DOCUMENT 13:
Speech given by Federal Chancellor
Dr. Helmut Kohl (October 3, 1997)
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Speech given by Federal Chancellor Dr Helmut Kohl at the ceremony marking the seventh anniversary of the political unification on 3 October, 1997 in Berlin.

Today we are celebrating the seventh anniversary of the reunification of our fatherland. For us Germans the third of October is a day of joy and gratitude. At the same time, our national holiday gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we Germans have achieved together since 1990 and how we want to shape our common future.

Nowhere else are the tasks facing us as clear as they are in Berlin. In a unique way, Berlin is associated with both the division and the unification of Germany. For nearly 30 years the Berlin Wall - which was only a few metres from here - was the dreadful symbol of the partition of Germany, of the brutal division of our nation....

I well remember, ladies and gentlemen, how on 3 October 1990 we were able to celebrate the unity of our fatherland a few metres from here, in front of the Reichstag. It was one of the most moving moments of my life. Today, with all the every-day political problems that face us, we should not forget what a great gift has been granted us in unity.

Berlin provides us with a microcosm of the progress which is being made by internal German unity. Our undivided capital city is continually growing closer together. The face of the city has changed so much that if it were not for the red line which now marks the old course of the Berlin Wall, we could no longer see where it stood. Berliners, too - despite all their problems - are coming together more and more. And more than any other city in Germany, Berlin is a meeting-place for Germans from East and West. Berlin has become a symbol of a new beginning.

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