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August 28, 2015

New German Translation of the Gorbachev-Ikeda Dialogue Released

Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century

New German edition of Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century

FREIBURG, Germany: A German translation of Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century, a dialogue between former Soviet President Mikhail S.Gorbachev and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has been released by the Herder Publishing House in Germany. A previous German edition was released in 1998 and this edition is a new translation based on the English edition. Since its initial release in Japanese in 1996, the book has been translated into eleven languages to date including English, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Icelandic and Greek. In the book, Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Ikeda discuss various topics covering politics, religion and philosophy, in search of universal humanistic values for advancing civilization into the twenty-first century.

In their joint preface, the authors state that their efforts to find a shared spiritual basis to commence their discussions revealed to them the significance of human experiences in the 20th century and how much people living today--despite being born and raised in different cultural backgrounds--have in common. As they explore together their life experiences amidst the turmoil of the twentieth century, they conclude that values are born of culture and that peace, progress and social justice can only be achieved through sincere dialogue and cultural exchange.

Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Ikeda first met in July 1990 on the former's visit to Tokyo. Their dialogue, conducted over some ten face-to-face meetings and written exchanges, culminated in this collaboration.

[Adapted from an article in the August 28, 2015, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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