Click here to see Mr. Longolius at the 2006 BERLIN Reunion.
Checkpoint Charlie Foundation / Checkpoint Charlie Stiftung
It is with great sorrow that the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation announces the death of its former director and chairman, Alexander Longolius, who died in Berlin on January 31, 2016, at the age of 80.
Alexander Longolius was born in Berlin on December 30, 1935. As a young man, he participated in a year-long high school exchange to the United States organized by the American Field Service, AFS, an experience which not only cemented his love for the United States, but would inspire his work in support of international exchange for the rest of his life.
In 1975, Longolius was elected to the (West) Berlin House of Representatives as a member of the Social Democratic Party. In 1986, while a member of the House of Representatives, he helped found the Initiative Berlin-USA, a non-profit association that organized a large number of people to people exchange projects between Berlin and the United States. In 1994, he was instrumental in the passage of legislation to create the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, which became perhaps his most important legacy in support of German-American relations. After leaving politics in 1995, he became the foundation’s first executive director, a position he held until 2000, when he was appointed chairman of the executive board of the foundation, guiding its growth and continued development until December of 2014, when he retired from public life completely. In 2005 he was awarded the Federal Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his work to further international understanding.
His tireless work in support of German-American relations has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been not only a central figure in the creation and growth of this foundation, but also a valuable advisor, a quiet inspiration for what one person can do to make the world a better place, and a friend. He will be missed.
Jeri (Polansky) Glass '72
The Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, under Herr Longolius's leadership, sponsored our Luncheon at the opening of our Exhibit 'The American Education Experiment' at the Allied Museum (formerly the Outpost Theatre) during our 2006 Reunion in Berlin. The Berlin Brats have lost a great teacher and dear friend.
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