Germany: Frankfurt Book Fair
By Wilhelm Lichner, FFWPU Germany
Frankfurt has a 500 year long tradition as the city of the Book Fair; since Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz invented the printing press, book fairs have been held in Frankfurt.The Frankfurt Book Fair is now the largest in the world.
For the book fair this year (October 16 to 20, 2019) there were 7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries, 144,409 specialist visitors (publishing house employees, booksellers, journalists, authors, and political and religious representatives) and more than 157,000 private visitors.
“I believe in one literature that connects people and is proof of what we have in common …“ commented the winner of the Nobel prize for literature Olga Tokarczuk at the press conference which opened this year’s Book Fair. Thus the tone was set; diversity, sustainability and political engagement were dominant points for discussion at the fair.
For over 500 years, people like Ms. Tokarczuk have come together in Frankfurt; people who lay their ideas open for discussion and those who help distribute these ideas to an international public. This is especially important in an era of digitalization, when publishing and the creative industries advance into totally new dimensions in the trading and dissemination of their content.
The history of KANDO publishing house as a participant at the Frankfurt Book Fair does not go back very far. It began in 2012 with the presentation of newly published books at a stand along with other small publishers. In March of that year we had already had a stand at the Leipzig Book Fair, manned by Fritz Piepenburg and Nina Kirchberger.
In 2013 KANDO had its own stand in Frankfurt, with the smallest possible size of 4 sq.m. This was repeated in subsequent years by Fritz Piepenburg and Nina Kirchberger.
Last year, 2018, the European office contributed to our ex- penses, allowing us to have a stand that was twice as large. We noticed straight away that the larger stand made a much better impression on the public, and that is was an advantage to be able to sit down with people at the stand.
This year we had an even larger stand of 12 sq.m, because Dr. Michael Balcomb had the genial idea of making this year’s event the kick-off to the upcoming 100th birthday of True Father.
This was indeed a good idea, because many influential people from all over the world meet at the Book Fair. All who come are interested in literature, worldly wisdom and ideas. They are happy to stand and talk; the conditions are ideal for making contacts.
A 12 sq.m stand is a decent size and it needs to be well organized as it projects outwards. We gave a lot of prelim- inary thought to the books we wished to present, which posters we wanted to display, etc. In the center were the wonderful posters which Achim Pock had designed for True Father’s 100소 birthday in 2020.
The stand was laid out as follows:
On the far left, a poster with True Mother, Waris Dirie and Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina on the occasion of the awarding of the Sun Hak Peace Prizes 2019 (Waris Dirie from Somalia campaigns against female genital mutilation in Africa and Adesina from Nigeria fights poverty by allocating micro-credits).
Then a poster with Father and Gorbachev, followed by one of Father with a reference to his 100th birthday; on the right a roll-up with the title: „Religions Dialogue for Peace“; in the middle, shelves with books. We also installed a flat screen and continuously showed various videos.
We presented the following books: Father’s Autobiography in several languages; Mother’s Anthology in four volumes; the Holy Scriptures; Jesus of Nazareth; ‘Ehe Familie und Ewiges leben’ (Marriage, Family and Eternal Life).
- Die Vereinigungsprinzipien – eine Interpretation, a German translation of the compiled theses of several Barrytown graduates, giving a very good overview of the Principle.
- Kains Kinder from Barbara Grabner
- A new edition of Oivind Haugen’s brochures; parts 1-6.
The stand was set up by the combined efforts of Albert Mobo, Walter Müller, Jürgen Kirchberger, Jens Fernandez, Beate Ogrizek, and Wilhelm Lichner, and was staffed by Beate Ogrizek, Gudrun Mobo, Wilhelm Lichner and Jens Fernandez.
These highly motivated individuals have become enthusiastic experts, gained from their experience in the past few years as staff at our stand at the Fair.
Juraj Lajda from Czech Republic who has his own publishing company in Prague and a wide experience of book exhibitions lent his support, as did Albert Heitzinger from Austria.
At the weekend several of our second generation – Josefine, Estella and Jens – offered valuable sup- port, as did Luba from Gießen.
We were very happy to welcome several of our members as visitors to the stand. Special mention is given to:
Jean-Francois Moulinet and his wife Hisako from France; Jean-Francois coordinates the events commemorating True Father’s 100th birthday; Dieter and Ana Schmidt who came on Saturday and Sunday; Dieter gave a talk at the stand on Saturday; Dr. Michael and Fumiko Balcomb who also visited on Saturday.
This year we again distributed many copies of True Father’s autobiography. They were appealingly packed in attractive green bags which people were happy to accept. We were able to distribute 1,800 autobiographies in German, and 200 in English and various other languages.
For all of us, it was a very enriching experience and the many contacts ensuing from excellent discussions will surely bear fruit. We were also able to bless several people.
On Sunday evening after the fair had closed, all the remaining books were picked up by Jürgen Kirchberger and the furnishings put in storage until next year. The end of one Book Fair is the beginning of the next.
Next year, True Mother’s autobiography will be published and of course will be displayed and distributed at the Book Fair 2020. This will surely be a great event!