Honoring Georg Hildebrandt

"Honoring Georg Hildebrandt." Volk auf dem Weg, October 2003, 28.

Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

State Secretary Michael Sieber presents the Federal Order of Merit to Goerg Hildebrandt on July 27, 2003.
On July 27, 2003, in the renowned Luise-Ebert Senior Center in Heidelberg, the oldest well-known and active German from Russia, Georg Hildebrandt, was honored -- in double fashion.

One of two occasions was a previously postponed celebration, now attended by an extended circle of family and friends, of Georg Hildebrandt's 92nd birthday; the second occasion being the presentation of the Federal Order of Merit by Michael Sieber, State Secretary. Among many others, Bundestag representatives Vera Langsfeld (CDU) and Dirk Niebel (FDP), had sent congratulatory messages and greetings. Follow countryman Dr. Johannes Derzap of Munich delivered the speech honoring Georg Hildebrandt. Klaus German and his wife had traveled from Berlin to be in attendance as well. Mr. German had distinguished himself, particularly in the 1980s, by his efforts on behalf of all those Germans from Russia who had been detained by Gorbachev, with all measures imaginable, from leaving the Soviet Union.

The honoree took special pleasure in the performance of a musical bouquet of songs by the Choir of the Luise-Ebert Center, the most famous of these songs being "Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren [I left my heart in Heidelberg]."

Following the ceremony Georg Hildebrandt poses with his dearest female friends representing three generations (left to right): Tamara Wiens, Laura Wiens, and Marlis Lowka.
Asked about what he had dreamed for in his youth, Hildebrandt answered without hesitation: "I always dreamed of returning home to Germany." However, his dream was not fulfilled until 1974, following forty years of more or less permanent detention in Soviet camps and jails far, far from home.

Today Hildebrandt appears as a very sprightly 92-year-old, who lives in the fine environment of a comfortable home for seniors and keeps up wonderful relationships with the German-Russian family Wiens, with his neighbor in the Luise-Ebert Center, Marlis Lowka, and with numerous friends near and far.

During many conversations, he is the center of everyone's attention and is asked to answer many questions about his life in the Soviet Union and about the book that deals with his own fateful story, "Wieso lebst du noch [Why are you still alive]?" The answer to that question is contained in his book, which you may order from the Landsmannschaft. Every one of us should read it!

Our appreciation is expressed to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

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