Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier invited the staff of the Federal Foreign Office to take part in a minute of silence at 12 noon on 8 January for the victims of the attack on the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”.
A large number of the Ministry’s staff responded to the Minister’s appeal and gathered in the Protocol Courtyard of the Federal Foreign Office. At the start of the gathering, during which the flags were set at half mast, Foreign Minister Steinmeier addressed his staff, stating:
We stand here shocked and appalled following the events in Paris yesterday. The cowardly and murderous attack on the editorial staff of “Charlie Hebdo” is an act of boundless barbarity.
We mourn those who were killed. Our sympathy goes out to their families. Our hearts and minds are with them.
We grieve with France and the French people and, at the same time, we know that the terrorist attack in Paris was a brutal assault on our democratic values. It was an attack on freedom and democracy in the heart of the country which has traditionally been regarded as having achieved freedom and democracy for Europe.
We will do everything in our power to withstand this attack on freedom and democracy together. I assured Laurent Fabius of this yesterday afternoon.
President Hollande has declared today a day of national mourning. The Federal Foreign Office and the German Embassy in Paris are also flying flags at half mast.
At this very hour, a minute of silence is being held throughout France. We here at the Federal Foreign Office want to show our solidarity by joining in this minute of silence. At this difficult time, we stand side by side. As friends of France and as friends of freedom we say: we are “Charlie Hebdo”. Nous sommes “Charlie Hebdo”.