Honorary Citizens of the Hanseatic Town of Wismar
October 03rd 2004 - Professor Dr. Gottfried Kiesow
On Sunday, October 3rd 2004, at special session of the Bürgerschaft on German Unity Day, Professor Dr. Gottfried Kiesow was conferred the honorary citizenship of the Hanseatic Town of Wismar. With obvious pleasure, Mayoress Dr. Rosemarie Wilcken held her eulogy praising Professor Dr. Gottfried Kiesow, President of the Executive Board of the Deutschen Stiftung Denkmalschutz (German Foundation for Monument Protection). "... a sheer inexhaustible source of knowledge and energy. He is a man of the highest creativity. But it doesn't stop with him a ideas – there soon follows their realization, achieved with tenacity and consistency." Professor Dr. Gottfried Kiesow has accompanied the reconstruction of St. Georgen Church and the restoration of the Old Town of Wismar "with heart and soul". Without his support and advocacy as well as his assistance on St. Georgen's Scientific Committee, the entire enterprise would hardly have been possible. The mayoress continued by citing Professor Kiesow's initiation of a wide range of activities with the aim of the preservation and restoration of Wismar's monumental heritage, e.g. the creation of a Jugendbauhütte (Youth Masons' Guild), in which young people often encountered the subject of historical preservation for the first time, or the 3D film Bruno Backstein ('Bruno Brick'), part of the exhibition in St. Marien Church entitled Wismar's Red Brick Gothic. With his help, Professor Kiesow has raised awareness of Wismar beyond federal state borders. Thousands alone have learnt about Wismar and the Hanseatic towns of the Baltic Sea's southern coast from Professor Kiesow personally during sightseeing tours of historical monuments. These tours have been sold out for several years in a row and have had an enormous effect – for example, two former visitors had bequeathed their fortunes to St. Georgen Church, having heeded Professor Kiesow's exhortation that it is not enough simply to rebuild monuments, but also to arrange a sort of 'nursing care insurance' for them to ensure their preservation. (Source: Stadtanzeiger No.17/2004)
April 13th 1988 - Marita Meier-Koch
Marita Koch was born in Wismar and her first sporting activity was with the sporting association TSG Wismar.
In a formal reception ceremony Marita Koch received a gold ring engraved with 'Honorary Citzien of Wismar' as gift of honour. Her honorary citizenship was conferred with the right and obligation - along with her husband - to participate in civic, sporting and cultural events.
Honorary citizenship has also been awarded throughout Wismar's history – official documents reveal for example the following citizens who were bestowed the honour.
June 21st 1989 an Karl-Heinz Kalusche
First Secretary of the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands – Socialist Unity Party) district committee. With the impending dissolution of the GDR, he relinquished the honour on December 13th 1989.
April 23rd 1969 - Herbert Fiegert
Wismar's mayor from 1957 to 1969, he received the honour on his retirement.
October 9th 1903 – Geheimrat (Privy Councillor) Fortunat von Oertzen
For his part in the negotiations that culminated in the permanent return of Wismar to the Duchy of Mecklenburg in the same year (it had been a Swedish possession since 1632).
April 1st 1895 - Prince Otto von Bismarck
On the occasion of his 80th birthday.
December 6th 1878 - Hereditary Marshall August Friedrich Ulrich von Lützow
February 13th 1861 - Lieutenant-Colonel Ulrich Carl Adolph von Bassewitz
In honour of his part in the founding of charitable foundations for Wismar.
March 9th 1845 - Christian Samuel Louis Frege
(ancestor of Prof. Gottlob Frege, the father of modern logic)
Awarded honorary citizenship for his dedication in realizing the extension of the rail network to Wismar.