Speech given by Federal
Chancellor Dr Helmut Kohl at the ceremony marking the seventh
anniversary of the political unification on 3 October, 1997
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.