On 27th January 2006 the phone rang. Oliver Zeisberger, CEO of Barracuda Digitale Agentur, was on the other end giving us the news, "JOHANNES RAU died last night. We’ll launch a digital book of condolence within 10 minutes." It’s important that you understand that Johannes Rau was one of the most popular politicians ever in Germany. He was minister-president for 20 years in our crowded federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Within the next few days, thousands of people wrote their condolences in this online book. We compiled 1,500 selected comments into a condolence book. The printer had to reactivate the big Heidelberger printing machine so as to print – two copies. The first copy was sent to the family of Johannes Rau. And the second one was given to the archives of the "Friedrich Ebert Stiftung," a foundation for social democracy.