I stand before you, grateful for this miracle of reconciliation, and I wish I could say that our remembrance has made us immune to evil. Yes, we Germans remember. But sometimes it seems as though we understand the past better than the present. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism, at Yad Vashem, 23 January 2020.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2020-01-26
(English translation below) Erinnern Sie sich noch? Vor genau zwölf Monaten hatte ich einen Weihnachtswunsch an Sie: "Sprechen Sie auch mal mit Menschen, die anderer Meinung sind." Lesen Sie die ganze Rede: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Weihnachtsansprache 2019 Schloss Bellevue, 25. Dezember 2019 Do you remember what I said last year? Twelve months ago I told you my Christmas request. I asked you to talk to people who do not agree with you. Today I want to ask you how that went. What debates and discussions have had a particular impact on you this year? -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Christmas message 2019, 25 December 2019.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2020-01-04
The fact that today we are jointly engaging in this act of commemoration gives me hope. The path of reconciliation gives us hope. Hope that in the future, our continent will continue to be united in peace and freedom. Hope that together we can fight against new forms of resentment, racial hatred and nationalism, in the interests of democracy and freedom. Hope that we will continue to pursue our common path. As good neighbours. As friends. As Europeans. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, 16 December 2019.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2020-01-04
This great (Berlin) Wall, this inhumane construction which claimed so many victims, no longer stands. The Wall is gone, once and for all. However, new walls have emerged throughout our country: walls of frustration, walls of anger and hate. Walls of silence and alienation. Walls which are invisible and yet divide. Walls which stand in the way of social cohesion. And you know what? The Berlin Wall was the work of Ulbricht. It was built by a regime of tyranny. But the new walls in our country are our own work. And only we can tear them down. So let us not just stand by, let us not just complain about them – let us finally tear these walls down. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9 November 2019.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2019-12-01
80 years ago, at this very moment, all hell rained down on Wieluń – fuelled by German racist barbarity and the desire to annihilate (…). What happened in Wieluń was a warning flare – a terrorist attack by the German Luftwaffe and a harbinger of all that would follow over the next six years. We call it war – because we lack a proper way to describe all the horror of those years. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Commemoration of the beginning of the Second World War at Wieluń, 1 September 2019.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2019-09-29
"Everything is interaction" is what Alexander von Humboldt noted down in Mexico, deeply impressed by what he had observed and experienced during his Latin America expedition. It had taken him through the mangroves and jungles of Colombia, to the indigenous tribes and colonial rulers of the Andes mountains, to Cuba and via the volcanoes of Ecuador almost up to the Chimborazo summit, which at the time was considered the highest mountain on earth, and, finally, through Lima into the heart of New Spain, or Mexico. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Reception for fellows of the Humboldt Foundation, 27 June 2019.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2019-06-30
(English below) Nie wieder Krieg! Nie wieder Diktatur! Nie wieder Unterdrückung der Schwachen durch die Starken! Nie wieder Unfreiheit und Zensur! Nie wieder Verfolgung von religiösen und politischen Überzeugungen! Das waren wesentliche Motive der Gründung der ersten europäischen Gemeinschaft in den Römischen Verträgen und das waren Motive der Erweiterung und Vertiefung der Europäischen Gemeinschaft bis heute. ---0--- Never again should there be war or dictatorship! Never again should the strong oppress the weak! Never again should there be repression and censorship! Never again should people be persecuted for their religious or political beliefs! These were the main motives for the foundation of the first European Community in the Treaties of Rome and for enlarging and deepening the European Community to this day. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Honorary doctorate from the University of Athens, 11 October 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-11-03
Solche Schilderungen lassen mich nicht los. *** I can’t forget these stories. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Turkish-German coffee afternoon, 22 August 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-09-01
Der 23. August 1939 – ich fürchte, in Deutschland ist dieses Datum nicht mehr jedem gegenwärtig – ist der Tag … *** On 23 August 1939 – I am afraid that not everyone in Germany is still familiar with this date – ... -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Awarding of the Peace of Westphalia Prize, 14 July 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-09-01
