Christmas Eve Dagmar Wöhrl (69) is spending this year without her husband, the major entrepreneur Hans Rudolf Wöhrl (76, fashion, hotels, airline).
On Monday, the CSU politician, who is also a jury member of “
The Lion’s Den” is on the plane to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. In the luggage: 100 kilos of gifts (in 9 suitcases!) for the poor Children which Dagmar Wöhrl will present in Sri Lanka.
Dagmar Wöhrl explains to a child how to plant in Gampaha (Sri Lanka) in 2023
Also the ingredients for her private Christmas menu, which she will prepare for herself and the employees of her foundation in her house in the jungle of Hikkaduwa: dumpling dough, sausages, red cabbage, mustard and horseradish. Everything from Nuremberg.
“I won’t let this tradition be taken away from me,” says Dagmar Wöhrl with a laugh when BILD reaches her on the way to Munich Airport.
Then she talks about her Christmas mission: “I’m flying to Sri Lanka for five weeks, where we as a family have been active for children and young people in need for decades, but also support projects to protect elephants and the villagers who suffer from them,” says Dagmar Wöhrl.
Sri Lanka is home to some of the largest elephant herds in the world. Wöhrl: “Many villages have been built on their routes in recent years. This poses a danger to people and animals who invade there to get their hands on the tempting sweet fruits that are grown there. Elephants trample the residents to death. They protect themselves with electric fences that seriously injure the elephants – or they shoot the animals. We have now developed fences that do not cause injuries but keep the animals away from the village.”
In 2023 alone, 140 elephants and 100 people died.
The Nuremberg entrepreneur Hans Rudolf Wöhrl with his wife Dagmar
Dagmar and Hans Rudolf Wöhrl founded a foundation after the tragic accidental death of their son Emanuel (died in July 2001 at the age of 12 after falling from the roof of his parents’ house in Nuremberg).
Dagmar Wöhrl to BILD: “Emanuel is always with me. But you never get over the death of your beloved child. There are moments when it really weighs you down.”
The Emanuel Wöhrl Foundation supports children and young people in need around the world.
The foundation builds kindergartens, schools and meeting places, provides psychosomatic care to poor children, provides them with training, and supports them with language programs and environmental protection projects.
Dagmar Wöhrl (Lion’s Den) 2021 with children in Sri Lanka
Among others in Sri Lanka, the Wöhrl family’s “place of happiness”. The politician: “Our sons spent a large part of their childhood there. We used to go on vacation to Sri Lanka long before the tsunami. Then we set up rubbish bins with them on the beach, initiated zebra crossings and built the first kindergarten. The children were always there.”
Dagmar Wöhrl is particularly looking forward to her time there, now at Christmas: “I am so happy to see many of the children and young people again. For me, Christmas is most beautiful when children’s eyes light up. In January we will open a baby hospital, which former Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s foundation also co-financed.”
Husband Hans Rudolf Wöhrl will spend Christmas Eve in Nuremberg with his 5 grandchildren. Dagmar Wöhrl to BILD: “But he’s coming and staying with me in Sri Lanka for two weeks.”