Three days of retreat away from Frankfurt

Updated: Oct 10

Did you hear about “Point Alpha” in Germany? It is an important observation military post (held by the US) in the period of the cold war, located 150 MK north-north east of Frankfurt, Germany. I had the privilege of visiting this place and I want to tell you more about it. Come along.

Visit to Point Alpha was part of a three-day retreat (retreat is called as “Klausurtage” in German language) organized by our host organization – DIZ in Frankfurt. Let me tell you more about this retreat before I come to talk about Point Alpha.

This retreat took place at a place called Rhöniversum at Rhön which is about two hours north and north east of Frankfurt and their objective is sustainable development. On the first day we participated and discussed about sustainable developmental goal (SDG) # 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG # 13 (Climate Action). In the evening, my Indian friend and I had a little free time so we went walking down to town. It was beautiful and nice.

With my friends in front of the sustainable development center at Rhoniversum

This is the place I stayed at - called as "Bee Hotel" to attract bees.

View from my room in the "Bee Hotel"

On the second day, we participated in an activity called “Ecological Foot Print”. The participants directly experience the injustice of distribution and are encouraged to reflect on their consumer behavior. This really got me thinking as to my individual role in achieving sustainable goals for the world that I live in.

In the evening, we had a visit to Point Alpha with a guide Ms. Frau Monica Held. Basically, Point Alpha was the flashpoint separating East and West Germany if in case there was another world war. I climbed up the post on the west side to see the similar post on the east side as well which are separated just by stone thrown away distance. Our guide told us that she lives only a kilometer away and she was witness of tensions during the cold war era. That was a preserved history lesson which I appreciated tremendously.

With friends in front of part of the Berlin Wall at Alpha Point

With our guide Ms. Frau Monica Held

Me on top of the wat tower on the West Germany side

The tower on the right belongs to the East and the one on the left to the West Germany.

In the evening, we had an interactive session of all the activities we did during the day and many German friends shared their experiences of cold war era.

On the last day, we the volunteers were asked to brainstorm to strengthen south-north volunteers’ program (program that I came on to Germany). In the afternoon, we walked to the church and back to Frankfurt.

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