The path to understanding and reconciliation. The Chamráds received the „Bridge Builders“ Award

DSC_1872In early April, the couple Cordula Winzer-Chamrádová and Petr Chamrád received the prestigious Brückenbauer/Bridge Builder Award in the Bavarian Schönsee, which recognises the deepening of Czech-German understanding.

The Chamradas met in Prague, where Cordula was on a one-year study stay. In 1993 they got married and raised two of their children bilingually while living in the South Bohemian town of Písek. In 2001, they moved to the Bavarian Selb, and finally to Hohenberg, where Cordula worked as a pastor. Petr had been helping in the Evangelical congregation in Cheb as well as taking care of the spa guests of the West-Bohemian spa as part of the Czech-German cooperation project. Currently, the spouses live in Regensburg and continue their role in Czech-German understanding and reconciliation.

They organise partnerships of municipalities, bilingual worship, Czech-German church days for children in Marktredwitz (reported in ČB 2/2019) or programmes on Czech-German history. Two years ago, together with musician Jörg Wöltch, Petr Chamrád published an interactive Christmas song book in both languages. (We wrote about this song book in ČB 9/2017.) The demand is phenomenal – 15,000 copies have been printed in four editions so far.

The Bridge Builder Award Ceremony was held at the Bavaria Bohemia Association in Schönsee. The Mayor of Schönsee, the Mayor of Pilsen and other personalities spoke at this ceremony. Each of the laureates was presented in a short film made by students of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. The Bridge Builder Award aims to motivate the transformation of cultural and partnership life in Czech and Bavarian neighbouring regions from living “side by side” to living “together” and to revive and develop good neighbourly relationships.

The prize-giving ceremony was also attended by the Synodal Senior of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Daniel Ženatý, and the Senior Deputy of the West Bohemian Seniorate, Jan Satke, who, on behalf of the Evangelical Church, thanked the Chamráds for their lifelong contribution.

Daniela Ženatá