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Freedom as the Core of the German Question (March 15, 1984)
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Second: The German nation is a reality in the consciousness of Germans.

Shaped by many centuries of common history in the heart of Europe, we Germans understand the unity of our nation as self-evident.

The historical and political changes on German soil have not extinguished the consciousness of national unity. We in the free part of our fatherland are confronting our entire history, with its dazzling chapters and its horrible, somber ones. And we know that in this century especially the common experience of arrogance and guilt, of misery and suffering is what holds all Germans together and what keeps the consciousness of our unity alive.

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Third: it is our duty to make the consequences of the division more tolerable and less dangerous for the people.

We want to find practical solutions that serve the people. This too is part of satisfying our national obligation. And of course this cannot be achieved at the cost of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

We are aware of the complexity of intra-German relations. These relations have remained stable, even in view of the political decisions of recent months. It benefits both sides, it benefits our allies in the West, and I can declare this with satisfaction.

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Fourth: As a contribution to peace in Europe we wish to intensify our relations with the GDR.

We are committed to the treaties we have concluded. We want to continue to reinforce the fabric of our relations.

I welcome – let me say this explicitly – the fact that the Social Democratic Party of Germany and its party caucus also agree with these policies. The broad agreement in the decision of the German Bundestag of February 9, 1984, was an expression of this. – Ladies and gentleman, I don’t know why you are suddenly so unsettled. You should be pleased that this is a clear sign of some common ground.

We want to protect and expand what we have accomplished; we want to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the Basic Treaty and the other intra-German treaties and agreements.

We are prepared to further develop our relations with the GDR on the basis of balance, adherence to the treaties, and reliability, and with the goal of practical results that are directly useful to the people.

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