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The Theologian Richard Schröder Calls for Democratic Patriotism (1993)

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That I am speaking here of the cultural concept of Germany will meet with opposition from those who advocate a multicultural society. Like all slogans, this one has multiple meanings. It can refer to a cosmopolitan society that is hospitable and open to immigrants. Openness to the world is prescribed for Germany by virtue of its new location in the middle, because the east of the West and the west of the East have united. However, the world “multicultural” literally means something else, namely a society of many cultures. Cultures can be preserved only by communities and by being handed down to the next generation. Each would therefore need to have its own settlement areas, with schools and administrations in their language. The rights of national minorities are protected by such conditions, under which a culture can continue to exist. If that is not what is meant, one should not use the word. What is probably meant for the most part is that immigrants in Germany are not discriminated against because of the cultural peculiarities they bring with them. Still, one has a right to expect that they do not isolate themselves in this society but integrate. That means, for example, that it is in fact desirable for the next generation to speak fluent German and be fully accepted as Muslim Germans or black Germans. That will change the culture of our society. We must shape these changes in a sensible way. This process, however, will increase the communication problems in our society.

[ . . . ]

Source: Richard Schröder, Deutschland, schwierig Vaterland [Germany, Difficult Fatherland] (1993), HERDER spektrum, vol. 4160, pp. 19-25.

© Verlag Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau, 3rd edition 1995.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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