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Dem Sieg geweiht, vom Krieg zerstört, zum Frieden mahnend.

“Dedicated to victory, destroyed by war, urging peace.”–Wilhelm Hausenstein, first West German ambassador to France after World War II.

The Siegestor (Victory Gate) was built to celebrate a kingdom’s military power. It now stands for peace.

The nonprofit group Corso Leopold hosted a street festival in Munich, Germany on Saturday, September 10th, which included a live audio message by World Peace Game creator John Hunter. Accompanying images were projected on the facade of the Siegestor, or Victory Gate, in the city’s historic center.

Stefan Hanitzsch of Munich’s Lach- und Schießgesellschaft theatre coordinated with Vienna-based World Peace Game Master Class Facilitators Doris Sommer and Julia Tietz to arrange the WPG’s participation in Corso Leopold’s festival as part of their mission of holding public events that promote international understanding.

Following John’s message, Doris and Julia shared details of the Game’s philosophy and enrichment potential to festivalgoers. They stood in front of a spectacular background of photos of students at play, a dramatic vision designed by Michael “Gene” Aicher. His aim was to connect with the history of the monument. Dedicated in 1852 to the then-Kingdom of Bavaria’s army, it was restored after World War II and now stands as a symbol of peace.

The WPG Foundation would like to express its gratitude to Stefan Hanitzch, CEO of Munich’s Lach- und Schießgesellschaft theatre, Corso Leopold, and to our two Austrian Master Class Facilitators, Doris Sommer and Julia Tietz. We are grateful for their vision, generosity and tireless efforts to make this event possible and for also bringing a World Peace Game Master Class to Munich in the summer of 2023! Schools, teachers, or parents interested in partnering or participating should contact: info@lachundschiess.de.

Julia Tietz and Doris Sommer, Vienna-based Master Class Facilitators

 

We have shared the text of John Hunter’s speech below in hope his words about forgiveness, compassion, and peace will serve as a reminder of the best in human nature and offer hope for the future:

Guten Abend, meine Damen und Herren!

50 years ago I was a young school teacher in America, simply trying desperately, hopefully, with complete passion, to do what all teachers do: and that is to find ways to help my children become everything they could be, for the sake of humanity.

My effort was only an idea, the simple idea of a game, because I knew that children love foremost, to play, and I knew that the line of least resistance to their agreement to learning with me, to study with me, would be through what they loved most and so I invented a game to learn by playing, the World Peace Game.

This World Peace Game is now in 38 countries, and though I just recently retired from teaching new teachers to implement the game in their classrooms, happily there are now 16 Master Class Facilitators of which Austrians Doris Sommer and Julia Tietz are primary facilitators in Europe. So this work is actively available to all Europeans!

Beyond any effort on my part, the good people here in Munich have taken up the cause, and are now supporting our children, to help us all. A few weeks ago in Hiroshima Japan, two of our World Peace Game Facilitators, two women, guided our children to creating peace on August 6th, Hiroshima commemoration day, the day my country dropped the atomic bomb on that city. Such an act of forgiveness, such an act of hopefulness, such an act of incredible compassion is the way that those who know the terrible evils of war decided to repay us, not by violence, but by its opposite; establishing peace, not just in the adults, but in our children, and for the future.

Just as you are starting to do, here in Munich today; you are using this compassionate festival gathering to overcome the evils of the past. You are helping children not yet born, those will come after we are gone, those who will appreciate and enjoy the incredible efforts and compassion of their ancestors, of you . . . who will be their ancestors.

You people of Munich, you beautiful Germans….you who have actually experienced and suffered war on this very soil, like my friends the World Peace Game facilitators in Hiroshima, you have suffered. And now, you clearly show the world that you are not only thinking of peace, you are not only talking of peace, you are taking definite, concrete actions to bring about peace in the world.

You, who have within the fabric of your society, the real, deep understanding of the necessity of peace, of planting the seeds of peace, you are here today, cultivating the true seed of peace by supporting initiatives like the world peace game and our 2 Viennese Facilitators who are coming to this city to help children cultivate the tools of peace through their play in the World Peace Game.

I cannot begin to thank you, I cannot thank you enough, we all can never thank you enough for your incredible kindness and compassion for all humanity, for all creatures, by these efforts you make here in Munich today to support this teaching, this practice of peace.

Thank you, thank you, thank you people of Munich. My heart is full with an immense gratitude to you and a deep humility for what you do for our world.

Thank you Stefan, thank you hopeful people on Corso Leopold, thank you Munich.

Danke, Danke, Danke!