Every monday the opponents to the GDR regime met at the Nikolai church in Leipzig. With candles in their hands – speeches, “stille und schweigend” as said one of the leaders, former priest at the church, Christian Führer, who also referred to the 70.000 people who formed the “Leipziger Ring” on October 9 1989. “Jetzt oder Nie. Demokratie”.
The other day these important moments in the history of Germany were remembered at an award ceremony full of dignity in the church, where the festival and the Stiftung Friedliche Revolution (Peaceful Revolution) inaugurated the first “Leipziger Ring” prize – a beautiful statue and 5000 Euros. The awarded film was from New Zealand, “There once was an island” about a Polynesian culture about to disappear. Festival director Claas Danielsen referred to an 1983 incident where a group of young people welcomed the foreign guests with candles in their hands protesting against the regime – some of them were sentenced to one year of prison, and expressed his joy to the natural connection between current history and the festival. A very special evening it was with speeches, organ music, and a film screening.
Photo: Friedensgebete in der Leipziger Nikolaikirche, 30. Oktober 1989, Gerhard Gäbler.