East German Prime Ministers see the danger that the successes in building East since reunification 32 years ago by the energy crisis get in danger. Before the Day of German Unity, which will be celebrated with a ceremony in Erfurt on Monday, Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) and Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) appealed to social cohesion in Germany. But they also referred to the concerns of many East Germans about losing what they had worked so hard to build.
Many East Germans still have very clear memories of the major structural breaks with mass unemployment in the 1990s, said Woidke Rheinische Post. “It is therefore also clear that the current situation is being viewed with great concern and that many are afraid that everything they have painstakingly built up over three decades will collapse.”
Haseloff told the newspaper, the Russian war of aggression against the Ukraine also jeopardize the successes of the reconstruction of the East. Especially in difficult times, however, the Germans should not allow themselves to be played off against one another. “Today, solidarity and community spirit are more important than ever,” said Haseloff. For Thuringia’s CDU parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt, “the generation of the peaceful revolution is about to lose their hard-earned prosperity through price increases.”
Bodo Ramelow is more optimistic: “The glass is half full for me”
Thuringia Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Linke) also appealed to the similarities between Germans, despite existing problems, for example due to wage differences between East and West. There is still a process of growing together with breaks, but also many positive impulses. For him the glass is not half empty, “for me the glass is half full,” said Ramelow in Erfurt. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) said that Editorial network Germany, different perspectives in East and West must be accepted, also with regard to the war in Ukraine. “This war will be an incision that will go down in the collective memory of the Germans as a common bitter experience.” Kretschmer said it was time to stop just looking in the rear-view mirror and shape the new era together.
For the central celebration Day of German unity Several hundred guests are expected in the Thuringian state capital, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. At the ceremony in the Erfurt Opera, which begins at 12 p.m., Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) will speak. Traditionally, the federal state that provides the President of the Federal Council organizes the central unity celebration. Ramelow is President of the Chamber of States until the end of October.
Before the ceremony, which commemorates the peaceful revolution of 1989 and German reunification 32 years ago, representatives of the federal and state governments come together for an ecumenical service in Erfurt Cathedral. At the same time, a public festival will take place in the historic old town. In the afternoon, Steinmeier invites representatives from the various federal states to a citizens’ reception. Tens of thousands of visitors have come to the celebrations in Erfurt, which began on Saturday.