25th April 2008
today 25th April 2008, here in Ceregnano, a pact of friendship between our community and the community of Seeheim-Jugenheim has been sealed. The pathway that has led us to this very important stage has been neither short nor easy.
Sixty-three years of memories and as many of reconstruction of the relationship have not had the same importance to all. For some of us a feeling of suspect has prevailed, for other a feeling of confidence. Single citizens, families, public associations and institutions have worked their energies to make the collaboration and the will for peace prevail.
Someone else will remember, here, as every year, the past that has formed us throughout the pain and the toil of a memory to be overcome. In the name of the Committee I want to highlight the importance of the present but also of the future.
We have prepared this appointment with a series of four meetings on the German culture, because we believe that mutual acquaintance is the base to overcome the existing prejudice and suspects. Paola De Matteis of the University “Ca’ Foscari” of Venice, Christina Gentzik of the Goethe Institut of Milan, Daniele Peggio of the Liceo “Celio” (grammar school) of Rovigo and Maddalena Guiotto of the Italian-German Historic Institute of Trento has helped us. They have been invited to this ceremony and send us their salutes.
We want to remember that the first fundamental stage for the reconciliation between Italy and Germany was carried out by two great statesmen of our two countries (who, besides, spoke the same language: German). They were Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer.
The emigration of many Italians to Germany involved the level of the feelings and of the physical proximity. Sport has trained our two peoples for a competition respectful of the individual and of the rules (let us remember Munich 1972 and the recent World Football Championship in Germany).
In conclusion, if in the 1930s and the1940s our two countries were involved in the war, at first as allied armies and afterwards as enemy, now we want to build peace together and assure peace for our two peoples and for the whole Europe.
President of Towtwinnings Committee