22 May 2019- In celebration of the National Heritage Month, the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany, held an exhibit and lecture on Rizal delivered by a well-known German Rizalista, Dr. Fritz Hack Ullmer, on 21 May 2019 at the Consulate General’s new office.
With this year’s theme, “Mga Pinuno Para sa Pamana” (Leaders for Heritage), Consul General Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia urged the members of the Filipino community in Southern Germany to take the lead in preserving and promoting their cultural heritage despite being thousands of miles away from home. She underscored the life led by the country’s national hero and great Filipino leader Jose Rizal, who was inspired to write the poem, To the Flowers of Heidelberg, as a manifestation of his patriotism even in a faraway land.
During the lecture entitled, “Footsteps of Rizal in Southern Germany: Why did Rizal Come to Heidelberg?,” Dr. Ullmer shared his knowledge and insights on Rizal’s stay in Heidelberg and Wilhemsfeld, Germany. He passionately spoke of how Rizal was welcomed in the house of German Pastor Karl Ullmer, who was the speaker’s grandfather. He expounded on Rizal’s efforts to finalize the Noli Me Tangere during that time.
Dr. Ullmer, in response to Consul General Garcia’s remarks thanking him on the loaned rare Rizaliana items, gladly declared that they are “a gift” to the Consulate.
The blessing ceremony and tour of the new office immediately followed the lecture. The guests were led to Post’s exhibition area where selected furniture items from the guest room of Pastor Karl Ullmer that were used by Rizal were displayed.
The exhibit items include a mirror and table, cabinet, cupboard, dresser, and bed. Interestingly, it is believed that Rizal finished his novel “Noli Me Tangere“ using the table that was displayed at the Consulate.
The Consulate’s National Heritage Month activities also coincided with the blessing of its new office with Philippine Ambassador to Germany Ma. Theresa Dizon-de Vega and Wilhemsfeld Mayor Christian Oeldorf among the special guests. Some 100 Filipino-German community members attended both events.