The fact that we, in this year, on this occasion and as representatives of our countries, are discussing the role of Poland and Germany in a united Europe, that we are no longer merely neighbours, but part of this European Union, is far more than many of our predecessors could possibly have imagined. Indeed, that we would one day work together was so unimaginable for so long that many are apt to call this a miracle. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Poland and Germany in Europe, 5 June 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-06-24
We need to look at how populists then use all of these fears against the so-called establishment, be it in politics, business or even academia, be it in Bern, Berlin or – a big favourite – Brussels. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Can democracy survive in the 21st century?, 26 April 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-05-05
If we imagine how in the future – according to reports – 600 million cameras will monitor public spaces in China and artificial intelligence will make it possible to pick out a single face in a huge crowd, then we get an idea of the enormity of Harari’s words of warning. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Can democracy survive in the 21st century?, 26 April 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-05-05
Of the many attributes that the Japanese and Germans have in common, one stands out for me in particular, namely our enthusiasm for European classical music. This is probably true first and foremost of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which is a symbol of the joy we take in music. Many are aware of the fact that this wonderful work is the anthem of the European Union. However, what many people do not know is that it also tells a story of Japanese-German history. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on the occasion of his visit to Japan, 6 February 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-02-24
"Concordia domi foris pax" – "harmony inside, peace outside" (…) Ensuring "harmony within" is a challenge in almost all democracies. On my travels both in Germany and abroad, I have seen again and again the polarisation of many societies, growing irreconcilability between political opponents and increasing distance between social groups. The pressures of globalisation and the changed culture of debate in the digital age are putting our societies’ internal cohesion to the test. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, New Year reception for the Diplomatic Corps, 11 January 2018
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-01-26
I would like to tell you, our guests from New York, a story that wasn’t published in your paper. It is the story of the demise of a civilisation, and it was experienced by an eight-year-old boy. … And that brings me back to the start of my speech ... -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Marion Dönhoff Prize to the New York Times, 3 December 2017
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2018-01-06
(English below) Vor zwei Jahren, noch in meiner Zeit als deutscher Außenminister, las ich in einer unserer Tageszeitungen ein beeindruckendes Interview. Ein Mann, Mitte 50, Elektroingenieur aus der Slowakei, berichtete über seinen Anfang der 1990er Jahre gescheiterten Versuch, in den Vereinigten Staaten Fuß zu fassen. Er hatte sich bei hunderten von Firmen beworben, erfolglos, sich mit Gelegenheitsjobs über Wasser gehalten, in einer winzigen Wohnung mit anderen, Landsleuten und Schicksalsgenossen gelebt und seine Ersparnisse aufgebraucht. Schließlich gab er auf. "Niemand wollte einen Elektroingenieur aus dem ehemaligen Ostblock." Er ging zurück in seine Heimat. Hier könnte die Erzählung enden. Doch in einem fast beiläufigen Nachsatz erfahren wir, der Mann sei zwar mittellos, aber mit der Lust, sich als Unternehmer zu versuchen, aus den USA zurückgekehrt. Der letzte Satz dieser Kurzbiografie lautete, in Ihren eigenen Worten, Herr Präsident: "In der Heimat war ich dann sehr erfolgreich, habe mich später karitativen Dingen gewidmet und bin heute Präsident. Eine seltsame Karriere." Verehrter Herr Präsident, lieber Andrej Kiska, ich würde sagen, diese Karriere, Ihre Karriere ist vor allem eine große Lebensleistung. -- (English) -- Two years ago, when I was still Germany’s Foreign Minister, I read an impressive interview in one of our daily newspapers. A man, in his mid-fifties, an electrical engineer from Slovakia, talked about his failed attempt to settle in the United States in the early 1990s. He had applied to hundreds of companies, but to no avail. He had kept his head above water with casual labour, shared a tiny apartment with fellow countrymen suffering a similar fate, and had used up his savings. In the end, he gave up. "No one wanted an electrical engineer from the former Eastern bloc", he surmised. He returned to his home country. The story might well end here. However, then we discover, almost in passing, that while he may have been penniless, he returned from the US with the desire to set up shop as an entrepreneur. Mr President, the last sentence of this short biography is – in your own words – as follows: "Back home, I was very successful. Later on, I devoted my energy to charitable projects and now I’m President. A curious career." Mr President, Andrej Kiska, I would say that this career, your career, is, above all, a great lifetime achievement. -- Franck-Walter Steinmeier, First official visit to the Slovak Republic, 17 November 2017
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2017-11-25
