“Wir wollen mehr Demokratie wagen.”

“We want to dare more democracy,” the most famous line in Willy Brandt’s wonderful state-of-the-nation address to the Bundestag after he was sworn in as chancellor in 1969. Mr. Brandt would have turrned 100 on 18 Dec 2013.

“Our population, like all other populations, needs its internal order. But in the 1970’s, in this country, we will only have as much order as we inspire in the form of shared co-responsibility. Such democratic order requires extraordinary patience in listening to and extraordinary efforts to understand each other.

“We want to dare more democracy. We will open up how we work and we will satisfy the critical need for information. We will work toward the end that, by listening in the Bundestag, by constant contact with the representative groups amongst our population and by comprehensively providing information about government policy, every burgher will have the opportunity to participate in the reforms to our state and our society.

“We are turning to the generations who grew up in peace, who are not burdened with the mortgages borne by the older people, and who must not be burdened with them; to the young people who want to take us at our word and who should do so. But these young people must also understand that they too have obligations to our government and society.”

(Veer   VOLE en   MARE   dame awk rah TEE   VOGG en.)

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