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Peter Kraus vom Cleff, Chief Executive of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association)

Peter Kraus vom Cleff

© Lukas Wehner

One of my most memorable moments at Frankfurter Buchmesse was the message of greeting from the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in 2022. It was my last year as honorary president of the European Publishers' Union FEP and my first year as Chief Executive of the Börsenverein, so I was allowed to speak some introductory words. 

The Harmonie hall was filled with hundreds of people. There was a tense and awkward atmosphere in the air. To be able to announce the speech of this impressive person moved me. It was an absolutely special moment in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the trade fair. Later, an acquaintance sent me a screenshot of me in a Facebook post by President Zelensky he had shared the greeting message on his channel – including a short excerpt of his speech. 

The preparations also kept us busy: within a few hours, my team coordinated the creation of English subtitles so that the fair visitors could understand the speech. One minute before the event started, the English subtitled version of the video arrived in the hall. For me, this event was an expression of our industry-wide solidarity with Ukraine at Frankfurter Buchmesse.