German President to neo-Nazis: "Your hatred will only drive us to move on... we will not give you our country"
In his inaugural speech today, the incoming President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, has thoroughly condemned neo-Nazism and other manifestations of extremism and fanaticism in Germany. The 11th president was elected last Sunday by the vast majority of members of an electoral college comprised of MPs and representatives of the various states.
Speaking in parliament, Gauck called on Germans to have confidence both in themselves and those who are governing them. He also emphasized the importance of freedom and social justice.
"Your hatred is our motivation. We will not leave our country in the lurch. We will not give her to you. You belong to the past, our democracy will live," Gauck said to the adherents of neo-Nazism. Discussion of that movement has been revived in Germany after it was revealed last year that members of the ultra-right had perpetrated a series of murders of immigrants.
Gauck rejected other manifestations of extremism and fanaticism in democratic society. "You might slow this train down, but you won't stop it," Gauck said to extremists in general.
Gauch also spoke about his traditional topic, freedom, and emphasized that Germany should be a socially just state. "Equality and freedom are the basis of self-realization," he said. He also accentuated the idea of Europe and reminded his listeners of the legacy of German history, calling Germany the "country of the democratic miracle".