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Ministerpräsident Ratas im Deutschen Bundestag



Der estnische Ministerpräsident Jüri Ratas nahm am 19.11.2017 an der Gedenkstunde zum Volkstrauertag im Plenarsaal des Reichstagsgebäudes teil und hielt eine Rede, die Sie auf Englisch nachfolgend lesen können:

Weitere Infos auf Estnisch, Deutsch und Englisch auch hier (bitte klicken):

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' speech in the Bundestag, 19.11.2017
Honorable President Steinmeier,
Honorable President of the Volksbund,
Honorable President of the Bundestag, of the Bundesrat and of the Federal Constitutional Court,
Honorable Minister,
Honorable Members of the Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Es ist mir eine grosse Ehre als der Ministerpräsident Estlands und als der Vorsitzende des Europäischen Unions heute, an dem Volkstrauertag hier im historischen Berlin und im Bundestag zu stehen.

Allow me turn now to English.

We are living in fortunate times of peace. It is the European Union that has made a remarkable contribution to this peace and understanding; its very existence has allowed countries and peoples to be brave and exercise all our shared freedoms. We must be aware and make others aware of this every day and safeguard what we have created together, which is something remarkable and unique.

It seems to me we speak too rarely about peace. We take it for granted; however, it is the most important thing. Not just in Europe, but in the whole world.

It was not so long ago when a part of Europe was banished to a dark cave, when we feared we would never be able to break free. It was called the Cold War although the political situation was hot in almost every corner of the world.

But the wall came down and Berlin was reunited, showing the world the huge creative and restoring power conciliation and forgiveness may have. Once again two halves of Europe found each other and the long term agony was finally over for Estonians and many other nations.

Today we are here, in peaceful, beautiful and insightful Berlin to honour and remember the victims of all wars, armed conflicts, and terrorism. We are here to speak about life and death. To speak about us. It is always the right time to have difficult conversations and brave deeds because we can never be liberated from things we dare not speak about.

Germany has understood this more than most of us by leading the way to conciliation and reconciliation. Chancellor Helmut Kohl has said: "Wir wollen ein friedfertiges Europa schaffen. Ein Europa, das stark genug ist, den Frieden auf unserem Kontinent zu sichern, kann auch einen aktiven Beitrag zum Frieden der Welt leisten."

Helmut Kohl was a Great European and a close friend of Estonia. It is our duty to carry on his legacy and vision of a united Europe in peace.

Ladies and gentlemen!

In three months, on 24 February, the Republic of Estonia will celebrate its 100th anniversary. As a small nation, we are ever so proud and happy to be celebrating this milestone. However, we are also aware that everything could have turned out differently. I often think about our painful past looking at the portraits of the first heads of state of the Republic of Estonia. Their lives were cut short mostly during the Second World War.

I know that Estonia is not an exception. It is easy to state that wars are inevitable because of the aggressiveness of human nature, but let us be honest: wars have always been a political decision and not the unavoidable result of circumstances. Modern wars are different and attacks are launched on different levels, revealing new vulnerabilities in societies.

Today Europe is peaceful not thanks to the wars that have been waged but despite them. Peace has a practical and emotional value to us; it is the way of living in the world and being a human. Peace means acceptance of the knowledge that life is fragile and sacred.

Europe has had its share of good leaders who have implemented policies to create a safe living environment. It is thanks to them that we know that firm protection of human rights strengthens society and is invaluable in peace building and peace keeping. But we all need to contribute to and take responsibility for lasting peace. With each our thought, word and act – no matter how different we are, and always without hesitation.

We need a political ideal that helps us live a better life. We need a chance to be better ourselves. This is why we need Europe. This is why the whole world needs Europe.

Our common history should convince everyone that the European Union helps to withstand all expressions of hatred, greed, and aggressiveness. Common and agreed set of principles and rules are a way for countries to ease tensions that are bound to build up within our common space, to say that there are no two worlds in which different rules apply to different groups of people. There is only this one world and its common rules. In other words, trust me and show me that I can trust you. This message is invaluable.

Stressing this today here when we are commemorating the victims of all armed conflicts shows that we have not forgotten our past. This is why by the end of each new day we try to be more fair-minded than yesterday, greater in spirit than ever before. In the name of peace and freedom.

I thank everybody here for your contribution to keeping the peace and I wish all of us dignified celebration of this day of commemoration. Vielen Dank!


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