At the invitation of State Secretary Ingbert Liebing, the 16 Federal State group had the pleasure of spending an interesting morning at the Schleswig-Holstein state representative office, which is situated in a prominent place In den Ministergärten.
Our group was welcomed at the wonderful Garden room, whose view extends to the Reichstag. In a three-part lecture, the State Secretary introduced the northernmost state of Germany (2.9 million inhabitants) after a happy “Moin” and explained how the state came into being. From 8th to 11th Century, the Viking city of Haithabu was a central trading center in Northern Europe. The country's eventful history is shaped by the German-Danish relationship, which was settled in a referendum only 100 years ago as a result of the Versailles Treaty and has been maintained in a friendly neighbourly relationship to this day. In the post-war period, Schleswig-Holstein was a British zone of occupation and formally still a Prussian province.
The interesting lecture, was interspersed by the likable songwriter Norma Schulz from the island of Föhr, with her heartfelt songs, some also in Frisian. It is interesting in this context that the North Frisians and the Danes in Schleswig-Holstein are two national minorities who contribute to the cultural diversity in the region and also speak their own languages.
State Secretary Liebing took us on an interesting touristic journey through his State, which lies between the Baltic and North Sea and delighted us with his descriptions of the scenic beauty and cultural diversity, followed by a short film. Schleswig-Holstein has long coastlines and beaches. In addition to many islands and Halligen, the deep-sea island of Helgoland which is 46 kilometers from the mainland, also belongs to it. The North Sea Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The North Frisian island of Sylt is known beyond all borders as Germany's most exclusive holiday island and is always worth a visit! The smallest island is the Hallig Gröde-Appelland, a small marsh island in the Wadden Sea, with only 9 inhabitants, the smallest community in Germany.
Schleswig Holstein 's inland is also shaped by water. The approximately 100 km long Kiel Canal runs through the entire state. Countless romantic lakes and ponds are embedded in the landscape of the wooded hills of Holstein Switzerland. Here nature can be experienced in many different ways. Smaller cities impress with castles and idyllic parks.
The three largest cities of Schleswig-Holstein are located on the 384 km long Baltic Sea coast. The state capital Kiel is known worldwide for the annual Kiel Week, the imposing regatta that has been held there since the end of the 19th century. Kiel registers 140 calls of cruise ships. The shipping museum next to the famous Kiel art gallery is also worth mentioning.
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is a World Heritage Site and is characterized by its buildings in the style of brick Gothic. The symbol of the city is the Holsten Gate (1478). The silhouette of the old town, situated on an island of the Trave is characterized by seven church towers. The St. Marienkirche is considered the "mother of brick Gothic". Names like Thomas Mann (1875-1955) and Günter Grass (1927-2015) are also associated with Lübeck. Both are among the most important German writers of the 20th century and are Nobel Prize winners for literature. Their life's works are presented in the Buddenbrook and Günter Grass houses museums. Here you can experience world literature on site! The third largest city is Flensburg, high in the north, with a historic port. The Europe University is located here. Due to the proximity to Denmark there is constant border tourism.
There was lively discussion when State Secretary Liebing spoke about the use of wind energy and informed us that Schleswig-Holstein made the largest contributions to the energy transition among renewable energies(on and offshore). A state and a local citizens’ fund support and promote up to 50 percent of the investment costs for sustainable heat generation systems. We ended the interesting event with a delicious kale meal typical of the country and the singer Norma said goodbye to us with the song "Op Bald"….sung in low German.