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President: we need a culture of togetherness

The Local · 22 Oct 2012, 16:24

Published: 22 Oct 2012 16:24 GMT+02:00

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People had to be more aware of their own values in order to be tolerant of others, he said, in his first official speech as president in the capital city.

After walking through the iconic Brandenburg gate with Berlin Mayor, Klaus Wowereit, Gauck addressed hundreds of onlookers in the City Hall, near Alexanderplatz.

He suggested the less certain a person was of their own values, the more prejudices and resentment they were likely to develop. And he indirectly referred to the conflict which arises when support for the rights of minorities to self-expression is confronted with that expression being opposed to democratic values.

Germany had to be careful not to mistake tolerance for indifference – and that there could be no indulgence of ideologies which rejected democratic society, he said.

A “culture of positive discourse” was needed to prevent the friction which automatically arose from a mixed society, from turning to aggression.

But he stressed that Berliners should not be scared of variety, almost reviving the concept of multiculturalism, famously declared to have failed, by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2010.

Referring to the fatal Alexanderplatz attack, Gauck called for people to show social resolve and not to look away. The murder had left him “totally outraged”, he said.

Wowereit welcomed Gauck onto the stage, but not before adding a few words of his own. Berlin, he said, historically had flourished when at its most open and tolerant.

Story continues below…

The president was also scheduled to visit to a mosque in the working-class Neukölln district, as well as a visit to a centre for young businesses and meetings with youths from the city.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:50 October 22, 2012 by adipk
Debatable topic. please start....
20:55 October 22, 2012 by lucksi
Damn you Saturday Night Live. Whenever I hear togetherness, I have to think about the jingleheimer junction skit.

We can't have togetherness, without 4 things :D
00:20 October 23, 2012 by Fritz21
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
03:19 October 23, 2012 by marimay
Fritz, your ignorance is showing.
06:40 October 23, 2012 by lewis69
Another junk article from The Local.

First off the article does not say who was killed why etc. you are left to put the pieces togeather your self. From what I can tell some one of a minority group was killed and every one assumes it was a White pride group I'm really not sure.

What a bunch they must have working at this place they can't even write a proper article ever hear of the 5 w's?

Think i'll just go to the bbc for my news from now on.
07:50 October 23, 2012 by Abed Al Shihab
To remain Germany as the best country in europe Germans should listen to president's advice.
11:07 October 23, 2012 by Onlythetruth
President Joachim Gauck called for greater public spirit and a culture of togetherness as the political elite in germany continues to screw the middle class with imported cheap foreign labor.
19:35 October 23, 2012 by raandy
It is obvious he is speaking about the guy who passed out on a chair and was beaten to death.

Togetherness sounds good but better police protection and training sounds better.
19:04 October 26, 2012 by JoanJet
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:29 October 26, 2012 by Jay Moore
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:55 October 28, 2012 by soros
The problem of intercultural integration is touchy. Saudi Arabia has a couple of million foreigners in the country and the regime has dealt with it by institutionalizing a kind of unspoken apartheid. This is similar to many countries where foreign, low skilled workers are second class in every way. To think of this as a White problem is misleading. Humans segregate themselves; it's only when people become ghettoized that the trouble starts.

Globalization is coming on too fast for people to adapt to. We all need time and good will to make the transition, or we need to reject the whole global trend, settle for slower growth, less GDP and maybe more peaceful societies.
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