Message for the 8th WBF
Message for the 8th Warsaw Book Fair from Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel
Warsaw Book Fair has a long tradition. Also this year, hundreds of exhibitors are meeting to showcase Polish, European and international literature in more than 1000 events. Thus I am especially delighted that Germany has the honour, following on from 2006, to be Guest of Honour for the second time at this Book Fair in the Polish capital.
Literature creates space for diversity, takes us into unknown worlds and opens our eyes to other views and approaches. If we succumb to the adventure of reading, we also better comprehend the yearnings and fears of others. For understanding to work, we need not just an interested and curious readership but also free and creative authors. Together they build bridges between the different cultures in our world, bridges we currently so urgently need given the many crises and conflicts around the world.
The German-Polish friendship relies on countless such bridges. Last year, we were able to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the German-Polish Treaty on Good Neighbourliness. After a chequered past with much suffering, Germans and Poles are today good friends and close partners working together as equals. We are united in the European Union which is a guarantor of peace, prosperity, freedom and security for the Polish and German population alike and stands for our shared values.
I invite you to take the opportunity at the Book Fair to literally explore new chapters of literature from Germany, Poland and many parts of the world and hope you enjoy your time here and have a stimulating visit.