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Steinmeier on the war in Ukraine: “We must not allow ourselves to be divided”

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To: 24/07/2022 19:34

The war in Ukraine has been going on for five months. The effects can also be felt in the EU. Federal President Steinmeier calls for accepting disadvantages and defending European values.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier once again condemned Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “The war Putin is waging against Ukraine is also a war against the unity of Europe,” Steinmeier said in a speech at Paderborn’s historic town hall that evening.

At the same time, Putin is destroying a European security architecture “for which many generations have worked since the experience of two bloody world wars in the last century and which has created hope for a lasting peace in Europe with the ‘Final Act of Helsinki Fifty Years Ago’.

“We must not allow ourselves to be divided, we must not allow the great work of a united Europe which we have begun so promisingly to be annihilated”, demanded the Federal President. Faced with the war of criminal aggression, Europeans must rediscover their awareness of what defines and unites them. These are the values ​​”that we recognize as carriers and that we have experienced as resilient for a free, fair and human coexistence”. Steinmeier called on citizens to be prepared to uphold these values ​​and accept significant disadvantages to do so.

Steinmeier: Europe’s values ​​are rooted in Christianity

Steinmeier takes part in the celebrations for the 500th Libori Meal in Paderborn. The meal is part of the traditional Libori festival, which commemorates the transfer of the relics of Saint Liborius from Le Mans, France, to Paderborn in 836. It resulted in one of the oldest urban friendships in the world, Steinmeier said. “The strength of Europe, the community of values ​​of Europe, the happiness of Europe and the future of Europe depend to a large extent on the partnership, even on the friendship, between Germany and France.”

Steinmeier stressed that the values ​​of Europe are deeply rooted in Christianity and Judaism. However, there has never been “a straight line between fundamental Christian beliefs and real action”. Again and again there were terrible aberrations and crimes; Christian values ​​had to be defended again and again against the representatives of the Christian churches. The Federal President spoke of the Crusades, the persecution of heretics and witches, the oppression of women, the slave trade and the murder of European Jews. “All of these testimonies are testimonies of shame and betrayal.”

“Reconsideration of the good intellectual roots of Europe”

For this reason, part of European history is the constantly necessary reconsideration of Europe’s good spiritual roots, of its human foundations. In this context, the Federal President spoke of the Franco-German friendship, shaped by politicians such as Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle, but also personalities such as the priest Franz Stock (1904-1948) of the Archdiocese of Paderborn. As a Wehrmacht chaplain in France during World War II, Stock treated French prisoners of war and accompanied hundreds of resistance fighters sentenced to death.

The nine-day Libori festival kicked off on Friday under the slogan “breathe”. The Libori meal has been organized by the Libori Guild since the 15th century, an association of citizens of Paderborn whose president is a merchant or entrepreneur. About 200 personalities from business, church and public life will take part in the meal.

Source www.tagesschau.de

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