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German History in Documents and Images
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Public Discussion about "Nation, Patriotism, and Democratic Culture in Germany, 2002" (May 8, 2002)
Even after the arrival of the new millennium, subjects like patriotism and nation continued to remain controversial within German society. Xenophobia and extreme right-wing riots were still politically charged themes. The red-green federal government tried to awaken its citizens’ democratic consciousness by sponsoring campaigns for tolerance and democracy. It also tried to stimulate public dialogue on these sensitive topics by organizing public discussions, such as the one pictured below. This photograph shows Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (left) and author Martin Walser (who was known for exploring the subject of “nation”) during a discussion in the Willy-Brandt House, the SPD party headquarters in Berlin. The discussion was held on May 8, 2002, the anniversary of the end of World War II, under the motto “Nation, Patriotism, and Democratic Culture in Germany, 2002.” Photo: Bernd Settnik.