Germans and Israelis setting sail together

15.07.2008 - Press release

Since last Sunday (13 July) the three-masted schooner “Grossherzogin Elisabeth” has been on a special journey. At the invitation of Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a total of 52 young Germans and Israelis are getting to know each other in an unusual way – as participants in two consecutive sailing trips on the Baltic Sea, from Warnemünde via Copenhagen to Wismar and back. This project, part of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, is organized in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Goethe-Institut. Part of the journey will retrace the escape route taken by thousands of Danish Jews during the Second World War. For the Germans and Israelis, setting sail together means living in a confined space, learning how to get along, becoming a team and frankly discussing the past and future of German-Israeli relations.

Next Saturday (19 July) Federal Minister Steinmeier will join them on board. That day's route will take them from Grömitz to Wismar. The vessel's departure and arrival are open to the media. While on board Minister Steinmeier will take the opportunity to discuss with the participants the theme of “Germany and Israel – how do we move forward?”

The two German-Israeli groups will be on their trips from 12 to 22 July and from 19 to 27 July. The programme for each group consists of three days of courses in Berlin and five days at sea.

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