German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for an ongoing commitment to democracy, on the 31st-anniversary ceremony of the reunification of east and west.
In a joint service with Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the outgoing Chancellor said “October 3, 1990, stands for the reunification of our country in peace and freedom.”
“This freedom did not just burst upon us. This freedom was won. The country we celebrate today as a reunified one could become because there were people in the GDR who risked everything for their rights, their freedom, for a different society.”
Merkel warned that sometimes democratic achievements were treated a bit too lightly.
She said democracy must be protected. “But we are experiencing attacks on such high goods as freedom of the press at this time. We are experiencing a public sphere in which demagogic lies and disinformation are used to stir up resentment and hatred. Without inhibition and without shame. Not only individuals and groups are defamed.”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was also at the Day of Unity service.
“It is not only people who are attacked because of their origin or their faith. Democracy is under attack.”
The Day of German Unity was held in Saxony-Anhalt for the second time since 2003.
Unfortunately, the traditional three-day civic festival was again canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.