Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (20 February) presented the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to Professor Rudolf von Thadden on behalf of the Federal President.
Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier paid tribute to Professor von Thadden during a ceremony held at the Federal Foreign Office:
"Today we are honouring not just an outstanding academic but also a committed democrat, a great European and a tireless pioneer of Franco-German understanding. This is the life work of Rudolf von Thadden.
I'm delighted that Professor von Thadden continues to advise us on Franco-German intersocietal cooperation and that we – whether in connection with the Franco-German textbook for schools or the further development of the Weimar Triangle – can rely on his advice and experience."
The Federal Republic of Germany is bestowing this honour on Professor von Thadden in recognition of his many years of successful commitment to both Franco-German and Polish-German-relations. Among other responsibilities, Professor von Thadden was Coordinator of Franco-German Relations between 1999 and 2003. His greatest achievements include the Franco-German history textbook, in which he took a keen interest from its inception to its completion. The second volume will be published soon.
In addition to this, in 1993 Professor von Thadden founded the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute, today known as the Genshagen Foundation, together with Brigitte Sauzay. Professor von Thadden was always eager to involve Poland in the Foundation's activities. He was thus, and indeed remains, a driving force behind intersocietal exchange between Germany and Poland.