Luther 2017. 500 years Reformation in Germany, , June 2017 | Berlin, Eisenach, Wittenberg; photo: Thomas Şindilariu

Visitors' Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany


Door with Luther's theses in Wittenberg, Photo: Pixaline (CC0 1.0), via Pixabay

Luther 2017. 500 Years of Reformation in Germany

Here in Germany, the Reformation is, in particular, being commemorated as a social, political and cultural phenomenon. Does this perhaps explain why the churches are empty while the commemoration of the Reformation is being celebrated as a huge cultural event? A special interest tour with international experts didn't just look into this intriguing question.


Cologne Central Mosque © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

United in Diversity – Religion and Tolerance in Germany

How do religion and state correlate in Germany? How is religion organized in other countries? These amoung other questions were discussed during the informational tour "Religion and Tolerance in Germany" by experts from twelve countries.

Germany’s Dealings with the History of the 20th Century; © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Germany’s Dealings with the History of the 20th Century

70 years after World War II and the ending of the Nazi regime in Germany journalists, creative artists and scienties got a vivid impression of the German commemorative culture.


Germany’s Dealings with the History of the 20th Century; © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Germany’s Dealings with the History of the 20th Century

In 2014 was the centenary of World War I and the onset of World War II was past for 75 years. The participants learned how Germany commemorates these events and which are the implications for the European integration and its educational and foreign policy as a consequence of this history.


Economic, social and cultural human rights; © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Economic, Social and Cultural Human Rights

Human rights are indivisible – without water no dignity, no freedom. And without cultural rights, no inclusion, no peace. Economic, social and cultural human rights are on a par with political human rights. Germany has committed itself to upholding these rights and is well advised to allow for scrutiny of their implementation at home.


Informational tour "Capital Punishment"; © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)


Free and independent media and a functioning democracy are the two sides of the same coin. The very robust structure of Germany's media landscape and its design that makes for as much pluralism as possible resulted from the devastating experience of National Socialism. Purpose-designed and proven mechanisms were created in order to prevent similar developments right from the start.

Capital Punishment

The rule of law and a well developed civil society are the prerequisites for bringing about legal peace with legal means. Conversely, a functioning State and the rule of law and a democratic civil society require an undivided human rights practice. This inner logic became abundantly clear during the visitors' programme on "Capital Punishment".


Photo: Philipp Jusim
Photo: Philipp Jusim

The Path Towards German Unity

On October 3rd, 2010 Germany celebrated the 20th anniversary of its reunification. It is based on the 2 Plus 4 Negotiations that gave the green light for German Unification and that restored Germany's full sovereignty over its domestic and foreign affairs. International journalists took a closer look at the process of rebuilding the union on the inside and reintegrating Germany on the outside.

Overcoming the Financial and Economic Crisis

The global financial and economic crisis has been a central talking point for governments and civil societies around the world since. The impact of economic bubbles calculated to burst; discrepancies in monetary policy, speculation havoc in the financial sector and high-risk-taking bank managers have unleashed debate. How the financial crisis has been dealt with and overcome in Germany is being regarded in a relatively good light. International journalists have been offered valuable insight by the German example.


Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen

Visitor's Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany
Waltraud Iraschko
Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart
Phone +49.711.2225.142

Visitors' Programme

As an organisation dealing with foreign cultural and educational policy the ifa is responsible for the Federal Republics' Visitors' Programme on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office. The informational tours are one of the most effective Public Diplomacy instruments. Multipliers from all over the world are invited to Germany to explain and discuss political concepts.

"The religious teaching is a good experience we could apply to Vietnam, because Vietnam is also a multi-ethnic country and a multi-religious country."
Doan Lam Tran, Vietnam

"Germany is not perfect but you learned to manage the challenges."
Csaba-Ferenc Asztalos, Rumänien

"Here they are doing great work for the security policy for German people. We have no such thing in Jordan."
Ahmad Monther Mohammad Almomani, Jordan

"Here in Germany there is genuine interest. In Azerbaijan the interest is kind of twisted because it has bad intentions. If they want to have modern internet, it's because they want surveillance and to know what people are doing."
Arzu Geybul-layeva, Azerbaijan

"Your way of interacting with the government and the federal institutions is really different from countries like mine […] When we visited the ministry of the interior, this openness is really something to keep in mind once we go back to our countries and try to push our governments for more openness and transparency. If we can."
Dhouha Ben Youssef, Tunesia

