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Peace Education

Peace Road Event Commemorates Berlin Airlift

Germany-2021-08-14-Peace Road Event Remembers Berlin Airlift

Frankfurt, Germany—UPF held a Peace Road event in which participants bicycled and hiked to the Berlin Airlift Memorial.

In this year that is the 60th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall—a sad symbol of Germany’s division of more than 40 years—a group of about 50 UPF-Frankfurt supporters and friends joined a Peace Road event that was a symbol of bridge-building for peace.

Based on an inspiration from UPF supporter Albert Mobo, a motto was formulated: “Build bridges—overcome divisions.” Invitations were designed and distributed; the necessary permission and police approval were obtained; and increasing numbers of participants registered, including some from more distant places such as the city of Giessen.

On Saturday morning, August 14, 2021, three groups set off on their way to the Berlin Airlift Memorial, located on the edge of Frankfurt Airport. The bicyclists, escorted by two police officers on motorcycles, rode from the Frankfurt-Höchst Underground station; the hikers started out from the new Gateway Gardens office district; a third group, comprising older, less mobile participants and very young “short-distance runners,” came from the nearby Zeppelinheim Underground station.

Directly under one of the U.S. C-47 military airplanes used in the Berlin Airlift—which from 1948 to 1949 brought food and fuel to the residents of Berlin who were being blockaded by the Soviet Union—the Peace Road participants unfurled a banner with the message “Connecting the World through Peace – One Global Family United to Realize One Dream.”

UPF-Frankfurt representative Claus Dubisz recalled the history of the Peace Road and tied the memory of the Berlin Airlift, which connected peoples, to the hope of a united Korea. He expressed the certainty that many more participants would join in the next Peace Road event.

Je Hun Yoo, the chairman of the Association of Koreans in Europe, praised the project for its encouragement of faith, hope, love, and a peaceful world, and he appreciated the broad international support for overcoming the division of Korea.

Norbert Kandzorra from the Frankfurt-Berlin Airlift Association briefly explained the history of the airlift, which most of the participants had only heard about. He demonstrated how a political-logistical undertaking finally became a project that brought together in heart those who had been enemies in World War II: the people of Berlin and the United States.

Mr. Kandzorra mentioned that one of the airlift pilots, Gail Halvorsen, now 100 years old, became known as the “Berlin candy bomber.” It was he who spontaneously had the idea of using mini-parachutes to drop sweets from his airplane for the children of Berlin. Despite the misgivings of his superiors, many other pilots went on to follow his example. Thus a bridge for cargo became a bridge of friendship, and dreary green transport planes became “raisin bombers.”

The Peace Road event ended on a family note with a picnic and the unique opportunity to see the inside of the legendary Douglas C-47 military transport aircraft.

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