The Bild am Sonntag published the following guest comment piece by Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on 12 September 2010:
Don’t downplay Germany’s guilt!
Twenty years ago today history was made with the signing of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with respect to Germany (Two plus Four Treaty) by the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic and the four World War II Allies. This paved the way for German unification and for reuniting the European continent. Hans-Dietrich Genscher and his counterparts of the time should be thanked for this political and diplomatic masterpiece.
The gift of reunification brings with it obligations. German foreign policy is peace policy. We must place the strength and diplomatic skills of our united country at the service of peace and freedom around the world. That is the lesson we Germans have drawn from our history of war, division and regained unity.
This includes not questioning the borders drawn conclusively by the Two plus Four Treaty. And we must not permit any debate that downplays Germany’s grievous guilt for the outbreak of World War II. Anyone who does so damages our country’s reputation abroad.
The good fortune of achieving German unity also imposes on us an obligation to further the project of European integration. We must protect Europe by tightening the rules for the stability of the euro. And we must complete Europe’s internal integration. Our reconciliation and friendship with France and our western neighbours must serve as the blueprint for our relationship with Poland and our neighbours to the east.