Since 2002, the city of Bautzen has taken advantage of the opportunity to honor a number of its citizens, who have distinguished themselves through exemplary civic engagement, and who have made a contribution to the well-being of the city and its citizens. Residents and institutions can make appropriate nominations, which are then examined and decided on by the City Council. The highest recognition for deserving citizens is the award of Honorary Citizenship. Its principles were approved in the “Statutes on the award of the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Bautzen” in 2001. On this basis, selected individuals were presented with this award for the first time in 2002.
Christian Schramm was born on 3 May 1952 in Burgstädt, the town where he grew up and after finishing school, trained as a lathe operator. He then went on to study religious education at the University of Applied Sciences in Moritzburg. The year 1974 marked the beginning of his work in the city of Bautzen. During that year he was engaged as a deacon for youth work in the parish of Sankt Petri. Subsequently he worked for several years as a district catechist in Bautzen.
In 1989 Christian Schramm was one of the founding member of the local New Forum. The Forum had set itself the goal of promoting change in the GDR, as the founding members considered the communication between state and society to be dysfunctional. As a consequence, the GDR government classified the New Forum as hostile to the state and placed it under the observation of the State Security (Stasi). Notwithstanding the personal risk involved, Christian Schramm continued his activity in the movement and in so doing made a decisive contribution to the development of a free and democratic constitutional system in our country.
As early as 1990, he was elected mayor of Bautzen by a large majority, not least in recognition of his commitment to the democratic cause. He was to hold this office continuously until 2015. Under his leadership, Bautzen took on its present-day appearance and structure, concerning both the subject of urban redevelopment and the field of economic development. The buildings of the historic centre for which the City of Bautzen was administratively responsible were extensively renovated with the help of external subsidies as well as the required financial resources of the City itself. Through the demolition of the prominent but unattractive 13 story high-rise block and the former school, along with the construction of the new Kornmarkt Centre, the Kornmarkt area underwent a comprehensive transformation. Together with the redevelopment of the historic city centre, this became the distinctive new face of the City of Bautzen.
One main focus of his work from the very beginning was the modernisation of the school and day-care centre infrastructure. A high standard of modernisation and refurbishment was achieved in this area earlier than in many other towns and communities, creating favourable conditions for the care and education of children and young people, helping to make up for the backlog of work of previous decades.
However, if a city invests heavily in the refurbishment of its buildings and infrastructure, the foundations must first be laid in the economic sector in order to be able to finance this through appropriate tax revenues.
For this reason, the establishment of the Bautzen-Salzenforst and Bautzen North industrial areas was another central theme for Lord Mayor Christian Schramm. These industrial areas were supplemented by an additional four business parks within the city. This provided the basis for the creation of more than 24,000 jobs and made Bautzen the most important labour market in the region.
But it is not only in the city of Bautzen that he has had a lasting impact. From 2001 to 2016 Christian Schramm held the office of President of the Saxon Association of Towns and Municipalities and thus represented the interests of the municipalities in their dealings with the State of Saxony and the Federal German Government.
Additionally, in the functions of President and 1st Vice President of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities since 2003, he has been committed to the representation of the interests of the municipalities with respect to the Federal Government and Europe.
Christian Schramm has endeavoured to serve society throughout his life. He worked selflessly as a champion for the regeneration of the City of Bautzen as well as looking towards its future development. He succeeded in enhancing the reputation and importance of Bautzen beyond the borders of our city. This is a lifetime achievement which is recognized now with the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Bautzen.
The following people have been recognised Honorary Citizens of the city of Bautzen up to now:
Jan Buck (1922–2019)
Awarded Honarary Citizenship in 2007.
Biography of Jan Buck
Helga Schwarz (1928–2014)
Awarded Honarary Citizenship in 2002.
Biography of Helga Schwarz
Dr. Siegfried Seifert (1936–2013)
Awarded Honarary Citizenship in 2002.
Biography of Dr. Siegfried Seifert
Herbert Flügel (1908–2007)
Awarded Honarary Citizenship in 2006.
Biography of Herbert Flügel