Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 11 January on his attendance at the solidarity rally in Paris side by side with the Federal Chancellor and other members of the German cabinet:
We have come to Paris today to express our European solidarity with France and with the victims of the brutal attacks of the past days. The signal being sent to the people here in Paris is that we stand firmly and resolutely shoulder to shoulder with our French friends and neighbours, and that France can rely on its friends in difficult times, too.
The bloody attacks were not only aimed at France, but at all of us. They were aimed at our democracies, our values and our open‑minded societies. We in today’s Europe thus share the grief felt in France. We share France’s determination to stand up for freedom and democracy and not allow itself to be intimidated by terror and the terrorists.
I was profoundly moved to see how hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Paris today to stand together as a symbol of the democratic strength and unity of French society.Today, France and French society are saying, ‘We will not allow ourselves to be divided or intimidated by hatred, violence and terror. We are standing up together for the values of freedom and democracy. We remain an open‑minded and tolerant society.
This impressive rally proves that Europe’s heart is beating in unison with France’s today. Democracy, freedom and solidarity are stronger than the boundless barbarity of terror.