German Chancellor Angela Merkel has commemorated this Saturday the 75th anniversary of the failed assassination attempt led by German Army officers against Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
“We must keep the memory alive and transmit it, we must make sure that the lessons of history do not vanish,” he told 400 German Army recruits (the Bundeswehr) who made their solemn promise.
During the traditional ceremony in the Main Square of the Ministry of Defense in Berlin, the new German Minister of Defense, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, also had her first public appearance.
In her speech before several guests of honor, the minister assured her full commitment to the interests of the soldiers.
“With the solemn promise of today, they strengthen the defense of our democracy, it is not enough to say thank you, your service demands respect. * Your service demands esteem, your service requires support, and me in the first place,” the new German minister emphasized. defense.
In his speech, the new commander-in-chief of the Bundeswehr also mentioned what he expects from the troops. “Military service requires obedience, but in no way blind obedience,” he stressed.
In this context, the minister recalled the leader of the uprising, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and other resistance officers who were shot after the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler and stressed that they are role models.
“They demonstrated against injustice, dictatorship, barbarism, contempt for humanity and considered that their military duty was to place the law above the illegal order,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer, emphasizing that this position is the one that continues to persecute the German Army also today.
Both Merkel and Kramp-Karrenbauer urged the soldiers to rise up against agitation, hatred, exclusion and division.
“As citizens, we are all called to respect the values of our Fundamental Law in our daily lives, and as citizens in uniform, with the promise of today, you are serving this mission in a special way,” the minister said.
The resistance fighters of July 20, 1944, “urge us to be vigilant, warning us to fight against right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism in all its manifestations,” Merkel said.
In the direction of the soldiers, the German chancellor added: “They serve democracy as our state order, they serve the rights of each one of us, they are here for a human Germany.”
On July 20, 1944, the Wehrmacht officers led by Stauffenberg attempted to kill Hitler with a bomb hidden in a briefcase during a meeting at the headquarters in East Prussia to end the war.
The murder failed and Stauffenberg and three other members of the resistance were shot that same night on the parade ground. In the weeks and months that followed, the Nazis executed another 89 participants and members of the resistance. Europa Press