Federal Cross of Merit, with Sash, Awarded to Ingo Ruediger Isert
Heribert Reich, Minister of the Interior: "Substantial Contributions to Understanding among Peoples"
27 November 2008
German President Horst Koehler has awarded to Ingo Ruediger Isert the Federal Cross of Merit, with Sash. Heribert Reich, Minister of the Interior and State [Land of Baden-Wuerttemberg] Government Representative to the Displaced, Refugees and Resettlers, presented this high decoration on Thursday, November 27, 2008. The Minister also conveyed congratulations from the State's Prime Minister and of the State Government. "We are pleased that the recipient of this high honor, Ingo Ruediger Isert, is a citizen of our State who has for decades been engaged tirelessly in the interest of Bessarabia-Germans," commented Reich [and summarized Isert's contributions as follows].
Isert's decades-long, volunteer efforts on behalf of Bessarabia-Germans demands the highest recognition and respect. Since 1977 he has been a member of the Landsmannschaft and Heimatmuseum of Germans from Bessarabia, and in 2007 on he became chair of the newly-founded Bessarabienverein e.V. [Bessarabian-German Association]. Under his strong and cooperative effort subsequent to the acquisition of a building site for the "House of Bessarabia-Germans," the Bessarabia-German Library, a Photo and Slide Archive as well as a Family Resource Department were established. Isert was the driving force behind the fresh design of the exhibition rooms in the Heimatmuseum. The work of the Heimatmuseum and, thereby, that of Ingo Ruediger Isert, has been valued very highly.
Thanks to Isert's negotiation skills, the Assistance Committee of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Bessarabia, the Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Bessarsbien and the Heimatmusem der Deutschen aus Bessarabien merged in 2005. The new Association, with its headquarters in Stuttgart, in addition to the museum, library, image archive and family resources, also offers resources for faith, for maintaining culture and traditions, and in organizing of trips to Bessarabia. Furthermore, a newspaper appears bi-weekly, and the "Heimatkalender" annually, and Isert contributes articles and other reports to both.
Via many visits to the former Bessarabia, Isert maintains contacts with the population and with representatives of local officialdom there. At the same time, regular visits [from Bessarabia] occur, for example, the 2006 visit by Vladimir Voronin, President of the Republic of Moldova. "Through these contacts, you have provided an essential contribution to understanding between peoples," emphasized the Minister. Moreover, Isert did everything in his power to prepare for the inaugural visit by Federal President Horst Koehler to Stuttgart in 2004. Through an comprehensive information file he presented Koehler with the history of the Bessarabia-Germans and, in particular, the history of the [Bessarabian] origins of the Koehler family, and Koehler was obviously pleased with this impressive presentation of his family's history.
By his exemplary, decades-long engagement on behalf of Bessarabia-Germans, Isert has helped to document the history of this ethnic group and helped to maintain the rich culture of the Bessarabia-Germans in this country as well. Through his many trips to the homeland of his ancestors, he built up contacts and, thereby, bridges toward a new understanding between peoples. "For your exemplary and untiring engagement, I wish to express my sincere thanks and those of the entire State government," said Reich in conclusion.
Press Release by the Ministry of the Interior, Baden-Wuerttemberg