Germany: KANDO Publishing House at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2017
By Nina Kirchberger, FFWPU Germany
Every year I write a report about Kando Publishing House and its participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and every year I ask myself the same question: Was it all worth the effort? What might be really of interest to those who read this report? But one thing is always quite clear to me: if we believe that we are in possession of a universal, comprehensive ‘truth’, then we should participate in this important book fair. Kando Publishing House simply has to be there.
I now feel quite at home in Hall 3.1, where KANDO has its stand, and I enjoy the opportunity of observing how the spirit of the time is unfolding. The participants in this area of the exhibition are a colorful, mixed bunch, but they are mostly from German speaking publishers and media companies. Everything is here: not only the ‘big names’ such as FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and ‘Deutschlandfunk‘, but also the somewhat strange stands where, for example, messages supposedly received from the angel Gabriel in the spirit world have been ‘intercepted’ and presented in several thick volumes by a publisher from Switzerland. This indicates just how much philosophical and artistic freedom there
really is in Germany. The exhibition organizers stand firmly for freedom of speech and civilized and non-violent dialogue, but on Saturday a disagreement between ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ became violent, necessitating police intervention. Whoever found themselves at stand A104, had the opportunity to grapple with „Head-Wing-Thought“, a world view which encourages peace and is neither left nor right wing, but can rather be seen from the perspective of the parental love of God and seeks to embrace both.
Compared to the tense background, KANDO’s stand with its message of love and peace looked pretty unthreatening. If the word ‚sect‘crossed the lips of any visitor, a short explanation was enough to steer the conversation back on a peaceful course. Most people were happy to take a copy of True Father’s autobiography in its beautiful green bag, and we distributed a total of about 1300.
Of these, some English and French editions were given to visitors from other countries, for example USA, Mexico, India, Ghana, Brazil, China, and Russia. The book of Arabic calligraphies and quotes of True Father, from Qais Saidi also drew some interest.
Amongst the huge selection at the Book Fair, it is not so easy to attract attention. This year, KANDO had ‘only‘ a small stand and we were not able to organize any events or readings. However, individual intensive discussions are no less important, and individual helpers had special experiences, especially when they made some personal investment.
Beate Ogrizek made continual attempts to explain True Parent’s heart to the visitors and spoke to several clergymen and gave them books. Her flair for organization was a decisive factor in ensuring that we were able to arrange the stand with very few materials. Sabine Fernandez and Tea-Sun Waldner also supported us diligently. On Saturday Wilhelm Lichner joined the team.
I am especially happy when young people from the Unification movement lend their support to KANDO at the Book Fair. This time Matthew Marsh was absolutely indispensable. Not only did he serve as a handy-man, but he also took the initiative to visit other halls and handed out books to those who were interested. Other young helpers were Theoniki Shopaha, Lisa Piepenburg, Benedikta Becker and Jamee Natanni.
A special mention must be made of Achim Pock who provides printed material every year for the Fair. This time he introduced a new project which KANDO will further develop. Achim chose significant selections from True Father’s autobiography on the topic “Religion and Peace”, a highly topical theme in view of current events and debates. In the brochure entitled “Forgive, Love, Unite” the texts can be read in English and German. We plan to translate into other languages such as Turkish and Arabic.
Dr. Michael Balcomb and his wife, and Peter Staudinger visited the KANDO stand and made a video report. Dieter Schmidt considers the project to be of such importance that he expressed the desire to see a stand twice the size next year. But at this point, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all who participated in the 2017 Book Fair, with a special mention to those who financed the books, as well as Claus Dubisz for helping with the logistics. The next exhibition is coming for sure, and the interesting guest country will be Georgia. See you again in Frankfurt!
EUME-VideoNews-3 features the Book Fair as well.