenstein.

Very early in the morning our Leader selected Holy Ground at a parking lot about 1,000 feet west of the bank building. We then started on a long drive all the way across Austria. Our visas did not allow a second entry into Germany, so in order to avoid German territory we had to take some back roads winding their way through the mountains. Although it was quite a bouncy ride, the beauty of the scenery made up for much of the discomfort. Late at night we arrived at Vienna.

The following day Holy Ground was blessed in the park near the city hall. The remainder of the day was spent visiting a museum, the cathedral of St. Stephen, the radio tower near the river Danube, and the castle of Schoenbrunn. It was interesting to observe the fish corning to the Master when he clapped his hands.

Since we still had to visit the National Museum, our departure next morning was somewhat delayed. So it was close to midnight, after a long drive across the Alps, when we stopped just short of our goal of Venice, Italy.

The following morning we made a stop-over at Venice to take a sightseeing trip in a motor gondola. When we had seen this historic old town, we rushed on to Rome to be met by Doris Walder, our first missionary to Italy.

On August 19, the Leader selected a cypress tree in the park of the Villa Borghese as the center of the Holy Ground. We then visited the catacombs and toured the ancient city of Rome. Amelita Stacy, who is an official guide, explained all the old buildings and ruins from pre-Christian and early-Christian times. Rome is quite a city to see: statues of white marble; many, many fountains; old brown buildings; big watermelons piled up in the streets; people sleeping in the sun; souvenir vendors swarming around the tourists.

The next day was reserved for the Vatican. Holy Ground was blessed on St. Peter's Square. Then we went to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Cathedral with its crypt in which many popes are buried. In the evening we had a meeting at Barbara Burrow's place with a few people who are interested in the Principles.

At this point I feel I should mention something which may be of interest to you. I had not expected this at all, but I left the Vatican with a completely changed attitude toward the Catholic Church. I am now convinced that the Catholic section of the spirit world is very much on our side, trying to lead the Catholic world to the Lord of the Second Advent.

In order to visit another large city in Italy our Leader, Mrs. Choi, Miss Kim, Doris and Paul went to Naples the next day. For the evening Doris had arranged a meeting at which people who are interested in the Divine Principles were given the opportunity of meeting our Master. It was a wonderful evening at Mrs. Nathan's house.

Sunday, August 22, was the day on which our beloved Leader had to leave us in order to continue his trip around the world. We accompanied the party to the airport. Nothing can describe our feelings at the last handshake, the last 'Monsay', the last waving of hands. We rushed to the gallery to see the Leader and his party board the plane. A last waving of arms, then the door of the plane was closed. At 2 pm the plane took off. We stood there with tears in our eyes, watching the Son of Man disappear in the clouds from whence we had seen him come four weeks earlier.

This is a rather factual report on the events of the last three weeks, and I am afraid it contains only what any superficial witness would have observed. I regret that the deepest experiences (and the most important ones) have to remain unwritten. There are just no words for them. This is something you have to experience within yourself. You could never gain this experience by reading a report, and it would be entirely impossible to relate it to you in its full depth by writing it down.

Concluding, we can only say that we have gained a great deal of wisdom, strength and love during the visit of our True Father. We are so grateful that our eyes had been opened so that we could recognize him. Let us bring the same joy to the people in the world who are still in darkness. 

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