(English below) Heute erinnern wir, Franzosen und Deutsche gemeinsam, an das, was hier geschah. Wir erinnern, weil jede Generation für sich aufs Neue erlernen muss, die Idee der Nation von der Ideologie des Nationalismus zu unterscheiden. Wir erinnern, weil wir nie wieder den Irrweg beschreiten wollen, auf den der Nationalismus führt: zur Repression nach innen und zur Aggression nach außen. Wir brauchen die Erinnerung, als Mahnmal, als Gedenkstätte, als Museum – aber das allein wird nicht ausreichen. Wenn wir der Soldaten gedenken, die hier ruhen, wenn wir ihr Andenken ehren, dann tun wir das, weil ihr Sterben uns nicht ruhen lassen darf. Das wird 100 Jahre nach dem Geschehen – wenn die letzten Zeitzeugen verstorben sind und junge Menschen fragen: ‚Was hat das eigentlich mit mir zu tun?‘ – nicht einfacher. Aber es ist deshalb keinen Deut weniger wichtig. (…) Europa! Dieses Europa, die in Frieden vereinte Europäische Union, das ist die Antwort auf die Verheerungen zweier Weltkriege. Lesen Sie die Rede auf Deutsch: Frank Walter Steinmeier, Inauguration of the Museum Hartmannswillerkopf, 10 November 2017 (English) -- Today, we – French and Germans alike – are remembering together what happened in this very place. We are recalling something that each generation has to learn afresh for itself – to separate the concept of nation from the ideology of nationalism. We are remembering what happened, because we never again want to be led astray by nationalism – to repression at home and aggression towards others. We need this remembrance, as a memorial, a monument, a museum – but that alone will not suffice. When we commemorate the soldiers who lie here, when we honour their memory, we do so because we must not forget their deaths. This task is not getting any easier, 100 years after the events, now that the last living witnesses have died and young people ask, "what has any of this to do with me?" But, for this very reason, it is not one iota less important. (…) Europe, this Europe – the European Union united in peace – this is our response to the devastation of two World Wars. -- Frank Walter Steinmeier, Inauguration of the Museum Hartmannswillerkopf, 10 November 2017
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2017-11-25
(English below) Wir feiern den Tag der Deutschen Einheit – wie jedes Jahr. Und wir feiern ihn zu Recht, den 3. Oktober, den Tag, an dem Ost und West in Deutschland wieder eins wurden. Und doch ist in diesem Jahr etwas anders. Nicht nur Wolf Biermann, den ich zu Beginn zitiert habe, auch viele andere schauen mit Fragen, mit Sorgen, mit Verunsicherung auf die innere Einheit unseres Landes. Das ist die eine Seite des heutigen Tages. Sie ist deutlich zu spüren in diesem Jahr. Wer ist das eigentlich – "wir Deutsche?" -- Today, we celebrate the Day of German Unity – as we do every year. We have good reason to celebrate the 3 October, the day when East and West Germany again became one.Yet, this year, something is different (…) Many (…) feel doubt, worry and insecurity when they look at internal cohesion in our country. That’s one aspect we should focus on today. It’s an undercurrent that can clearly be felt this year. Whom do we mean by "we Germans"? -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Ceremony to mark the Day of German Unity, 3 October 2017.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2017-11-05
No meeting is more ingrained in my memory than that of 13 November 2015: The day was actually intended to pay tribute to the many Frenchmen and women who had shown untiring commitment during the response efforts in the aftermath of the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps. We were sitting next to each other in the Stade de France with those volunteers on the evening of 13 November, looking forward to a friendly match between our two national football teams. After only half an hour, the evening took a dramatic turn. We both received initial reports about a terrorist attack right outside the stadium. By the minute, there was more and more horrendous news about what was happening near the stadium and at other locations in Paris. Shocked and appalled, we eventually got a clearer picture of the absolute barbarisms that had occurred. Maybe, dear François Hollande, it was more than just a coincidence that Germany was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with France on that fateful day. -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, First official visit to France, 30 March 2017
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2017-04-22
(English below) Diese Jungen, die haben es satt, dass über Europa nur noch die reden, die es schlechtreden. Die wollen nicht, dass ihnen ihre Hoffnung, ihre Zukunft von Populisten geraubt wird oder durch Lethargie abhanden kommt. Deshalb sind sie rausgegangen und haben gezeigt: Der Puls Europas schlägt nicht nur hier in diesem Parlament, sondern auch auf den Straßen und Plätzen! -- These young people are sick and tired of having only the nitpickers' voices heard on the subject of Europe. They do not want their hopes and futures stolen away by populists, or lost to lethargy. That’s why they took to the streets, to show that Europe’s lifeblood is found not only here in this parliament, but also on the streets and in public spaces! -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Address to the European Parliament, 4 April 2017
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Posted by Isabelle le 2017-04-22