Robert Blum (1807 - 1848) - Democrat, revolutionary, free spirit - Festive event and convention of the DFW observing the Robert-Blum remembrance year 2007

The Dachverband Freier Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften (DFW, Umbrella of Secular Organizations in Germany) proclaimed the year of 2007 as Robert Blum remembrance year in honour of the freethinker Robert Blum, who was born 200 years ago. The DFW and the Freereligious Society Berlin honoured Robert Blum in Berlin on September 23, 2007 as a steadfast democrat, freedom fighter and revolutionary and as a freereligious person.

After the opening of the event by the president of the DFW, Dr. Volker Mueller, Walter Momper, (SPD), president of the Berlin town parliament, in his greetings declared Robert Blum an important democrat and one of the founders of the freereligious movement in Germany. Wolfgang Thierse (SPD), vice president of the Deutsche Bundestag, pointed out in his greeting Blum‘s achievements for human rights and the rule of law as well as his significance for the history of freedom for today. Other guests from politics and different religious and life stance organizations were present, amongst them the president of the Bund Freireligiöser Gemeinden Deutschlands (Association of freereligious societies of Germany), Rainer Schrauth, and the president of the Freie Akademie (free academy), Prof. Dr. Jörg Albertz.
The formal address was given by Dr. Hinrich Enderlein (FDP). Blum’s life and work, his significance for the history of democracy and for the development of religion and life stance outside the christian churches stood in its center. He specifically emphasized questions of religios politics concerning the separation of church and state up to now. The „Robert-Blum-Kollegiate“ lead by Kirsten Reuter showed Robert Blum’s life through drama and music on a high artistic level.

The day before a history and science colloqium discussed the work and ideas of Robert Blum intensively. The people listed below lectured: Dr. Wolfgang Heyn (Berlin center for research of the freereligious movement), Prof. Dr. Frank Engehausen (History department, University of Heidelberg), Dr. Hans Jörg Schmidt (city archives of Schriesheim) and Ute Janz (freereligious society of Baden). The colloqium results will be published.
Not only his martyrdom on November 9, 1848 is reason enough to learn about Blum, but also his incredible effort for a democratic, lawful and free German republic. To reduce the historic and democratic memory abut just to his shooting because of martial law - we think at the slogan „shot like Robert Blum“ – does not give credit to this historic personality and his lasting achievement. As a German politician of the revolutionary „Vormärz“ (pre march), as activist of the civil democratic revolution 1848/49 and member of the national assembly in the Frankfurt Paulskirche he brought about important results for our present times. He was speaker for the left liberals in the national assembly and one of its temporary vicepresidents. His thoughts about democracy, people’s souvereignty and freedom are a historic root of our current German constitution.

Robert Blum was also honoured on September 22 and 23 as one of the initiators and founders of a new religious movement in Germany in opposition to the roman catholic church. This topic has been neglected so far. Blum’s activities for a free religion, in which one can think freely and there is no dogma to believe, has to be seen in connection with contemporary endeavours. The question of religion and the social political question concerning the alliance of throne and altar had a great disruptive force in the forties of the 19th century. One has to think of Johannes Ronge’s critique of the showing of the so called „holy cloth“ in Trier 1844, which led to a religious awakening in Germany and to the development of freeeligious societies first as german catholic groups and the Lichtfreunde (friends of light: protestant groups).

Blum belongs to the fathers and founders of the freereligious movement in Germany and was an important freethinker and humanist. The DFW is proud of his historic service for democracy and freedom in Germany.

Dr. Volker Mueller