Bundestag praises DDR revolution
East German's citizens had fought successfully for freedom and democracy after a peaceful revolution 30 years ago.
Berlin (dpa) - The German parliament paid tribute on Thursday to the courage of East German civil rights movement in bringing about a peaceful revolution in the communist state 30 years ago.
"The Berlin Wall did not simply fall over, but was brought down by action," the government's commissioner for the eastern states, Christian Hirte, said during a plenary session of the Bundestag.
East German's citizens had fought successfully for freedom and democracy, and this "event of the century" deserved to be valued, Hirte said, recalling the protests that increased through 1989 and culminated in the fall of the wall on November 9.
He recalled that in the summer of 1989 it was by no means clear what would happen in East Germany. "Democracy and unity did not come about of their own accord. Causing them to happen demanded great personal risk, for the families as well."
Germany owed respect and gratitude to the courageous activists of East Germany, Hirte said.
Dietmar Woidke, premier of the eastern state of Brandenburg noted that differences between the eastern and western states persisted, pointing to pensions and pay agreements as examples. These differences had to be removed, he said.