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October 2003 - Nr. 10


The Editor
To the Editor
Antje berichtet
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
Toronto Connection
Letzte Kraftanstrengung
KW and Beyond
Filmfest Stories
With Anton Kuerti
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Herwig Wandschneider
German-American Day
Stephen Harper Statement
Essay Contest
Old German Tradition
President Rau's Message
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
TSO & Lars Vogt on Piano
TSO: Composer Wanted
TSO - Boris Berezovsky
Dietrich & the Phone
Wins "Golden Shell"
Reubens Returned
Financial Advice
Frauenkirche Unveiled

President Rau on the Day of Germany Unity

   On October 3, 2003, Germany celebrated 13 years of unification — and the strong and active American support that made it possible.

President Rau’s Message on the Day of German Unity

"Thirteen years ago what most people no longer believed would occur within their lifetimes became a reality: German unity in freedom," said German President Johannes Rau. "Countless individuals had persistently worked to achieve this goal, for which some had even risked and sacrificed their lives." Praising the "spirit of togetherness in the united Germany" Rau noted that the country has come a long way since the fall of the Berlin Wall back in 1989.

Several papers this week joined Rau in taking stock of German unification 13 years on.

Berlin’s Berliner Kurier said that united Germany’s 13th birthday is without a doubt "worth celebrating..."

"...Even when many people are saying that unification hasn’t worked out as well as they might have hoped — with none of [former Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s promised] blooming landscapes, but only high unemployment. That is right - but also wrong. Right, because there are too many people that have lost their jobs because of unification. It’s wrong, however, that everything has taken a turn for the worst. Freedom and democracy count for something, too. And those that really remember the GDR will remember that it was neither free nor democratic."

Citing a recent wave of nostalgia for all things East German in the east and west alike, Cologne’s Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger says that Ostalgie, a play on the German words for "east" and "nostalgia," is no indication that people in the east would want to see the return of the East Germany’s communist regime:

"Looking for symbols of their own identity, people in the east will inevitably cherish symbols of their past. But socialism as a system is no foundation for a state — and they know that. Even so, democracy and capitalism alone are alone nothing to celebrate. Disappointment and frustration in the east have given way to Ostalgie. An exercise in selective memory, it’s simply the easiest path to self-assurance. The popular uprising more than a decade ago is, however, just as meaningful an experience for people in east. It is a reason for people in the east to be proud — and a reason for people in the west to take a closer look at their ability to adapt to change."


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