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The Journal Gazette

  • German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivers a speech during an hour of commemoration in the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Bundestag members are commemorating the Night of Broken Glass pogroms of 1938, in which Nazi supporters burned and vandalized synagogues and Jewish businesses across the country, killing over 400 people, but also the creation of the first German republic in 1918 as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. All three events occurred on November 9. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, front right, delivers a speech during an hour of commemoration in the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Bundestag members are commemorating the Night of Broken Glass pogroms of 1938, in which Nazi supporters burned and vandalized synagogues and Jewish businesses across the country, killing over 400 people, but also the creation of the first German republic in 1918 as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. All three events occurred on November 9. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Friday, November 09, 2018 6:06 am

German president calls for 'democratic patriotism'

The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) Germany's president is calling on his compatriots to embrace an enlightened, "democratic patriotism" and reject aggressive nationalism that romanticizes the country's history.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday that acknowledging and remembering Germany's dark Nazi past should be considered a strength, not a weakness.

Steinmeier's remarks came in a speech to Parliament marking the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of a German republic after World War I.

The Nov. 9 ceremony also commemorates the 1938 Nazi pogrom against Jews, known as the "Night of Broken Glass," and the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall widely seen as ending the Cold War.

In a swipe at the far-right Alternative for Germany party, Steinmeier urged Germans to reject those who seek to exclude minorities.