Trip to Münster, 10-11 December 2018 - Searching for traces of diplomacy – 370 years Peace of Westphalia

“Pax optima rerum“ (peace is the greatest good) is the famous quote of Silius Italicus, the Roman politician and poet in AD 25. It became the motto of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and was the slogan of the group trip to Münster. Unfortunately, the unexpected strike of the German Railways caused a tedious delay on 10 December. The two group leaders did their utmost to keep the members’ spirit up and carried out the trip as planned.

The group extended hearty thanks especially to Mayor Wendela-Beate Vilhjalmsson for her excellence and charming introduction to the topic in the Hall of Peace (Friedenssaal) of the historical Town Hall of Münster. A reception was afterwards held in "Rüstungskammer“. The group also expressed special gratitude to Dr. Gerd Dethlefs, the regional historian of the Museum of Art and Culture, who narrated the Thirty Years´ War which is still an important subject until today. The one hour explanation gave the international group members understanding of the significance of the complex European topic. The group remained in the Museum of Art and Culture for some time in front of the following citation:

“The Peace Congress

There was great public interest in the Congress negotiations which proceeded at a very slow pace. The diplomats tried to convince their desire for peace through art and literature. Slogans such as “pax optima rerum” (“peace is the greatest good”) expressed the victor’s commitment to maintain peace.”

Reflecting the topic of this trip to Münster, everyone pondered on today´s issues in Germany and Europe. It was a successful excursion despite the unfavorable circumstances due to the strike and the delay.