New biography "Freedom and courage - what we owe to Walter Scheel"

Companions honour the lifetime achievements of the former German Federal President


Be it as a Federal President, a Foreign Minister and representative of the Federal Chancellor, a Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation or as a chairman and later on honorary chairman of the German Liberal Democratic Party FDP – Walter Scheel left his marks in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany and set decisive landmarks during the German post-war history.

In honour of Walter Scheel a large illustrated book will be presented during the next days to the public, which is set about summarizing and revering the extraordinary lifetime achievements of this outstanding politician. Edited by Ulrich Wickert this book lets us hear the personal recollections of numerous companions of the person and politician Walter Scheel – amongst them the former Federal Presidents Horst Köhler and Roman Herzog, the former Foreign Ministers Kissinger and Genscher or the former Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

For INTERKULTUR it was and still is a great distinction that Walter Scheel agreed already years ago to become its honorary president, resume the patronage for the numerous INTERKULTUR choral events worldwide and thus to stress the global significance of cultural exchange and the unifying power of mutual singing.

INTERKULTUR president Günter Titsch summarizes the role of Walter Scheel in his contribution to the newly published illustrated book "Freedom and courage - what we owe to Walter Scheel":

"One will find in Germany – and far beyond – not many statesmen, who give choral singing such a distinguished significance as Walter Scheel. It is no coincidence that major parts of the German public associate him still until today with the folk song "Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen" by the Thuringian poet Rudolf Baumbach. On December 6th, 1973 Walter Scheel, to that time Foreign Minister, sang this song together with a Male Choir from Düsseldorf during the popular TV show „Drei mal Neun“ for the benefit of the charitable initiative "Aktion Sorgenkind" – until spring 1974 this  record was sold over 300.000 times! Of course one would do Scheel wrong by viewing only his role of the happy and popular singer. But one fact remains effective: Walter Scheel understood and exemplified through his own life that culture and especially making music together unites people and nations much easier, more spontaneous and maybe even more sustainable than all means of major diplomacy. This conviction also represents the basis of the "World Choir Games", the Olympic Games of choral music, which I initiated in 2000 and which biannually brings together singers from all over the world. The fact that Walter Scheel is Honorary President of the World Choir Games, continued to give us new input and established contacts all over the world will never be forgotten by us and we will always remain thankful for this commitment." 

"FREEDOM AND COURAGE – what we owe to Walter Scheel" has been published by the Herder publishing company.

INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch
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