“German-South African Year of Freedom and Democracy”

Dusting off Jürgen Habermas’ notion of “Verfassungspatriotismus”

July 26th, 2019
Giorgia Calabrese, News from Berlin
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During an interview for, German Ambassador in Pretoria, Martin Schäfer, highlighted some common features between Germany and South Africa, recalling their commitment to freedom and equality, as well as their stand for human rights.

Ambassador Schäfer stressed the importance of striving for Patriotism in both countries, recalling to their history: “Both of our countries have a troubled, complex history to look back on. This year, we are celebrating 25 years of democratic elections in South Africa. At the same time in Germany, we are celebrating 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. 2019 could in fact be labelled the German-South African year of freedom and democracy.”

The Ambassador seized the opportunity to point out the importance of Peace and Reconciliation; both countries were divided, longed to be reunited, and both fought for freedom, justice and democracy. Moreover, he emphasized the relevance of defending democratic principles, by saying that people should be proud of taking stances and asking questions on important matters.


News from Berlin