Thursday, January 20, 2022

2021 in retrospective

The highlight of the year surely was the cornerstone ceremony in May, accompanied by a worldwide wave of sympathy on social and classic media. This was overwhelming and a confirmation how much this project is needed. We would like to thank everyone who was by our side may it be in thoughts, actions or with donations and helped us to get where we are now.

Here you will find a best of 2021:



1700 years of Jewish life in Berlin: In appreciation of this German-Jewish year of celebration, Esther Hirsch, cantor of the Jewish community in Berlin, got together with Felix Klein, Federal Government Comissioner for Jewish Life in Germany. At the synagogue Sukkat Schalom in Berlin the two met and talked about Jewish holidays.



Praying together for peace – in memory of the racist attack in Hanau last year, a multi-religious and confessional commemoration for the victims is held in Berlin. Through our livestream anyone could follow the ceremony - and several hundred did and shared this moment of grieve and prayer. 




Archeology at the building site: As part of further archeological excavations in Berlin on the grounds of the old Petri Churches, where the House of One will be erected, remains of a baroque church have been uncovered. Archeologist and expert on medieval Berlin, Claudia Melisch, was excited as the findings give further insights into early life in the city of Berlin.

Federal Cross of Merit: Father Klaus Mertens, project ambassador of the House of One, received the Federal Cross of Merit in appreciation of his engagement in revealing cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. For eleven years he was the principal at the Catholic school Canisius College in Berlin, where he made sexual abuse public starting in 2010, triggering a wave of revelations. With his initiative he brought forward the cause of clearing up sexual abuse in the German Catholic church.



Discussion concerning the Corona virus: “Saving lives, no matter the cost?” – Gregor Hohberg, Osman Örs, philosopher Wlhelm Schmidt and arts activist Philip Ruch are holding a conferential discussion regarding this question at the Deutsches Theater on April 18. Anyone interested was able to join the event, which was led by Roland Stolte, via livestream from 11 am on.

NS-history: In cooperation with the Protestant Church (EKBO), the House of One puts emphasis on reviewing the case on Walter Hoff. Preaching in the old church St. Petri before World War II, Hoff became known for being an ardent anti-Semite. On behalf of EKBO and the House of One, historian Mafred Gailus will investigate the Hoff-Case further. As part of the historical legacy of the House of One, which will be built on the site of the old church St. Petri, the results of this investigation will be published.



House of One-Podcast: On May 20 the first episode of the new podcast “331 – 3 women, 3 religions, 1 topic” airs with the title “Judaism – much more than just a religion”. Led by Rebecca Rogowski, college student of Judaistics, Maike Schöfer, who is on her way to become a priestess, and Kübra Dalkilic, an Islamic theologist, the podcast shall become a platform of exchange and discussion as well as deepen the knowledge and understanding of the different religions. All of that following the motto: Interreligious dialogue must not take place exclusively on podiums; it belongs into our everyday life, into cafés, subways and with this podcast right into everyones ear.

Cornerstone ceremony: A “place for tolerance and openness”, says Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Bundestag on May 27 in his speech for the cornerstone ceremony that takes place on Petriplatz in Berlin! Participating in the ceremonial activities are due to Covid only a very limited number of people. Besides President Schäuble the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, was involved as well as the clerics and the team of the House of One. Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace sends greetings from New York. The ceremony was broadcasted live in German and English.



The media coverage: The media response to our groundbreaking ceremony was enormous. After the first media reflection on a local level international media has caught on as well and makes the event noticed worldwide. The recap video is just as popular – it reached almost 10.000 views at this point! Our social media accounts are flooded with positive affirmations from our followers and so many others we have reached with our project. What a support!



10 years of House of One: The commemorative publication for our 10th anniversary has arrived! It is a journey through the history of House of One in its most relevant steps – from coming together as small Jewish, Christian and Muslim congregations, through its way of development, deepening and extending the project, up to our cornerstone ceremony in May. The entire publication “From the ideo to the groundbreaking – 10 years of House of One“ is available through our website - unfortunately at the moment only in German. Translation is about to be done.



Qurbanis for the Central African Republic  – On occasion of the Eid al-Adha, the muslim festival of Kurban, again we have helped to set up a donations campaign. In muslim tradition, on the festival of kurban one donates to those in need. The donations were dedicated to the people in Central African Republic, in whose capital Bangui the Interreligious Peace Platform is in close collaboration with the House of One since 2016 as our partner project.



20 years after 9/11  a multi-religious prayer for peace takes place in the Parochial Church in Berlin. To honour the victims both of the terrorist attack in the USA and the following wars on terror, US-American and afghan representatives are included. Representing the US-view is reverend Ryan White, giving us a look into the dramatic situation of the people in Afghanistan is Kava Spartak (Yaar e.V.).

Movie premier: For the German premier of the movie "Sìrìrì - Le Cardinal et L'Imam" (Sìrìrì means peace) at the Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin Cardinal Nzapalainga, project ambassador of the House of One, and Imam Ouassalegue have come to Berlin from the Central African Republic. The movie documents the guests journey in their mission of spreading peace in the much fought-about provinces of their country. Swiss director Manuel von Stürler accompanied the Clerics on their dangerous peace mission.



Art against anti-Semitism: For the celebration year "1700 years of Jewish life in Germany" the exhibition “Adam, where are you?” by artist Ilana Lewian opens on October 10 at the Parochial Church in Berlin. Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Bundestag, holds the opening speech and uses the occasion to address the growing anti-Semitism in Germany. “Imagine Jesus lived in 1938 during the NS era. What would have happened to him?” - thus the exhibition confronts its spectators with questions of the origins of identity, its meaning and assignment to the people as well as the similarities and conflict points of our multi-layered society. The House of One participates in the accompanying educational program.



Joint responsibility for Europe: European is growing closer together. Still prejudices and hate crimes are growingly common – especially pointed at Muslims and Jews. About these “inner borders” between people and about how the House of One is a project that can transform these borders into peaceful connections Andreas Nachama gives a speech at the conference “Europe Bottom-up” of the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin.



Christmas Service with Jewish and Muslim guests: At the Petrikirche the traditional Christmas vesper is held in a so-called liturgical hospitality with Muslim and Jewish guests. Collectively they celebrate the Christian festival of the birth of Jesus Christ.