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Richard von Weizsäcker and German politics

Bundespräsident a. D. Richard von Weizsäcker
Richard von Weizsäcker, 1994.

     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.

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.