Visit of SDUY SPb to Germany as part of the program of cooperation JUSOS Rpl – SDUY SPb has gone off very well August, 2nd-9th, 2009

The cooperation program between two regional branches of youth political organisations JUSOS and RSDUY includes joint actions and visits of the delegations to Russia and Germany. Last September SDUY SPb accepted JUSOS Rpl delegation – this year the return visit has taken place. Once again it would be desirable to thank our comrads from JUSOS Rpl for excellently organised program and friendly atmosphere. However about all seriatim.

So, this year SDUY SPb delegation has departed to Germany consisting of 9 persons: Sharaborina Dasha, Frolova Ania, Sulzhenko Olia, Permjakova Ljubov, Kolmakov Eugene, Zhurov Seryozha, Vasileva Ljuba, Bogdanova Ljuda and Belkevich Lida.

We have been given the opportunity to see the cities of Frankfurt, Neustadt, Ludwigshafen, Mainz and Bonn during the visit of our delegation to Germany. Our friends from Germany have organised specially for us:

1) factory BASF visiting in Ludwigshafen. Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik – the world’s largest chemical concern with 33 000 workers only in Ludwigshafen, with more, than hundred major concerns worldwide. SDUY SPb delegation has visited a special excursion pavilion where the members of our organisation have got to know numerous BASF materials which are used for the further production of various goods for all life spheres, apparently. Some of us are unfamiliar with BASF trademark owing to that the factory attends to manufacturing materials for the further use in production, instead of final products;

2) meeting with the deputy of parliament of EU Jutta Steinruck where the charming deputy-woman has told us a lot about the work in EuroParliament, and also about the position of parliament of EU concerning the further cooperation with Russian Federation. After the meeting Jutta has left us, having departed for work by bicycle;

3) Hambach castle visiting – one of symbols of German democracy. It was in front of this castle where in 1832 the first large German national democratic festival took place, with 30 000 participants and requests of various democratic liberties, protection of the rights of the citizens and Europe without borders. Demonstration lasted 4 days, with meal, theatrical performances etc. SDUY SPb members have been told about the history and peculiarities of the building process of the castle; also we were lifted on a survey platform from which the magnificent view on the infinite vineyards opens;

4) wine sampling with a dinner in a German village. First, it was offered to us to try eight wine sorts (with a lunch break after the fourth sort), then the son of the vineyards’ owner who had told us a lot of interesting facts concerning manufacturing of each wine brand, organised for all the participants of the sampling procedure a walk to vineyards during which all of us had a possibility to try different grades of grapes and also to admire the nature quite unusual for Russia: vineyards far and wide, pear trees;

5) an excursion to the power station in Landau, where we were told about geothermy, renewable energy and could “touch” with our eyes the energy production process, at first having studied the station scheme, and then having seen it live;

7) a trip to France where after a substantial part of another day we had a possibility to relax on a beach on the lakeside;

8) an excursion to Landtag – parliament of Rhineland Palatinate after which we had the conversation with Dieter Burgard about of the memorial program which reminds people in Germany of the horrors of fascism, and also a discussion with charming Ulla Brede-Hoffmann concerning education took place. Thanks to these two informative and productive meetings, several new interesting ideas of expansion of activity of our organisation within the limits of the subject of tolerance and cooperation in this area with our German comrads appeared in SDUY SPb members’ minds., as well as a few variants of new projects; it was possible to get contacts necessary for it;

9) a discussion at the University of Mainz about the students’ self-administration where three reports within the limits of the designated subjects were made by the representatives of the student’s organisations/associations of Germany. Ljuba Vasileva from SDUY SPb informed in turn her knowledge of functioning of the student’s organisations at NWAGS (NorthWest Academy of Government Service) also in a prepared report form. The discussion then proceeded in the informal conditions on a barbecue with the students of the University of Mainz;

10) a trip to Bonn – visiting the archive of Friedrich Ebert fund which has impressed all our delegation by its scale and fullness with the most valuable documents of the history of democracy, politics and the development of the society in general. In archive We have learnt many interesting facts about Willy Brandt’s activity, Rose Luxembourg’s and some other politicians’;

11) an excursion to the museum of History of Germany where we have learnt a set of the interesting facts about the life of post-war Germany; and also have seen details of the life of the divided Berlin from the guide carried away by his work;

Besides participating in all the actions enumerated above, Eugene Kolmakov had prepared a very interesting presentation about the youth subcultures in Saint-Petersburg, from which our friends from JUSOS have learnt much about the history of rave development in Russia in general and in St.-Petersburg in particular. As part of his presentation Eugene showed 3 videos from history of the rave-festivals one of which (the oldest one) is unique, a kind of a rarity. Within the limits of Eugene’s presentation he also emphasized a disputable issue of closing the rave-festivals existing today: on the one hand as a method of struggling against drug addiction which “prospered” at festivals; on the other hand as part of the program of the government connexted with the oppression of all informal youth associations and subcultures.

Also Dasha Sharaborina told about the actions conducted by SDUY from September, 2008 to August, 2009 within the limits of tolerance subject area, and about our plans of expansion of the activity in this area for a season 2009 – 2010.

To sum up, in my opinion, the visit of SDUY SPb to JUSOS in Germany has gone off very well. Our friends from Germany had organised for us the remarkable, saturated, informative program, have granted a set of possibilities to expand our base of democratic knowledge and to find new interesting courses in cooperation with JUSOS, and we in turn have taken advantage of these possibilities with pleasure. Many thanks to everybody once again!!!

Lida Belkevich