22nd of January: Anniversary of the German-French friendship

On the 22nd of January 1963, centuries of wars and enmity in the heart of Europe ended. Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer signed the Élysée Treaty in Paris and transformed a long term enmity into a friendship. During the following 52 years, the German-French respect has improved steadily. Not only for both countries, but for the whole of Europe this friendship is essential. Germany and France are essential as the propelling forces of the European integration, the EU without these both countries would be quite inconceivable for most of people. The seat of the European Parliament is therefore on the German-French border in Strasbourg.

One of the darkest days in the history of the German-French friendship was the 13th of November, 2015. While locals romped about in Paris restaurants, tourists sauntered through the streets and 80,000 football fans watched the friendly football game between French and German national teams, in the French capital one of the worst terrorist attacks ever occurred. In the midst of the grief, the fury, the questions, the desperation and the sympathy, the German-French friendship hardened so much as never before in its history. Countless Paris citizens opened their doors to give football fans from both countries protection. Germany gave a lot of condolences. After the awful attacks France and Germany grew together even more narrowly. Now both countries strive not only for peace and friendship among themselves, but in whole Europe and all over the world.

Bettina Schwarz

(Photo: Mark_K_)