Partnership & Solidarity
In the days since the terrible events of September
11, the German people have spoken with words, flowers, candles,
donations, and with their hearts, of their affection and support
for America during this difficult time. The U.S. Embassy in Berlin
and Consulates General around Germany have received tens of thousands
of expressions of support and encouragement. I have been deeply
touched by this response from our German friends. Their response
to tragedy has confirmed once again the bonds of friendship that
unite our two nations. That friendship and mutual support will be
essential to success in our common struggle against terrorism. On
behalf of the people of the United States, I would like to express
our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you.
Ambassador Daniel R. Coats.
"In the past few days there has been much talk of gratitude;
yes, even about a debt owed particularly by us Germans to the Americans
who stood by us for 50 years. This is no doubt correct. But if it
were only that alone, it would not endure. True friendship is nourished
by gratitude, but not by gratitude alone. True friendship is nourished
by its sustainability for the future."
CDU Chair, Dr. Angela Merkel. German Bundestag, Berlin. September
"John F. Kennedy once said, 'Ich bin ein Berliner.' By saying
this, he expressed the responsibility of his nation for ensuring
Berlin's freedom. Now, decades later, we say, 'We stand firmly at
the side of the United States,' -- this is our contribution to ensuring
peace and freedom in the world."
FDP-Chair Guido Westerwelle. German Bundestag. Berlin, September
"September 11 was not only a human tragedy. It marks a turning
point in world politics and is a symbol of the unprecedented challenges
posed by international terrorism and an international solidarity
that hardly seemed conceivable before. Just as 1989 marked the end
of the 20th century, September 11 may be the starting point of the
world order of the 21st century."
Bavaria Minister-President Dr. Edmund Stoiber, CSU-Chair. October
Der Schmerz, das Entsetzen, die Fassungslosigkeit ist
weltweit. Wir trauern um Tausende von Toten in New York, Washington,
in den USA. Die Bilder dieser nie geahnten Brutalität werden
uns nicht mehr los lassen. Wir trauern, weil wir gestern die Abkehr
von jeglichen zivilisierten Werten erlebt haben. Flugzeuge, besetzt
mit friedlichen Menschen, wurden umgemünzt in mörderische
Projektile. ...Heute sind wir alle Amerikaner.
Peter Struck, SPD-Fraktionsvorsitzender. Tag des Schmerzes. 12.
September 2001. Berlin, Deutscher Bundestag.
"The images of the collapsing World Trade Center towers triggered
a worldwide state of shock. When it was evident that some of the
terrorists had lived in Germany and made essential preparations
for the attacks from this country, it became abundantly clear that
even our free, tolerant, cosmopolitan society is assailable and
vulnerable. We have repeatedly been aware that the terror attacks
were not directed against the U.S. alone. Paris or Frankfurt, London
or Berlin, could just as well have been hit."
CDU/CSU-Bundestag Chair Friedrich Merz. German Bundestag. Berlin,
November 8, 2001.
"11 September thrust a dangerous future upon the world. We
now live in the terrible knowledge that no country in the globalized
world is invulnerable, and that enemies within, who are determined
to kill and to die, can perpetrate mass murder at any time. This
eerie, awful danger has at a stroke dramatically altered the foundations
of security policy as we know it."
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer addressing the United
Nations in New York. November 12, 2001.
"We share the conviction that we have to do everything possible
to prevent crimes like the ones in New York and Washington from
ever happening again..."
German Minister of the Interior Otto Schily. Press conference
with US Justice Ashcroft. Berlin, December 14, 2001.
sea, a German destroyer paid a U.S. Navy ship more than honors.
Three days after the attacks, the GFS Lutjens came alongside USS
Winston S. Churchill while the ships were operating together. Members
of the Lutjens crew, in dress uniform and holding a sign which read
We Stand By You, showed their support and solidarity
with the United States.
A junior officer, in an e-mail home, described the encounter:
"... While in port, the (crews of the) Winston S. Churchill
and the Lutjens got together and we made some pretty good friends.
Now at sea, they called over on bridge-tobridge, requesting to pass
us close up on our port side to say goodbye. The captain told the
crew to come topside to wish them farewell. As they were making
their approach, we saw that they were flying an American flag. As
they came even closer, we saw that it was flying at half-mast. (U.S.
We also saw that the entire crew of the German ship were manning
the rails in their dress blues. They had made a sign that was displayed
on the side that read: "We Stand By
Needless to say, there was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed
alongside us for a few minutes and we cut our salutes. It was probably
the most powerful thing I have seen
in my entire life, and more than a few of us fought to retain our
Its amazing to think that, only a half-century ago, things
were quite different and to see the unity that is being demonstrated
throughout Europe and the world. It makes us all feel proud to be
out here doing our job."
Top: Over 200,00 people attended the demonstration of solidarity
at Brandenburg Gate on September 14. Some participants came wearing
shirts with the inscription „Ick (sic) bin ein Amerikaner”.
Bottom: German Navy destroyer, the GFS Lütjens. September 14, 2001.