On the Day of German Unity, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz recalled the democratic commitment of the people of East Germany, as well as “their fight and courage” that had made Germany’s peaceful unification possible. He said that 33 years ago this country had been united by a confidence that we could overcome what divided us. “It is important that we all celebrate this and that our country is characterised by freedom and unity,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz during the Day of German Unity festivities in Hamburg.
The Federal Chancellor said that sticking together and relying on Germany’s strength and globally competitive economy, sophisticated welfare state and cosmopolitan attitude were the aspects “that should determine our country’s free and united future”.
See the video of the statement delivered by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Day of German Unity here.
Celebrations on the Elbe
The official Day of German Unity celebrations took place in Hamburg, as the Bundesrat Presidency is currently held by the city. The day began with an ecumenical service on the topic “a flow of living water” held at St. Michael’s Church, which was followed by a Day of German Unity ceremony at the Elbphilharmonie. Among the attendees were the leaders of the constitutional bodies: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President of the Federal Constitutional Court Stephan Harbarth who gave the ceremonial address, and the President of the Bundesrat and First Mayor of Hamburg Peter Tschentscher.
The Federal Government put itself on show
There was also a public celebration around Hamburg’s city hall, where citizens celebrated German unity, and had the opportunity to talk to representatives of the Federal Government. The federal ministries presented their work in the inner courtyard of the city hall. A varied programme of live music, a show for children and demonstrations by the customs office was presented on a pontoon stage floating on the Inner Alster lake. The Federal Government presented the work of the Bundesrat, Bundestag and the Federal Constitutional Court around the neighbourhood.
Chancellor Dialogue with Olaf Scholz
During the tenth Chancellor Dialogue on the evening before the Day of German Unity, Federal Chancellor Scholz answered the questions of around 170 citizens on subjects including migration, war, high rents, cutting red tape, as well as Scholz’s hometown Hamburg. Find out more about the Chancellor Dialogue here: Moin Mr Chancellor!
Dialogue forum with ministers
A number of federal ministers answered the questions of the participants as part of a forum at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. First up were the Minister of State for Eastern Germany and Equivalent Living Conditions Carsten Schneider and the Head of the Federal Chancellery Wolfgang Schmidt on Monday. On Tuesday, the Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Building Klara Geywitz and the Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann spoke on the topic of “Speeding up Germany: how to prevent a bureaucracy burnout and promote affordable housing”, and the Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius talked about the turning point in security policy. The forum was rounded off by Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger who spoke about equal opportunities and educational justice. Find out more about the discussions during the dialogue forum here.
Further information is also available on our German Unity topic page.