MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Dear Mr President! Dear Colleagues! 30 years of reunification, this is a very special anniversary for me, for which I am infinitely grateful. If it hadn’t been for reunification, I wouldn’t be in the German Bundestag today and couldn’t speak to you.
In 1990 I got involved in local politics, and I still remember exactly how this feeling of awakening was in the air – you could literally feel it – this euphoria on the way into a new, but also unknown time, especially when you consider what the conditions were like in 1990. 40 years of socialism had left their mark: in our inner cities, on the houses, the infrastructure and our environment.
The task of “German unity” was an enormous challenge and development achievement. At the time, I saw the reorganization of our local government in Saxony-Anhalt first hand. How great were the upheavals and changes that had to be overcome! This would not have been possible without the support of our neighbors from Lower Saxony. For this I would like to say thank you again at this point.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and delegate Rainer Spiering [SPD])
The town twinning that our municipalities have been cultivating intensively since 1990 until today, for example between Blankenburg and Wolfenbüttel or Halberstadt and Wolfsburg, are for me a sign of lived German unity as a joint effort by East and West.
My constituency is the Harz. It runs exactly along the former German-German border. On October 3rd, i.e. tomorrow, numerous small events will take place there with the partner communities. Tomorrow I will be at a memorial service on the summit of the Brocken – a very special place,
(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: A Hexentanzplatz!)
which previously as a restricted area could not be hiked from either the west or the east. Today the Brocken stands as a symbol of unity, and I’m very proud of that.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the delegates Gabriele Hiller-Ohm [SPD] and Bettina Stark-Watzinger [FDP])
In my speech today, however, it is particularly important not to focus exclusively on the past. After all, we can be infinitely proud of what we have achieved and built together. Today we have a modern, medium-sized economy and a well-developed infrastructure, for example the A 36 as a new motorway, an important connection between East and West. Massive environmental damage has been removed, the cities have been renovated and many half-timbered houses, like mine in the Harz Mountains, have been lovingly restored. Investments in tourism bring people from all parts of Germany to us. The Harz Tourism Association markets the regions as a whole across three federal states. The common Harz National Park also emerged from the successful merger of the national parks in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
I could give numerous other examples; but my speaking time is not enough. It is important to me to emphasize how much we have achieved, achieved and successful. If you drive through the new federal states with open eyes, you will see what I am talking about.
Together we have succeeded in transforming the reunified Germany into a well-functioning, diverse and – as we see especially in Corona times – crisis-proof unit. Of course we have to grow together in the end. Again and again we have to work on growing together. Our German unity is not a state of affairs, but an ongoing process, and I think it is good and right that we are no longer facing the challenges of growing together 30 years after reunification, but rather when necessary, with an all-German support system. There are structurally weak regions in parts of the old federal states; Here, too, we have to tackle the topics of the future that are burning on people’s nails: education, digitization, health care, the future of rural areas, to name just a few.
Our German unity is a mission for all of us, regardless of which federal state we live in. And it is up to the younger generation to continue this important task. The young people did not get to know it any other way; they are at home in a united Germany. It is important that we always keep the memories of our past alive. Because our democracy and what we have achieved together are a great asset.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
This becomes particularly clear when we look at other countries in the world; we should always be aware of this.
Ladies and gentlemen, 30 years of German unity are unique in the history of our Federal Republic. It’s a reason to celebrate, and I’m looking forward to it and very proud of it. Let us use this anniversary to bring this pride to the outside world!
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD and FDP)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.