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Polish President Komorowski and German President Gauck Are Guests Of Honour at Matthiae Meal

After seven years, a German head of state will be participating once again at Hamburg traditional feast dinner.

In 2008, the former German President Horst Köhler attended the dinner, in 1989, the former German President Richard von Weizsäcker had been a guest of honour. The latest guest of honour from Poland had joined the meal in 2009: Donald Tusk, then Prime Minister and today President of the European Council The invitation extended to the Polish president Bronisław Komorowski is not only sign of the excellent German-Polish relations, but also a recognition of Poland’s contribution to the reunification of Germany and the unification of Europe.

The Fall Of The Iron Curtain Started In Poland

The triumph of the peaceful revolution in Central and Eastern Europe began in August 1980 in Poland with the formation of the Solidarity trade union movement, in which Poland’s President Komorowski has been involved from the beginning. In the current year, the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990 will be celebrated by a 25-year festival. German President Joachim Gauck was a leading member of the New Forum in Rostock during the peaceful revolution in the GDR. On March 18, 1990, he was elected to the parliament of the German Democratic Republic. He later worked as a longtime Special Representative of the Federal Government in clarifying personal documents of the former State Security Service.

Intense Ties With Poland

Ties between Hamburg and Poland are traditionally strong, with co-operation taking place in trade,shipping, yY
youth, education, science, sports, culture, and other areas. 648 Hamburg companies are involved in trade with Poland, about 100 of them are represented with its own branch in the neighbouring country. 26,000 Poles are at home in Hamburg, and more than 100,000 Hamburg are otherwise related to the Polish culture and language. At thre Polish Consulate General in Hamburg, established as early as 1921, General Marian Cichosz is handling bilateral affairs forthe states of Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony. and Schleswig-Holstein.

The World’s Oldest Festive Meal

Celebrated the first time in 1356, the Matthiae meal in Hamburg is the world’s oldest feast dinner. It was named after the Matthiae day, 24 February, the first day of spring in medieval times. The Senate traditionally invites some 400 representatives from politics, economy, science, culture and the entire consular corps of Hamburg to the banquet at city hall, where a foreign and a German guest of honour always address the guests.

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