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Lothar de Maizière's Government Program (April 19, 1990)

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We will work hard and effectively, but we continue to need your support and solidarity, just as we felt it last fall.

We are asked: Don’t you have anything to contribute to German unity? And we answer: Of course, we do!

We contribute our land and our people, our established values and our diligence, our training and our ability to improvise. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

We contribute the experiences of the past decades, which we share with the countries of Eastern Europe.

We contribute our appreciation for social justice, solidarity, and tolerance. In the GDR, there was education against racism and xenophobia, even if there was little opportunity to exercise it in practice. We must not, and will not, give xenophobia any place in our society.

We contribute our bitter and our proud experiences on the threshold between conformity and resistance.

We contribute our identity and our dignity. Our identity: that is our history and culture, our failures and our achievements, our ideals and our suffering. Our dignity: that is our freedom and our human right to self-determination.

But the issue is more than the last 40 years. Germany has a lot of history to come to terms with – especially that which we have blamed on others and thus taken too little responsibility for ourselves. But whoever lays claim to the positive achievements of Germany history must also acknowledge its guilt, regardless of when he was born or began playing an active role in this history himself.

Germany is our heritage of historical achievement and historical guilt. When we stand by Germany, we also stand by this dual heritage.

Yet we are not stopping at Germany. Our focus is Europe. We know the current weaknesses of the GDR. But we also know: It is a country that is by no means poor in economic possibilities.

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