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Inseparable friendship between a German Inventor and a German hotelier in SeoulKoreans look upon Germany as a teacher in peaceful reunification

The two Koreas are trying to improve relations and cooperation and many people in the South view Germans as their ‘teacher’ in bringing the two divided parts of the Korean peninsula closer together for increased cooperation with an eventual aim of peaceful reunification of the divided Korean peninsula when time comes.
For this reason many Germans have particular sympathy for the present plight of the Korean people and among them are two bosom German friends of the Korean people. One of them is German Inventor Winfried Sturm and the other is General Manager Bernard Brender of Grand Hilton Seoul. They are both very good friends and share views for the promotion of friendship and cooperation between Koreans and Germans.
This article concerns Inventor Sturm and his relationship with General Manager Brender.—Ed.

German Inventor Wilfred Sturm (right) poses with President Joonseok Lee of Korea Invention Promotion Association.

Inventor Winfried Sturm is a graduate, physicist, scientist, magician and a passionate high-schoolteacher in physics, informatics and mathematics, who is retired since 2009. Currently he is the head and manager of the Student High Tech Invention Education Association (HAG) of Germany which was founded by him in 1982. He researches with his HAG Student Team on high-tech innovations, especially for handicapped people and medical devices. His lifelong honorary engagement is indescribably linked with a lot of worldwide activities, e.g. International Ambassador of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and IFIA Youth Network Manager for the worldwide invention organisation “International Federation of Inventors´ Associations.”

Inventor Sturm (right) poses with President Yoon Myung-hee of Korean Women Inventor Association.

The other part of the deeply amicable alliance is Bernhard Brender who is an Honorary Citizen of Seoul also with a lot of engagements and functions such as General Manager of Grand Hilton Hotel Seoul and Active US National Ski Patrol Rescue Team. He is a German who started as an engaged cook and who visited many countries on his successful way as an internationally awarded cook and hotel manager. He came to Korea in 1991.
Sturm says: “At this point, I would like to give my hearty thanks to my very close friend Mr. Brender. He gave me the possibility to build up an admirable friendship between us since the tragic death of my eldest son in 2006 when we met with each other for the first time here in Seoul for taking part in a Korean invention organisation, ‘KIPA International Student Invention Fair’ (SIIF) with three of my HAG students as inventors of innovative inventions.
Mr. Brender was on my side all the time helping me overcome my deep sorrows and sadness. Since that time we are together in brain like one-egg twins with similar thinking, feeling and doing.”

From right: General Manager Bernhard Brender of Grand Hilton Seoul, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, Deputy Editor Choi In-ho of The Korea Post media, Inventor Sturm and Mrs. Sturm.

In addition, in his particular function as a well-known and successful hotel general manager, Brender opened the gate in an until-then unknown world of VIPs, politicians and ambassadors. I would especially like to mention the personal contact with former German Ambassadors H.E. Mr. Mafael, Dr. Seidt and Mr. Auer.
Sturm became acquainted with such dazzling personalities as Princes, Sheiks, and Delegates of the Vatican, and chairmen of other very important organizations.
One of the special appointments that he had this year was a meeting with Chairman Nam Jong-Hyun of Glami Co., Ltd. at the German booth at the Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition. He gave his deep thanks for the presented innovative medical invention and handed over some of his well-known canned health drink, DAWN 808.

Sterm shows a KIWIE Invention Special Award.)

Although the reason for the extraordinary friendship with GM Brender in 2006 was caused by a tragic accident-related death, both friends used the connections to become deep friends. In the past 12 years they met each other frequently in Seoul. This year for the 17th time, Sturm was invited by KIWIE. The awarding at KIWIE 2018 by the international jury with Gold and Silver medals and a National Special Award shows the high standing of the HAG project. Additionally, the newest appreciation by Iranian IFIA President Alireza Rastegar with the IFIA Gold Award for outstanding international activities as IFIA Youth Network Manager shows the exceptional worldwide engagement of Inventor Sturm.

Iranian IFIA President Alireza Rastegar (left) honored Sturm with a IFIA-Gold-Award for his outstanding engagements in invention.

Inventor Sturm is also an engaged representative of Germany, a very successful inventor, and a passionate teacher. Annually since 2006 he represented Germany as worldwide well known nation of inventors at KIPA Seoul International Invention Fair (SIIF). He presents not only innovative high-tech-inventions developed together with students and especially made for handicapped peoples to make their life easier, but he attracts people as a wonderful magician by fascinating the visitors with unbelievable magic effects, and earns a lot of interest for combining the thinking for innovative inventions by doing magic with incredible effects. To transfer his experiences, every time he stays in Seoul he visits Korean schools to educate students by presenting lessons in physical-science linked with magic effects.

Inventor Sturm (left, foreground) with Chairman Nam Jong-hyun of Glami

Sturm and Brender are very happy to see each other regularly because of invitation by annual KIPA, SIIF and KIWIE events. But this is not only to be in Seoul as a close friend and inventor but also as a German who gives the heart for the same situation he knows by himself by growing up in the communistic part of Germany.
Stern added: “We have overcome in Germany the division in two parts in 1989 and I hope the two divided Korean nations will be on the right way soon. I remember the terrible situation in 1958 when I was 13 years old and my family had to escape to the free western part of Germany because my father was arrested caused by an awful denunciation of a good friend. My family lost all and had to start a new life just from the beginning without having any belongings. It was a very hard time. But this was also the beginning of a career as a successful inventor, later for a passionate magician, and a highly engaged teacher, helper and supporter by heart for people in desperate situations and now for the many refugees. Therefore this is the reason I have given my heart to the Korean people because I can feel with the Koreans the sadness deriving from the division of the country and nation. But it seems that on the horizons a hopeful change is looming larger and larger.”

Inventor Sturm (third from left) with women inventors from Thailand

The deep emotional ties and amazing bonds between Sturm and Brender are the cause of their incredible understanding and feeling for each other which open them to an endless source of energy to be creative in finding new ways of life, realizing future goals, and initiating unknown possibilities.
Both of them are very busy in helping people who suffer from various reasons and they see the problems in our daily life. Both of them are characterized by great creativity, learning by doing.
They are self-made persons who are motivated by themselves to reach given goals step by step. They have the feeling of how to pursue the path for realizing an aim. They are tailor-made characters with a wide vision.

General Manager Bernhard Brender and German Inventor Winfried Sturm (left and right) show a can of health drink of Korea.

Especially, their interpersonal communication is based on faithful personal opening. Additionally, an important feature is their distinct body language enabling a two-way trust. In doing so, empathy, faith and confidence are built up. Both close friends internalized these important soft skills and are very successful in assembling close contact.
Sturn states: “If motivated, you can catch every goal and you can climb over barriers built up by different culture, nations and religion. Both our belief and thinking was and is: Only when we will and are able to open our mind for understanding each other then we can overcome boundaries of intolerance, egoism and individualism, which often are the causes for misunderstanding, hate and warfare. As a visionary for successful future we believe in the gain of creative strategy to motivate people, especially youth. One of the important intentions is to bridge the gaps between daily life and social compassion with the aim to gain social competence of young generation and to strengthen the creativity and motivation of youth.”
Once more a globetrotter, Sturm expressed deep compliments as a sign of esteem for his close friend, Bernhard Brender, for humanity, selflessness, and helpfulness and his fortune to have found a real friend with a strong connection between both families.
“Hoping that the inseparable friendship between us will continue forever,” he noted finally. “Also our personal bond with chairman of The Korea Post media, Mr. Lee Kyung-sik, will continue to grow like an honest friend accompanying us from the very start.”

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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