Image credits »© Landesarchiv Berlin, F Rep. 290, Nr. 0356958 (Barbara Esch-Marowski).
Richard von Weizsäcker and German politics
As Governing Mayor (1981–1984), Richard von Weizsäcker became something of a role model among Berliners. He later earned great esteem both at home and abroad as head of state of the Federal Republic of Germany (1984–1994), and he is still considered the most popular Federal President in history
In a speech given on 8 May 1985, von Weizsäcker re-evaluated the memory of the crimes of the Second World War. He steadfastly pursued reconciliation with Poland and Israel. After the fall of the Wall, he understood how to address the concerns of those in the East facing dramatic change. Later, he urged the parties to see themselves as a serving part of the political system, but simultaneously appreciated their importance for liberal democracy.
15 April 2020 was the 100th birthday of Richard von Weizsäcker. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Ernst Reuter Archives Foundation took advantage of this occasion to honor his services to the Federal Republic of Germany, the city of Berlin, and the CDU. The event took place on 24 May 2021 in a hybrid form.
As a follow-up to the event, a publication is in the works and is scheduled to appear in 2022. The edited volume will contain essays by Norbert Lammert, Thomas de Maizière, Gangolf Hübinger, Ulrich Schlie, Kathrin Zehender, Michael C. Bienert, Karl-Rudolf Korte, Matthias Oppermann, and Dominik Geppert.