Germany will never forget the courage of Hungarians in 1989 which contributed to the reunification of Germany, the president of the Bundestag said on Tuesday.
Nations ruled by Communists in the former eastern bloc gained freedom and independence in a peaceful revolution in 1989, Wolfgang Schauble said, opening Bundestag’s autumn session.
‘Hundreds of East Germans came to get through the border. I only had minutes to decide whether I would stop them or not. I think I made the right choice’
Marking the 30th anniversary of Hungary’s opening its border to former East Germans to flee to Austria, Schauble said it had “triggered new dynamics” resulting “in the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of Cold War” two months later.
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He greeted the Hungarian delegation led by House Speaker László Kövér and including members of the Hungarian-German Youth Forum, who will begin a two-day conference in the German capital today.
German foreign minister: German unity would not have been possible without Hungarians
It would have been impossible to restore German unity without the help of Hungarians in 1989, Germany’s foreign minister said on Tuesday in Berlin at the opening of a Hungary-Germany youth forum.
Heiko Maas, referring to the opening up of the Hungarian border thirty years ago on September 10, 1989, said that Hungarians had cleared the path to freedom for escaping East Germans. By opening the border, “Hungarians punched the first brick out of the Berlin wall”. This brick, he added, had become the foundation for today’s peaceful Europe based on solidarity.
The minister said that in the climate of today’s problems and disputes, “perhaps we should talk about this more from time to time”. He added that as a German and a European, he paid thanks to Hungarians for their steadfastness in 1989.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI