This is how the Point Alpha Foundation is positioning itself after the Corona break
By Harry Wagner
Translated from the original German.
Since February 1st, the Board of Directors of the Point Alpha Foundation has been complete again. Benedikt Stock and Philipp Metzler are bursting with energy as the Corona restrictions are being lifted.
Geisa – The past two years have affected the foundation economically: significantly fewer visitors to the memorial in Hesse , hardly any educational offers in attendance. “ Corona has torn a hole financially. Our income is far below what it was before the pandemic,” says Benedikt Stock. The 26-year-old Michelsrombacher is the new managing director and is no stranger to local politics – for example as chairman of the district association of the Junge Union Fulda .
He came to the leading position on the foundation board in the classic way: “I applied for the advertised position,” says Stock, who studied business administration and economics, and explains why: “I have a lot in common with Point Alpha, and have done so for a long time Time. I used to attend events regularly. We have exciting and varied topics here in a boom region that was once a peripheral area.”
His partner in the dual leadership is not much older than Stock: Philipp Metzler is 29 years old and since September of last year has been Head of Studies and is responsible for, among other things, the foundation’s educational offerings. Metzler was born in Thuringia, and thus the two key federal states are represented on the foundation’s board of directors.
As they are in their mid- or late 20s, they do not know the Iron Curtain and the reunification of Germany from personal experience. “We lack the personal emotional connection, we were born as all-Germans. The terms Wessi and Ossi therefore have no relevance for us,” emphasizes Metzler. (Read here: Point Alpha Foundation presents new program – award ceremony to Joachim Gauck )
The Point Alpha Foundation in Hesse is also concerned with the Ukraine war
The Cold War of the 1980s may be over, but we are already in the middle of another one. The Russian invasion of Ukraine inevitably opened up new subject areas for the Point Alpha Foundation. Metzler: “First of all, it was important to us that the foundation took a very clear position and condemned the Russian actions. We did that.” Now we have to see how early we can integrate new formats into the range of events that focus on the Ukraine war.
In general, one should not expect “that science will do something very quickly.” An event called “Flight Through the Ages” is planned for the near future, which was supposed to be about the escapes from the GDR and from the Syrian war zones, but now it’s about the Ukrainian aspect could be expanded.
During the pandemic, digital formats gained popularity due to a lack of alternatives, and Point Alpha is satisfied with the response to them. But for Metzler it’s a fine line, you absolutely have to find a reasonable balance between face-to-face and digital appointments. “People want to get involved, be there on site, get involved in discussions,” Stock observed.
They want to be able to offer all of this more and can still fall back on a decent pool of tour guides. The demand is particularly high in schools, and the range of Bundeswehr seminars is also popular. The foundation board has chosen young people as one of the most important target groups. Appropriate concepts are to be tailor-made for them.
The board of directors hopes that more visitors from all parts of the republic and beyond will come to the former border. However, the creation of modern digital formats remains a task. It is also fitting that a social media officer has been working for the foundation for some time and feeds the relevant channels.
“We have to create offers for many things that people are interested in,” emphasizes Metzler and mentions climate protection. The location of the memorial directly on the former patrol road on the inner-German border, which has been redesignated as the “Green Belt”, is also an ideal starting point for tackling ecological issues.
Due to the corona-related losses in day-to-day business, which is still extremely important, the financial support of the foundation from Hesse and Thuringia is even more important. For the economist Stock it is given. So far, it has still not been possible to anchor permanent institutional funding for Point Alpha in the two federal states. “But we feel that we are in very good hands with the political bodies. The support is there, and further talks will show whether we can come to a lasting solution,” explains Stock.
US Cavalry (Retired)