Day of the Homeland is celebrated annually in the Federal Republic of Germany and this year it’s on September 9. The resolution for Day of the Homeland was passed 69 years ago back in Goettingen. Paul Wagner, a politician, is the father of this day. Several activities organized by the government mark the event which respects and honors the German expellees, while celebrating human rights and freedom throughout the country.
Day of the Homeland - History
Year for Human Rights
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the most prominent speaker at the rally in Berlin that centered around the motto, "Home Is Human Rights."
2003 & 2006
Popes Send Greetings
The Vatican sends both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to offer greetings that acknowledge the non-violence of the expellees and Germany’s commitment to international understanding.
Charter of the German Expellees is Proclaimed
This charter made at a rally in Stuttgart Castle was pivotal to creating the Day of the Homeland.
Resolution to Observe Day of the Homeland Annually is Passed
Due to the efforts of Paul Wagner this day gets official status in the town of Goettingen.
How to Observe Day of the Homeland
1. Read about German history
Educate yourself and your children about the events that shaped Germany by reading a good historical book.
2. Attend community events organized on this day
Think globally, act locally. Community events bring people together and create an opportunity where people can share ideas and values. They shape society.
3. Visit a World War memorial or a museum
Every citizen must respect and recognize the sacrifices made by soldiers and martyrs so that they can truly value their freedoms.
5 Facts About The Day Of The Homeland That Will Surprise You
1. Every year there's a different motto
The Day of the Homeland has a different motto each year. Past examples include "human rights," "free Europe," "expulsions are wrong," etc.
2. #2: Between 13 and 16 million Germans were expelled
During World War II, a shocking number of ethnic Germans were expelled or forced to leave parts of Central and Eastern Europe.
3. It's all about speeches, rallies, and flags
That sums it up! High ranking government officials and politicians make speeches on this day. All public buildings bear the German flag.
4. It's a Memorial Day for those affected
Of all the things it celebrates, Day of the Homeland is foremost a day to remember those expellees who passed away, especially during World War II.
5. It's big on human rights
The belief is, irrespective of where Germans live, they have the right to citizenship and a home in the country of their heritage.
Why Day of the Homeland is Important
A. It pays respects to the expellees
Due to the world wars, millions of Germans were expelled or deported. This day was created to help bring them back to their homeland and honor those who have passed away due to hunger and sickness.
B. It reminds Germans of the values of their homeland
There are times when we just need to stop and think like good citizens about the values that built our great nations.
C. It advocates democracy and international understanding
A large number of events follow this day, all with the aim of encouraging democratic values and peaceful international relations.