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"Blooming Landscapes" (July 1, 1990)

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Of course, many people ask what this unparalleled process means for them personally – for their jobs, their social welfare, for their families. I take these concerns very seriously.

I ask our compatriots in the GDR: Seize the opportunity; do not let yourselves be put off by the undeniable difficulties of the transition. If you look confidently to the future, and if everyone lends a hand, you and we will make it together.

For the great goal of the unity of our Fatherland, we in the Federal Republic will also have to make sacrifices. A nation unwilling to do so would have lost its moral strength long ago.

I call on Germans in the Federal Republic to continue to stand by our compatriots in the GDR. Remember that the people of the GDR have been cheated of the fruits of their labor for four decades by a socialist dictatorship. The have earned our support.

For the people of the Federal Republic, the following is true: No one will have to do without anything because of German unification. At most, it is a question of making available to our compatriots in the GDR part of any additional revenue earned in coming years, to help them help themselves. For me, this is an obvious imperative of national solidarity.

At the same time, it is an investment in our common future. An economic upswing in the GDR will benefit everyone – Germans in East and West, our allies in Europe and around the world.

When were we ever better equipped for the common tasks of German unity than today? The economy is flourishing; the economic upswing is in its eighth consecutive year, with no end in sight. When was this ever before the case?

We will make it – if we recall the abilities with which we built the FRG forty years ago, in an incomparably difficult situation, out of the ruins of our destroyed cities and countryside. Then, the people erected a stable democracy with their courage and stubborn determination, with industry and imagination, and last but not least, with the consciousness of a common task.

They achieved peace and freedom, prosperity and a high degree of social justice – for part of Germany. We want all this, finally, to become reality for all of Germany.

Today I ask all of you: Let us set to work without hesitation. Our common future is at stake – in a united Germany and a united Europe.

Source of English translation: “Kohl’s Celebration of the Currency Union, July 1, 1990,” in Konrad Jarausch and Volker Gransow, eds., Uniting Germany: Documents and Debates, 1944-1993. Translated by Allison Brown and Belinda Cooper. Berghahn Books: Providence & Oxford, 1994, pp. 172-74. © Berghahn Books.

Source of German original: “Fernsehansprache des Bundeskanzlers Kohl zum Inkrafttreten der Währungs- Wirtschafts- und Sozialunion am 1. Juli 1990” [“Chancellor Kohl’s Television Address on the Day the Currency Union took Effect, July 1, 1990”], in Bulletin des Presse- und Informationsamtes der Bundesregierung [Bulletin of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government], No. 86, July 3, 1990, p. 741-42.

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