KJust before the ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of North Rhine-Westphalia begins, the sky over Düsseldorf opens again on Monday evening, and the evening sun bathes the racecourse in a mild light. Because Corona still determines the rules of get-together, the birthday of North Rhine-Westphalia must also take place in the open air to be sure. But the racecourse of the Düsseldorf riding and racing club from 1844 is more than just an embarrassing solution, it is very British. That fits perfectly, after all, North Rhine-Westphalia was formed on August 23, 1946 in the “operation marriage” by order of the British military government from the northern part of the Prussian Rhine province and the province of Westphalia, which was also formerly part of Prussia. Düsseldorf became the capital because the British occupation authorities already had their headquarters in the Stahlhof there. The Lipper joined them in 1947 of their own accord.
“From year to year it is clear that the British have managed to bundle them intelligently with the new country,” praised the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) in his speech. “They combined diversity into a unity by ensuring a good balance between metropolises, industrial areas and rural regions.” For 75 years, NRW has been characterized by openness, says Laschet. “First, hundreds of thousands of German expellees came to North Rhine-Westphalia, then the so-called guest workers, then the late repatriates, then the refugees. Strangers who came as strangers and were accepted in our midst. ”Today, 30 percent of the people in North Rhine-Westphalia have a history of immigration.
Like five years ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) came to the ceremony again. She owes this favor not only to North Rhine-Westphalia, but also to her fellow party member Armin Laschet, who is not only Prime Minister, but also the Union’s candidate for Chancellor. Even if the ceremony organized jointly by the state government and the state parliament has nothing to do with the election campaign, the Chancellor candidate, who was recently on the defensive on Monday, is visibly pleased that many beautiful pictures are being made that evening that appeals to him show the side of the popular, outgoing Chancellor who – as he put it – has led Germany through so many crises since 2005 “with the best of luck”.
Kind regards from the Chancellor
Merkel thanked North Rhine-Westphalia with kindness in her speech. She likes to come to the country where she has spent a lot of time as a young member of the Bundestag in Bonn since 1990 and as a minister. 75 years ago, the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia with its different parts of the state was perceived as somewhat artificial. “But today the hyphen is undoubtedly perceived as such and no longer as a dividing line,” says the Chancellor and then, without further ado, draws the link to the present. The fact that NRW is characterized by cohesion was shown again when dealing with the flood disaster. The federal government will continue to support the victims of the devastating flood. The people could rely on “that we will not leave them alone with this Herculean task,” promises the Chancellor.