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The President of the Republic awarded an Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana to Walter Zapp

Walter Zapp and president Lennart MeriToday in Zurich the President of the Republic awarded the 4th Class Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana to Walter Zapp, the inventor of the Minox camera, as a token of gratitude for placing Estonia on the world map with his invention.

The President of the Republic said in his speech that Estonia is proud of Walter Zapp and regrets that the pro-provincial Estonian authorities did not have enough sense to support creativity and that Walter Zapp had to go to Riga for the production of Minox. The President expressed his hope that Estonia will not repeat today the mistake of the provincial periphery. The President referred to his question ''What is the Estonian Nokia?'' and emphasised that creativity has to be supported and protected as a little child.

Walter ZappWalter Zapp said in his long speech of thanks, given in faultless Estonian, that Estonia is his homeland. He thanked his former colleagues Richard Jürgens, Nikolai Nyländer, Karl Indus and Hans Eppner for assistance and support in the development of Minox. Walter Zapp stressed that he had been forced to escape, as after the occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania he had received a message about his transfer to Moscow to develop Soviet military optics there. According to Walter Zapp, the time he had spent in Tallinn had been a happy time for Estonia, and he gave special acknowledgement to the inventor Karl Pappello, ''the greatest Estonian Thomas A. Edisson of all times'', who has, however, not been included in any Estonian reference books. Up to now, Walter Zapp has proudly followed the domestic and international achievements of Estonia. ''For the first time I wept with joy at my radio in August 1991'', reminisced the inventor of Minox, Chevalier of the Cross of Terra Mariana Walter Zapp.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 20, 2001


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