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Appeal to the German People by the Christian Democratic Union (June 26, 1945)

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Parents must be granted the right to raise their children so that they respect God, their elders, and the value of experience. Religious instruction organized by the church must be part of their upbringing. Through the pernicious teachings of racial hatred and incitements to violence, Hitler poisoned the minds of large numbers of our youth, and they must be led back to the path of true moral values. Science and art must develop freely, and the doctrines of a genuine humanity, whose German heralds belong to all of humanity, must support the moral renewal of our people.

Because of the immeasurable misery of our people, we must rebuild our economic life and ensure work, food, clothing, and housing for all without regard to personal interests or economic theories, and based on strict planning. Top priority must be given to the emergency program for bread, housing, and work. It is crucial that the state own natural resources, if for no other reason than to protect the state, for all time, from the illegitimate influences of economic conglomerates. Mining and other key monopolistic industries in our economy must be clearly subordinated to the state.

We support private property ownership that secures personal development but that also remains tied to responsibility for the general public.

Industry, trade, and commerce are called upon to play a decisive role in the reconstruction effort and must therefore be systematically promoted. We demand that the independent skilled trades – which face immense new challenges after the destruction of so many industrial companies – be protected and given the opportunity to expand.

A comprehensive rural and small-landholder settlement program must be pursued through the incorporation of large land holdings in order to give a large number of Germans access to both their own land and independent work. Economic security for self-employed farmers and the settlement of agricultural workers are indispensable components of any long-term reconstruction policy and require the strongest possible expansion of the system of agricultural cooperatives.

The principle of free association for all workers is consistent with the laws of Christian and democratic life in state and society. We therefore welcome the unified trade union movement of workers and employees, which aims to protect workers’ economic and social rights. We recognize the strength that the workforce as a whole lends the nation.

We are conscious of the responsibility we have for the suffering and the weak, for the victims of war and of Hitler’s reign of terror, and for all those entitled to benefits.

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