Charitable work must be able to develop unhindered. To mothers and working women, we say this: everything will be done to quickly relieve you of your increasingly difficult days of quiet heroism. In our relations with other nations, we want the same principles of freedom and justice to apply as in our personal lives and within our state. The loyal fulfillment of obligations arising from the lost war, as well as the greatest internal recovery effort, must pave the way for good-faith cooperation with other nations. In all this, we hope that the occupying powers will appreciate the infinite distress of the German people. We also hope for their expert assistance in reviving the German economy.
Deeply shaken, we stand before the fresh graves of our dead. We have not forgotten our soldiers who are still held as prisoners of war. Standing before the rubble of our houses, villages, and cities, we commemorate, in an act of human and Christian solidarity, the same sacrifice of the peoples around us. And we promise to expunge every last trace of the system that is to blame for this terrible sacrifice of blood and this unspeakable misery – and to do everything within our power to protect humankind from such a catastrophe in the future.
German men and women! We call upon you to put aside all divisiveness. Follow our call for a great party that wants to work together with the other parties in this new democracy in an effort to rebuild Germany.
We appeal to the young people who were especially hard hit by both the war and the subsequent collapse, and who have a special obligation to help shape the future.
We call upon the women and mothers whose sorely tried strength is essential to saving the nation.
We call upon all who profess allegiance with us and who share our determination to rebuild the country. Trusting fully in God, we aim to create a bright future for our children and grandchildren.
Berlin, June 26, 1945
Andreas Hermes, Heinrich F. Albert, Hans v. Arnim, Eduard Bernoth, Theodor Bohner, Emil Dovifat, Margarete Ehlert, Josef Ersing, Johann Eudenbach, Ferdinand Friedensburg, Willy Fuchs, Otto-Heinrich von der Gablentz, Wilhelm Happ, Peter Hensen, Artur Herzog, Ernst Hülse, Paulus van Husen, Jakob Kaiser, Heinrich Krone, Ernst Lemmer, Otto Lenz, Hans Lukaschek, Reinhard Moeller, Katharina Müller, Elfriede Nebgen, Otto Nuschke, Rudolf Pechel, Eberhard Plewe, Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Walter Schreiber, Martin Schwab, Hildegard Staehle, Theodor Steltzer, Heinrich Vockel, Graf Yorck v. Wartenburg
Source: Appeal to the German People by the Christian Democratic Union (June 26, 1945), reprinted in Theo Stammen, ed., Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit: westdeutsche Innenpolitik 1945-1955 [Unity and Law and Freedom: West German Domestic Politics, 1945-1955]. Munich, 1965, pp. 82-85
Translation: Adam Blauhut