Rede Dr. Rudi Pueschel
Dear Mr. Vicar Havelka,
Honorable Mr. Deputy. Mayor Walter Wolf,
Distinguished guests, dear friends:
With great pleasure I take part in today’s inauguration of the renovated Peterswald
The cross was donated by the Peterswald philanthropist Josef Peilbauer from the house No. 192
and inaugurated in 1796 for the first time by Pastor Anton Klug. The creator of
the cross may have been the Aussiger sculptor Josef Schuster, who has demonstrably created
other works of art for the Peterswalder church. In 1876, the cross
was renewed by the Teplice sculptor Anton Bauer and was consecrated by Pastor P. Josef Hille,
who at that time also bore the costs for the restoration. Since then, 130 years have passed
and a further restoration was necessary, which was performed artistically by the Peterswald sculptor
Michael Bilek; We thank him for that.
I share my joy over the preservation of the cross with 30 fellow donors, whose names
are immortalized at the foot of the pedestal, and to whom I am cordially attached in friendship and thanks.
Most of us were once kids and teens in Peterswald.
More than 60 years ago, we were the victims of the failed
de-emigratization policy of the then Benesch government and expelled from our hometown. Today we came back to visit to attend
the inauguration of the extant Peterswald cemetery cross.
We are proud to have contributed to the preservation of the Sudeten German culture of remembrance,
just as Sudeten Germans have made many contributions to art, literature, architecture and science,
that they had created in eight centuries. Perhaps there will come a time
when thinkers of the caliber of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe no longer need to regret
that “the history of Bohemia … is the saddest of the whole world”. Useful thoughts on the
German-Czech problematic and ideas for bridging it can be found
in the book “Monologue on Bohemia” by Willy Lorenz, former Austrian and son of a
Czech father and a German mother. His work was published in 1964 in second edition
in Herold Verlag in Vienna.
In the Christian religion and in other mythologies, the cross symbolizes piety
and understanding: the vertical pillar indicates a connection between heaven and earth,
a relation of man to God. The horizontal bar symbolizes the communication
between the people, a condition for friendship, which in turn is the basis for peace.
May the Peterswald cemetery cross be preserved for the people of Peterswald and the surrounding area for
many more centuries. May his pillar contribute to piety and his beam to peace.