Central Europe—Representatives of Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany held their second international Peace Road event of meeting at a hilltop border triangle.
A total of 118 participants hiked to the top of the hill where three monuments mark the three nations’ borders. Forty participants were from the Czech Republic, 36 from Germany, and 32 from Austria—with a special delegation of 10 from South Korea. At least half of the participants were young people.
Following the popularity of last year’s Peace Road trek to the same location, the event on June 25, 2022, had more participants, more music, more flags, more songs, more speakers, more VIPs … and more weather.
On their way to the top of the 1,330-meter Three Country Corner, the participants experienced rain and thick fog when they set off. The closer they got to the top, however, the drier and brighter the weather became. The notorious Bohemian wind pushed the clouds aside with great force, and the beautiful blue sky and sun came out.
The meeting started with the participants singing You Are My Sunshine.
Dr. Juraj Lajda, the president of UPF for the Czech Republic, led the program of almost one hour with eloquence.
In a short welcoming speech he said he was happy that the representatives of the three neighboring nations could meet again. He said the Peace Road initiative is very important to demonstrate the will for reconciliation and unity among nations. He welcomed the special guests from the Republic of Korea who joined this event.
There was a beautiful flag ceremony with the flags of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union. The flag bearers walked in a large circle and then shook hands.
Peter Haider, the president of UPF-Austria, expressed his wish that someday a Peace Rally like this would be held on the 38th parallel in Korea and that the Korean Peninsula would be unified.
Karl-Christian Hausmann, the president of UPF-Germany, emphasized that all people possess the qualities of passion, love, and a sense of justice and that we are God’s creations. If we become fully human, he said, the solution for the world’s problems will come. He reminded his listeners that, just like the weather that day, the reunification of Germany once looked foggy. Nevertheless, German reunification did finally happen. This also will happen in Korea, he concluded.
Florian Stögmüller, sent as a representative of Mayor Michael Leitner of the nearby Austrian town of Schwarzenberg, said that now we take it for granted to walk here freely across three countries. He expressed hope that one day it also will be like this on the Korean Peninsula.
Erika Lajdová from UPF in the Czech Republic read the Prayer for Peace from St. Francis of Assisi.
Other speakers were:
Dr. Catriona Valenta and Tae-sun Waldner, representing the German branch of Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP);
Renate Amesbauer, the president of WFWP-Austria;
Yoo Jae-hon, representing the Association of All Koreans Living in Europe;
Paek Young-woo, a former mayor of the South Korean city of Incheon.
Each of the speakers addressed a different aspect of peace, including living together, reconciliation and forgiveness, and peaceful coexistence.
The final speaker, Dr. Dieter Schmidt, the president of UPF for Central Europe, emphasized that peace starts with God when we realize that we have one origin and understand that we are brothers and sisters. We should not allow another division in Europe, he said. It is our dream: one Europe. The unification of Germany over 30 years ago was a dream that finally came true. The same will happen on the Korean Peninsula, and Korea will be united. Finally Dr. Schmidt paid tribute to the founders of the Peace Road, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
A special focus of this year's Peace Road event was the unity of North and South Korea – overcoming the separation of the hostile brothers.
A delegation of VIPs from South Korea had come to Europe especially for this event: two professors, a former parliamentarian, a successful businessman, and the former mayor of Incheon, along with their wives.
This Peace Road event at the border triangle deeply touched the hearts of the Korean guests. Seeing the sincere commitment of Europeans to the reunification of the two Koreas brought tears to their eyes.
One of the Korean participants later wrote a report about the Peace Road event, which was published in the Incheon Ilbo newspaper on July 3, 2022.