We Germans celebrate today, October 3rd, our national holiday. And we actually do that as a nation that, if it were to go by the will of the political mainstream, should be in disarray.
No, our brothers and sisters did not fight in East Germany at that time. Almost all of us still hear the calls for freedom of the bravely determined GDR citizens “Germany United Fatherland”, “freedom, freedom” and “We are the people”.
Today, thirty years later, even the term “people” is frowned upon. Even concepts such as Fatherland and recently even freedom are outlawed and negatively seen by those above. In the midst of climate hysteria, the freedom of each individual is no longer fashionable, because “voluntary renunciation” of our freedom should be prescribed.
The young generation, who was born only after the “Peaceful Revolution”, knows the fall of the Berlin Wall only from the history lesson and, since, thank goodness, did not have to endure any of their own experiences with it.
When the Fridays for Future kids go out on the streets today, they no longer demonstrate their freedom. Freedom is for this generation – and I would like to repeat that – thank God something seemingly self-evident. They do not know the oppressive bondage; I have to emphasize: not yet. They do not care a bit that their prophets even preach their voluntary renunciation of freedom and march cheerfully and misguided into the self-chosen oppression.
The 3rd of October is an emotional day for me every year, because it reminds me time and again, what you forget too easily in the hustle and bustle of everyday life: Unfortunately, freedom is not self-evident. It must be fought for as in 1989 and defended every day anew; also and especially today.
Unlike the East Germans, the West Germans have been given their freedom downright. Freedom fell to them after World War II. They were used to expressing their opinions freely, to be able to travel freely and, last but not least, to be free to develop economically.
It was different in the east of Germany; Here, after the Nazi dictatorship, another socialist injustice regime, the GDR followed. This painful story has shaped people for generations, making them highly sensitive to any form of paternalism.
Out of this experience, especially our East German compatriots have an unmistakable sense of the threat to freedom. They react as if the are allergic to any attempt from above – be it from politics or the media – to curtail their freedom. This is an important freedom instinct.
With deep concern I look today on our national holiday, on our homeland. A fatherland to which we can rightly be proud of, not least because of the freedom won in the ‘peaceful revolution’. I ask you: Let us work together to ensure that the great achievements of our liberal democracy are not lost to their numerous enemies. On the other hand, let us defend ourselves with determined civic engagement.