Merkel marks German constitution anniversary by celebrating diversity

DW.COM | 5/16/2019 | Staff
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Chancellor Angela Merkel joined dozens of young people of immigrant background in Berlin on Tuesday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Germany's Basic Law, or constitution.

The event was hosted by Deutschlandstiftung Integration (DSI), a foundation that in 2012 founded the Geh Deinen Weg ("Go Your Way") program to help young and ambitious people of immigrant background find a way into the German job market.

Purpose - Event - Connection - Basic - Law

The purpose of the event was to highlight the connection between the Basic Law and the lives of those of immigrant background in Germany. Many of the dignitaries who spoke at the event quoted the Basic Law's famous first article: "Human dignity shall be inviolable," which Christian Wulff, former German president and now head of the DSI, described as "perhaps the most beautiful line in the German language."

"We cannot take it for granted that a constitution should stand the test of time for seven decades as the foundation of lived freedom, democracy, and rule of law as our Basic Law did," said Merkel. "Diversity, including through immigration, has been here in the heart of Europe for centuries. ... We have learned how immigration has changed our country, and how it will continue to change our country, and we have learned that our country must be a country of immigration, as well as of integration."

Mind - Merkel - Articles - Equality - Persons

It was with this in mind that Merkel mentioned those constitutional articles that dealt with equality, particularly Article 3: "All persons shall be equal before the law. … Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist," as well as Article 5, which guarantees freedom of speech and the press.

Both Merkel, who is the DSI's patron, and Wulff used their speeches to highlight...
(Excerpt) Read more at: DW.COM
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