The project "Frieden erfahren" from Pforzheim to Gernika
The slogan of the project is “Frieden erfahren …” (experiencing peace, but it also means to gain peace by covering a distance)
In 2009 it’s been 20 years since the cities of Pforzheim and Gernika took up their partnership relation. The II World War was initiated by the Germans 70 years ago. Both cities share a common fate, both were mostly destroyed by bombing attacks.
Picasso’s painting Guernica states a symbol for such destruction; it reminds the almost complete destruction of Gernika by the German Condor legion during the Spanish Civil War.
Previous the signing of the partnership agreement between both cities, a group of young people from Pforzheim went on a bicycle tour all the way from Pforzheim to Gernika with the objective to make a call for Peace and Friendship.
The idea for repeating this year of the 20th anniversary such a long distance bicycle-ride, which is quite demanding in terms of sports, has been brought up by some of the former participants in 1988. This year again, the cyclists want to carry Friendship and Understanding through Europe and they want to make a stand for Peace and Reconciliation cultivating old friendships and developing new ones using an ecological means of transport. The bicycle symbolises that every single citizen is able to make his own personal contribution to this aims without loosing quality of life, comfort or mobility.
The group will be accompanied by cyclists from all the nations involved. Throughout the tour other cyclists will be able to join the group covering different sections of the distance together with them. Other citizens and associations will be able to make a contribution by signing the Tour diary. The towns where the different stages end will contribute with other activities in order to provide a warm reception of the group. Daily information on the tour-events will be provided through a web-blog.
As a visible sign one of the cyclists (Roland Ruisz, who had already participated in the first tour) will render his impressions of each stage on paper by doing a coal or red chalk drawing, or a watercolour painting ) right after their arrival.
These drawings will be shown to the public through an exposition at the House of Culture in Gernika and are to be sold through an auction after the group returns to Pforzheim which will be part of the reception event. Part of the amount collected at the event will be destinated to support the work of the Association for Peace Research Gernika Gogoratuz.