30 years ago the Velvet Revolution began with a demonstration in Prague. It started all of a sudden. Then, it all happened very quickly. The communist regime, which had remained in power by force since 1948, had become hollow and rotten in Czechoslovakia.
Genscher’s work is determined by its liberal, value-oriented attitude, which runs like a thread through his time in office: freedom, security and democratic self-determination were the values in which he engaged as a liberal politician and with which he identified himself as a human being.
Through economic and financial convergence, European business culture and practice become part of our everyday lives quickly and naturally. If this had not taken place, the corrupt bureaucracy and way of life still prevailing in our vicinity would probably dominate here as well.
Many people, both in the West and in the former socialist countries, display an attitude which I call—somewhat pointedly—“a mentality of Soviet official”. It is a generalized belief: “whatever problem there exists, only the state can solve it.” The state is perceived as a deity, i.e. an omniscient and benevolent being with unlimited resources.