"I did not expect the German people in general to be still connected deeply to the near past. At the same time the German government tries to make the internet more useful for the people"
Ziad Abu Zayyad, Palestinian territories

"There are two main takeaways that I have from the programme in comparison with my country, how concerned the German people are about privacy and how they make a difference between states surveillance and private companies"
Blogger from Sri Lanka

"The most astounding to me was that the German Government organises the programme and we could still meet a lot of speakers of the civil society. The South Korean Government wouldn’t do that."
Kyung Young Choi, Korea

"According to our contexts we can maybe implement some ideas we took from here, for example about the data protection laws. Things like data protection laws don't exist in Angola, yet"
Kady Mixinge, Angola

"To see from the perspective of the government, how they work on the digital agenda, how much involved they are and how much interested they are, that was the most interesting part. That's unique. And also to see how the civil society is involved."
Arzu Geybullayeva, Azerbaijan

"The combination that you have here of the government and the private sector to secure freedom of expression and democracy is good and fascinating."
Moiyen Zalal Chowdhury, Bangladesh

"You have a different kind of view of history and memory […]. What I've seen here gets me to a whole new level of thinking. I most liked the Holocaust memorial and the memorial of the book burning because of the perspective and the way of how you get in touch with your past."
István Zoltán Szecsey, Hungary

"Germany in many ways is a role model dealing with the past. For example, in Iraq we are afraid of talking frankly about the past. When we talk, we are polarized, left or right, there is no common ground. We don't agree like you do it here […]. Maybe we are ashamed on the inside to shed light on the crimes we committed. Instead of solving the problem of division we created more. We need some sort of forgiveness and dialogue."
Saad Bashir Eskander, Iraq

"For me it was very interesting to visit the museums because in my country the museums are very conservative, especially museums devoted to the history or World War 2. I have seen some very good examples here how to organize exhibitions, especially in Dresden."
Aliaksei Bratachkin, Belarus

"The most surprising thing for me was the intention of the German people not to forget about World War 1 and 2, the intention of memorizing what happened."
Shota Kobayashi, Japan

"In the Middle East as a region there are a lot of similarities, racist policies, wars, invasions, so Germany for me has been very important in terms of how to deal with the past and how to get over the wounds of the past and build a better future."
Saad Bashir Eskander, Iraq

"We have to keep memories. We have to find ways to attract new generations to be interested in the past but also looking into the future. This is very important – to observe the past but to see the future. I think this is the message of Germany today."
Ion Ionitá, Romania

"I was fascinated with the measures that have been taken in the education, in artistic programs but also at the political level, how the government delegated powers to civil society in order to dealing with the past."
Remzije Istrefi Peci, Kosovo

"[…] we all have problems similar to Germany in our own countries, but obviously in a different way. In the case of Colombia with a divided society and civil war. I think the element of the discussion in Germany seventy years after the war are the same that we need to have. To deal with our thoughts, our regrets, with our country. To build one same country with people that think exactly the opposite"
Roberto Pombo, Colombia

"I was really impressed by the commemoration ceremony in the Bundestag and I asked myself, would it be possible in Hungary? No. In Hungary there is no minimal consensus about what is our history, our identity, our destiny"
György Csepeli, Hungary

"I could see that the German society and government pay huge attention to the commemoration. Sometimes it’s heavy, sometimes it’s unpleasent, but nevertheless it’s well done."
Alexandr Kaminsky, Kazakhstan

"Before coming here, I had a very superficial view. I thought from the very beginning there has been this culture of commemoration, but after participating in this program I learned, that it was a very long learning process of the German society and every part of the German society tried really hard. A lot of people in Korea want to learn from the German model and want to copy it. I learned that if we really want to do this our whole society has to try harder"
Min Hee Park, South Korea

"The most important thing for me was that I could be in touch with the debate – or more accurately: the debates –- that are going on in Germany over its past. Most interesting is that the German society has developed controversy opinions. Of course I can disagree on some of these opinions but what is more important is the debate itself, the fact that Germany has the courage to confront its past and to develop a dialogue."
Anastasios Kostopoulos, Greece

"It seems that you have solved the problem – psychologically, morally, economically and you gave so much hope and knowledge to everyone. You give to everyone an example."
Melsi Labi, Albania