• Germany's news in English

Politicians pay tribute to 'East German courage'

The Local · 3 Oct 2012, 15:37

Published: 03 Oct 2012 15:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Munich held this year's official celebrations, which kicked off in the morning with a service in St Michael's church in the city centre. Speeches from Lammert, and the Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer followed, as top politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel watched.

“Europe should not be knocking down any more walls, instead we need calm, far-sighted policies to bring the country together,” said Lammert in front of the audience in the Munich State Opera House.

He called for further development of the EU regarding integration and reminded the crowd that it had not been overlooked in the wake of the euro crisis.

“Europe is more than an administration, more than a much-chided bureaucracy, more than guidelines and more than treaties. And it is a lot more than the euro,” he said. The single currency was, he said, an important way to develop political and economic unity. It could not replace joint values and shared history, Der Spiegel said on Wednesday.

Europe needs courage that spans over the member states and remains unshakable, said Lammert. For this “citizens who are engaged in similar ideas for Europe were vital,” he added.

He praised how far the country had come, but stressed that there was still a lot to do. The successes and achievements reached after German unification were clearly visible, though.

German President Joachim Gauck was also present at the proceedings. He watched as Seehofer called the fall of the Berlin Wall “the shining hour of my political life.” He said he had been waiting for it his entire life.

Seehofer also praised the courage of those living under communist rule in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). He said that the way in which they had mastered life in the newly German states was “worthy of respect.”

During the morning church service in St Michaels, Cardinal Reinard Marx told the congregation to remember that “we are not just German, we are European.”

“Without European society there would never have been German unity.” Yet a unified Germany was one of “give and take.”

Story continues below…

In Berlin, thousands descended on the Brandenburg Gate in the centre of the city for celebrations.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:01 October 3, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Politicians pay tribute to 'East German courage'..................

Sorry, who has been "PAYING"..................
17:15 October 3, 2012 by GloriousNewsComrades
The DDR is still a brilliant notion.
18:57 October 3, 2012 by Englishted
Why are the men with their backs to the camera wearing hedgehogs on their hats?
19:50 October 3, 2012 by IchBinKönig

It's to tell the West Germans and the East Germans apart.
20:18 October 3, 2012 by finanzdoktor
@IchBinKonig: Das ist komisch!!!!!
23:04 October 3, 2012 by MaKo
Gracious, people, it's a "Gamsbart." And if you're a real 'boarischer Mo', you can stick one on your green felt hat. Welcome to Bavaria.
19:56 October 5, 2012 by Englishted
@ MaKo

Yes you are welcomed to it.


so what are they then?
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd