Photo. Refugees waiting to be admitted to the Marienfelde Refugee Center, August 14, 1961
© DHM-Schirner
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Conferment of the Federal Cross of Merit

Senator for Social Affairs, Dr. Heidi Knake-Werner, presents Harald Fiss the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz), © ENM
At the opening of the new exhibition (14 April 2005), the Senator for Social Affairs, Dr. Heidi Knake-Werner, presented the-then chair of the Association, Harald Fiss, the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz). In her speech, Dr. Knake-Werner emphasized Mr. Fiss’ great personal commitment to the museum. She praised his engagement, describing it as a successful combination of historical consciousness and social engagement. “As manager of what is today the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs, Harald Fiss experienced first-hand and took part in the decision-making surrounding the developments in Marienfelde. Seizing the initiative, he set up an exhibition in remembrance of the flight of East Germans to the West. Since August 1993, this exhibition graphically demonstrates what were for many contemporaries a series of highly dramatic developments. Because of Harald Fiss the new exhibition was realised, receiving the support of public agencies, sponsors, private donations and considerable resources made available by individual members of the Association.”

Harald Fiss directed the Marienfelde Refugee Center from 1985 to 1990. He served as chair of the Association from 1995 to 2007.