“Philippine Embassy and Knights of Rizal Remember Jose Rizal’s Berlin Sojourn”
Berlin, 5 January 2015. On 30 December 2014, Philippine Embassy officials and representatives from the Berlin-Brandenburg Chapter of the Order of Knights of Rizal and the Ladies for Rizal braved frigid and snowy conditions to commemorate Jose Rizal’s 118th death anniversary by laying a wreath at Rizal’s former residence on 71 Jägerstrasse.
Philippine Embassy staff and representatives from the Knights of Rizal and Ladies for Rizal lay a wreath at Jose Rizal’s former residence in Berlin.
Mr. Mardomel Melicor, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., recalled that Jose Rizal spent the winter months of 1886 and 1887 here completing his classic “Noli me Tangere.” For their part, Mr. Gerhard Müller and Mrs. Lourdes Müller, of the Knights of Rizal and Ladies for Rizal, noted that Jose Rizal had a deep knowledge of Germany, having lived and travelled the expanse of the Hohenzollern Empire, including Heidelberg, Wilhemsfeld, Ulm, Munich, Berlin, and Dresden.
Ms. Azela Arumpac, Third Secretary of the Philippine Embassy, also
recalled that Rizal was a frequent visitor at the Universität zu Berlin
and the Königliche Bibliothek (Royal Library). There, he borrowed books
– translating Schiller to improve his German. Rizal also read avidly
books on the Philippine islands by German scholars, such as Fedor Jagor,
AB Meyer, and even William von Humboldt, who wrote on the Philippine
language: Tagalog. Rizal found the work of the German scholars on
Philippine ethnography to be scientific, objective, and non-racist. He
was accepted as a member of the Berlin Society for Anthropology,
Ethnology and Pre-History after delivering an inaugural lecture on the
art of Tagalog poetry and verse.
In his correspondence and upon
leaving Europe, Rizal communicated: “I always think of Germany and the
German scholars. I always talk of German loyalty and integrity. When I
hear German spoken, I am glad, as if it were my mother tongue…I will
dedicate my last farewell to Germany. I owe Germany my best
remembrances.” Today, over 25,000 Filipinos have immigrated to Germany,
and like Rizal, have made it their second home.
the solemn flag-raising ceremony at the Embassy, Mr. Melicor emphasized
the values which Rizal imbibed in Europe - tolerance, freedom,
enlightened self-determination and love of country. These values are as
relevant today as they were over a century ago. They helped awaken and
form the consciousness of a Filipino nation, on equal footing with
other nations in Asia and the world, committed to peace, amity, and
progress. Many a region in the world today can look up to these values
that Rizal personified and paid for so dearly with his life at the very
young age of 35. ***END