Since the premiere in August 2011 the former GDR civil rights activist Rainer Eppelmann accompanies the 100MeilenBerlin. And for the fourth edition in the next year Eppelmann will again support the Berlin Wall Race with his patronage. In his current Greetings he emphasizes the meaning of the annual event along the Berlin Wall Trail. “The 100MeilenBerlin are a contribution to the commemorative culture of this country and this city by which the inhuman Berlin Wall and its fall in 1989 are remembered.” Commemoration because it is threatened to fade from the cityscape of Berlin, as Eppelmann writes.
Eppelmann was district youth pastor in Berlin-Friedrichshain, organizing controversial Blues masses and other events of youth ministry there. Together with Robert Havemann, author of “Frieden schaffen ohne Waffen” (“Making peace without weapons”), he participated in activities of church-related peace and human right groups in 1982.
In 1989 Eppelmann represented the Democratic Awakening (Demokratischer Aufbruch) at the Central Round Table of the GDR (Zentraler Runder Tisch der DDR), after that he was initially a non-executive Minister in the second cabinet of Modrow and since April 1990 Minister for Disarmament and Defense in the first democratically elected cabinet of the GDR under Lothar de Maizière.
In 1990 he joined the Christian Democratic Union and from 1990 to 2005 he was a member of the German Bundestag. In November 2009 Rainer Eppelmann was decorated with the award “Against oblivion – Pro Democracy” (Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie). At the time being Eppelmann is Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.