Berlin’s Man in Bali Given a Cross of Merit

Germany’s Honorary Consul in Bali, Robert Adrian Jantzen, was honored by H.E. Ina Lapel – the Ambassador to Indonesia of the Federal Republic of Germany at an intimate lunch held in Sanur on Friday, 19 November 2021.

H.E. Ina Lepel, German Ambassador to Indonesia & Robert Jantzen, Hon. German Consul for Bali and NTB

During the lunch, Ambassadress Lapel presented Robert Jantzen with the Federal Republic’s prestigious Cross of Merit (Verdienstreuz am Bande) for his outstanding service to German nationals living and visiting Bali and for fostering good relations with the local communities in Bali and Lombok.

In presenting the Award, Germany’s Ambassador for Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and ASEAN praised the Honorary Consul for Bali and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) by enumerating pivotal roles played by Jantzen in alleviating natural and man-made emergencies that have occurred in Bali and its surrounding regions.

Mount Agung Volcano Eruption 2017

Ambassador Lepel described how Jantzen and his team assisted the mass exodus of German nationals who fled the Island of Bali following a series of major eruptions of the Mount Agung volcano between August – November 2017. Those eruptions, of varying intensity, caused more than 100,000 people living near the volcano to abandon their homes and tourist accommodation while the mountain deposited layers of volcanic ash across a wide area occupied by more than 5 million people. In repeated eruptions, stretching until June 2018, the airports in Bali and Lombok were repeatedly closed, and international flight schedules were canceled.

Lombok 6.9 M Earthquake 2018

Also praised by Ambassadress Lepel was how the Bali consulate assisted Germans affected by the 05 August 2018 earthquake of 6.9 M in neighboring Lombok. The largest earthquake in Lombok’s recorded history killed 563 people, injured more than 1,000, and displaced some 417,000 from their homes. Bali’s German Consular Teams assisted German holidaymakers and expatriates by standing by at the airports in Lombok and Bali with information, coordinating flight bookings, and helping the traumatized and injured. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Jantzen’s Consulate staff also assisted the residents of Lombok most affected by the disaster.

Thomas Cook Group Collapse 2019

Also praised was the critical assistance to German travelers provided by the German Consulate following the sudden financial collapse of Thomas Cook Group in 2019. That event left many frantic European travelers stranded in Bali and other overseas locations facing uncertain return-flight arrangements and staying in hotels where they were often under pressure to pay for accommodation booked but unpaid by Thomas Cook. Born in Bali and operating a business with extensive contacts in the region’s tourism industry, Jantzen helped Germans secure flights home and mediated a way for stranded tourists not to be burdened with “paying twice” for their holiday accommodation.

COVID-19 Pandemic

In the best of times, the German Consulate in Bali faces an already heavy workload registering births, deaths, and marriages; handling Germans who have lost their passports; and assisting Germans who are hospitalized or who have run afoul of the law. As pointed out by the German Ambassador to Indonesia, starting in early 2020, the Consulate faced the added responsibility of dealing with problems linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. These added responsibilities included assisting Germans who have fallen ill in Bali, those stranded on the Island due to the lack of a return flight to Germany; people unintentionally overstayed their Indonesian visa, or Germans financially impacted by coronavirus.

The German Ambassador praised Robert Jantzen’s service as Honorary Consul. Because of Jantzen’s German ancestral roots and birth in Bali, he is uniquely suited to serve as a bridge of understanding and cooperation between Bali and NTB, and the German Republic.

Robert Jantzen was appointed German Honorary Consul in 2013, succeeding his Father Reinhold Jantzen, who held the post for 27 years. Jantzen is the Operations and Business Development Director in PT Soejasch Bali – a successful family-owned business that operates nationally in processed meat and fish products, and imported food products.  

History of The German Republic Order of Merit

The Federal Cross of Merit was established in 1951 to “express recognition and gratitude to deserving men and women of the German people and of foreign countries for achievements that serve the rebuilding of the country in the fields of political, socio-economic and intellectual activity.” Presented in nine different classes, the honor is intended to recognize all those whose work contributes to the peaceful rise of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Award is given for special achievement in the political, economic, cultural, intellectual, or voluntary service. Robert Jantzen was officially bestowed with the Cross of Merit on Ribbon (Verdienstreuz am Bande) and a certificate personally signed in Berlin on 07 August 2021 by the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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