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25. März 2022

South African Embassy in Berlin has planted a "Queen of Sheba" - rose in honour of Jewish anti-apartheid activist Ruth Weiss

In honour of the German-Jewish Africa journalist and anti-apartheid activist Ruth Weiss, Ms Laura Joyce, Counsellor Political on behalf of H.E. Stone Sizani, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa hosted a ceremonial planting ceremony of a "Queen of Sheba" rose in its garden on 24 March. The ceremony, which was attended by Dr Felix Klein, Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, and Dr Gideon Joffe, Chairman of the Jewish Community in Berlin as speakers, took place from 11:00 until 12:30 at the South African Embassy in Berlin. 

Inspired by the Yad Vashem Museum's tree garden in Tel Aviv, which was planted in honour of non-Jewish people who made great sacrifices for the Jewish people during the Holocaust, the planting of the "Queen of Sheba" rose commemorates the sacrifices of Jewish anti-apartheid activists in general and Ruth Weiss' commitment to humanity in particular. The planting of the "Queen of Sheba" rose, whose name is borrowed from the Bible, in honour of Ruth Weiss is also intended to establish a symbolic connection between the Lemba, an ethnic group of Jewish origin in Southern Africa, and the Jews of European origin in South Africa, as well as between the three Abrahamic religions. 

Having fled the Holocaust to South Africa in the 1930s, Ruth Weiss was once again confronted with institutionalised racism with the introduction of the apartheid system in her new home. Driven by her personal experiences, Ruth Weiss decided to become actively involved in the fight against the system. With her critical reporting on the politics of the apartheid regime in German and English-language media, she made a central contribution to the struggle against the regime. She worked as a correspondent for German media houses, as an editor at Newscheck in Johannesburg, and later as a correspondent for the Financial Times in Zambia. Particularly noteworthy is her involvement in the founding of the Zimbabwe Institute for Southern Africa (ZISA), which facilitated the peaceful transition of power in South Africa through 55 confidence-building conferences between "South Africans of all races" from 1987 to 1993. Today, Ruth Weiss, now 97 years old, is one of the most influential African journalists - both as a reporter and as a trainer of young African journalists. For her outstanding commitment, she has already received numerous honours, including the German Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class in 2014 and the Honorary Award of the German Africa Foundation in 2019.

|+| Ruth Weiss Association

|+| German Africa Foundation

 

 

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