Among the most successful political books of the past year was “National Interests – A Guide for German and European Politics in Times of Global Changes” by Klaus von Dohnanyi, published by our Foundation and Corvina Publishing House. We have since been in contact with the renowned Hungarian-born German politician, and the Director of our Foundation attended his 95th birthday celebration in July at the prestigious Hamburg City Hall and recently had a long conversation with him at his home in Hamburg. On the latter occasion, the Director handed over our Foundation’s Annual Report for the year 2022, in which we report in detail on the launch of Dohnanyi’s book.
At our request, Klaus von Dohnanyi shared with us his birthday speech, in which he talks in detail about his family background, his political socialisation, the legacy of his father and uncle who were executed by the Nazis, his relationship with the Social Democratic Party and Willy Brandt, and his analysis of the current global political situation. His important message is that we must never let populists expropriate the truth, and we must never fear the accusation that speaking the truth empowers populists. He considers the patriotism he brought from home to be the main motivation for his political career, and it still shapes his thinking today. An interesting aspect of the birthday event was that the guests included a personal friend of Dohnanyi, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The toast of the celebrated is published below, with a slight abbreviation, wishing him good health once again on this occasion.A toast by Klaus von Dohnanyi_EN