25 February 2019

Secretary General Aufderheide receives Romanian national order

Enno Aufderheide

Photo: Embassy of Romania

The Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was awarded the Romanian Order of Faithful Service, Commander Class, during a ceremony at the Romanian Embassy in Berlin on 22 February 2019. The Order was conferred by the Romanian Ambassador Emil Hurezeanu.

Aufderheide has received the honour both for his personal commitment and that of the Humboldt Foundation to academic and cultural exchange between Romania and Germany. The Humboldt Foundation fosters a network of more than 200 alumni in Romania who cooperate with colleagues in Germany and actively promote understanding between the two countries. Many of them hold responsible positions in academia and are also frequently involved in government.

“For many decades, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has made efforts to strengthen relations between our countries. Employing the tools of academic diplomacy, it fosters close ties,” said Enno Aufderheide at the ceremony. “Romania is an important country for our Foundation, and for me, personally, relations with Romania are particularly important. During my time as Secretary General of the Foundation I have visited Romania more often than nearly any other country. I therefore know that research in Romania is shaped by a fantastic wealth of ideas, inventiveness, commitment and great openness to collaborations. And, despite ever-present financial difficulties, this produces internationally competitive results,” according to Aufderheide.

Aufderheide levelled criticism at Germany for too frequently seeing Romania as a country from which poor people came to Germany. “This unforgivable ignorance demonstrates the urgent need for better human and political understanding between our two countries. We have to get to know each other better. Science builds bridges for us, but we only make good use of these bridges if we cross them motivated by curiosity for the people and their lives on the other side,” Aufderheide emphasised.

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