A Lehigh Acres businessman has been asked to become an "honorable consul bundesrepublik Deutschland," representing his native Germany in the U.S. But due to recent bad health, Eugene Borosch, owner of the Lehigh Shopping Center on the corner of Homestead and Alabama roads, said he has turned it down.
Borosch has received a letter from Herbert Frankenhauser, a member of the ruling party in the German Parliament which also represents the country's head of state, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also sent one of her latest books with a personal inscription inside the cover.
Borosch said he has met Merkel and has found her to be a good leader of the German people. She has been noted by Forbes Magazine as the second most powerful woman in the world, second only to Hillary Clinton, the out-going U.S secretary of state. Merkel The title of "honorary consul" means more than what it sounds like. Holding such a title in the U.S. is for those who are American citizens who were born in Germany. Essentially, they are appointed by the ruling party of government in Germany to aid those in help from Germany who live in the U.S.
Because Germany is so far away from the U.S., the Geneva Convention devotes the entire third chapter for the "honorary consular" officers and consular posts headed by such officers.
Worldwide Germany has appointed some 350 honorary consuls. They are not considered diplomats, but they enjoy immunity from jurisdiction with respect to official acts performed in the exercise of their functions.
They are also important because they often are able to bring German businesses to their new countries of citizenship.
Borosch, who also owns several properties in Lehigh Acres, along with his wife, Conchita, is considered one of the community's leading business leaders.
"I was honored to be asked to serve as one of the many counselors in the U.S. I love America and I love my native country of Germany, where he has returned to visit often, especially while his mother was alive. She passed away a few years ago.
The request for the important position here in Florida has probably never been offered before to any other native German, but Borosch is not sure.
Borosch says he doesn't believe that anyone else has a copy of a new book written by the German prime minister, whose responsibilities are not unlike the head of any other nation, including the U.S.
Borosch was hospitalized just recently and spent several days in a Miami hospital dealing with heart issues. The invitation to be a member of the German Consul representing Germany meant a lot to Borosch and helped to raise his spirits, his wife said.
And the book by Merkel with her personal note to him is probably the only one possessed by another native German in the state and surely in Lee County.
Borosch said due to health reason, he "respectfully declined" the invitation to become an honorable consul member. Herbert Frankenhauser, a member of the German Parliament, and a representative of Prime Minister Merkel, answered Borosch's letter saying that it was with deep regret that he acknowledged that for personal and health reason, Borosch was not available for the position.
Borosch had spent two weeks at the Miami University Clinic. He has had heart issues before and in his mid-70s, he said he didn't feel he would be able to fulfill the obligations asked by the German government.
However, he reports to his office in the shopping center several times a week to oversee his many business interests.
Chancellor Merkel is a member of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria and the first person from formerly what was East Germany to hold the post.