Geert Wilders in Berlin
Below is the full transcript of the speech given by Geert Wilders at Die Freiheit conference in Berlin on 3 September 2011.
Thank you for inviting me to Berlin. It is an honour to be here in this beautiful city of Berlin. When I was here last year I emphasized how important Germany is for all of us. We all benefit from a healthy, democratic, self-confident Germany.
Much has happened since my last visit. In the Netherlands we were able to achieve many amazing things. We have successfully started to roll back the process of Islamization in the Netherlands.
We have done so in a peaceful way and through the democratic process. Recently, a deranged narcissistic psychopath from Norway committed a horrible crime. In cold blood he murdered nearly eighty innocent fellow citizens. The assassin pretended to be a concerned European. He said that he had committed his atrocity because “It is meaningless to participate in the democratic process.” But he is wrong. The mass murderer from Oslo murdered and maimed, and he justified his heinous crime by denying – I quote – “that it is remotely possible to change the system democratically.” – end of quote.
But he is wrong! The Oslo murderer falsely claims to be one of us. But he is not one of us. We abhor violence. We are democrats. We believe in peaceful solutions.
The reason why we reject Islam is exactly Islam’s violent nature. We believe in democracy. We fight with the force of our conviction, but we never use violence. Our commitment to truth, human dignity and a just and honourable defence of the West does not allow us to use violence nor to give in to cynicism and despair. We cherish the tradition of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Jelena Bonner, Lech Walesa and Ronald Reagan. These heroes defeated a totalitarian ideology by the power of their conviction and without firing a single shot. As the ex-Muslim and Islam-critic Ali Sina said in a reaction to the Oslo atrocity: “We don’t raise a sword against darkness; we lit a light.”
So it is. We lit the light of the truth. And the truth will set us free.
The truth is that Islam can be successfully fought with democratic means. We do so in the Netherlands. You can do so, too, in Germany! Let me tell you what we have achieved in the Netherlands since my last visit to Berlin, less than one year ago. It will encourage you. What can be done in the Netherlands can also be done in Germany.
My party, the Party for Freedom, which has 24 seats of the 150 seats in parliament, supports a minority government of Liberals and Christian-Democrats. We do this in return for measures to restrict immigration, roll back crime, counter cultural relativism, and restore our traditional Western freedoms, such as freedom of speech.
The Party for Freedom has been in this position for less than a year, but we are achieving great things. We have achieved that the Netherlands will soon ban the face-covering Islamic burkas and the niqabs!
We will restrict immigration from non-Western countries by up to 50% in the next four years. We are going to strip criminals who have a double nationality and who repeatedly commit serious crimes, of their Dutch nationality.
The Party for Freedom is bringing a message of hope to the Netherlands. The new policies will place more demands on immigrants. Integration will not be tailored to different groups anymore. There will be a tougher approach to immigrants who disobey the law. Those who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress, will see their access to welfare payments diminished.
We have also achieved that anti-Israeli activities will no longer be funded with Dutch taxes. So-called humanitarian aid organizations that directly or indirectly support anti-Israel boycotts, divestments and sanctions and that deny Israel’s right to exist will no longer get government funding.
The Dutch government will boycott the United Nation’s Durban III meeting against racial discrimination because it has been transformed into a tribunal for accusations against Israel. The government will strengthen our political and economic relations with Israel. Investment rather than divestment will be our policies towards Israel.
We stand with Israel. We love Israel. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is part of our civilization.
My friends, what the Party for Freedom has achieved, shows that it can be done. To borrow a phrase from President Obama: Yes, we can! We can stop the islamization of our societies. The Dutch example shows that we can win. David can defeat Goliath!
Last July, the Dutch government even did something which not a single nation has dared to do before. It spoke out firmly against the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC is an international organization of 57 Islamic countries, most of them barbaric tyrannies. This OIC constitutes the largest voting bloc in the United Nations. It had criticised the fact that Dutch judges had acquitted me of all charges of group insult and incitement to hatred and discrimination. But the Dutch government made it clear to the OIC that freedom of speech will not be muzzled in the Netherlands. It told the OIC very bluntly: “The Dutch government dissociates itself fully from the request to silence a politician.” – end of quote. We will never submit to the Islamic OIC bullies!
As you probably know, for almost two years I went through the ordeal of being a suspect in a criminal case. I was dragged to court in Amsterdam on the accusation of hate speech crimes. Last June, this legal charade ended with a full acquittal.
The Dutch people learned through my acquittal that political debate has not been stifled in their country.
My acquittal was a victory for freedom of speech. The Dutch people also learned that they are allowed to speak critically about Islam. They learned that resistance against Islamization is not a crime. They learned that there is hope and that liberation is near.
My acquittal marks the turning of the tide. Not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole of Europe. It is the first breach of the dyke. We have started the roll-back operation. We have sent a message to the ideologues of Islam: Don’t tread on us!
My acquittal has a significance which far surpasses the Netherlands. It has a meaning for the whole of Europe and the free world. My acquittal marks the end of an evolution whereby our civil liberties in Europe are constantly being restricted in order not to offend Islam and anger Islamic fanatics.
My acquittal legitimizes criticism of Islam. It does so also in Germany and everywhere else.
Indeed, why should you Germans not enjoy the same rights as the Dutch? If peaceful and democratic resistance to Islamization is not a crime in the Netherlands, it should not be a crime in Germany either.
So, here is my message to you: Continue your fight for freedom and freedom of speech! Do not let your politicians and judges grant you fewer rights than the Dutch!
Do not let yourselves be intimidated by Islamic or leftist opponents who shriek and yell. Do not let yourselves be intimidated by media who claim that a murderer who has lost his belief in the democratic process has anyhow been influenced by us.
My friends, when I visited you last year, even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that we would have been able to influence government policies in the way we have done. That is why I tell you: Never give in to the bullies. Never give up hope. Never despair. You can still turn the tide. One can always turn the tide!
It is true: Germany has been less fortunate than the Netherlands.
When I was here last year, Thilo Sarrazin had just published his book Deutschland schafft sich ab. Sarrazin’s book was a bestseller. It hit a nerve. It sold over one-and-a-half million copies. This shows that German society is ripe for change. But politically Sarrazin’s book has changed nothing yet. On the contrary, the German political elite raised the speed of Islamization in Germany. Bundespresident Wulff said, “Islam is a part of Germany.” Chancellor Merkel said that multiculturalism is an absolute failure, but she continues to defend Turkey’s entry into the EU. The spread of Islam continues unabated in the German classrooms, on Germany’s streets, through the construction of new mosques, etcetera, etcetera.
Your situation has worsened because you do not have a party – yet – with enough electoral support to influence German politics for the better. Germany needs a rightwing party that is not tainted by ties to neo-Nazis and by anti-Semitism, that is decent and respectable, but also firm. René Stadtkewitz is working very hard to make Die Freiheit as successful as the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands. René, we are here to help you. Because Germany deserves better than what it gets today.
My friends, your country is the political backbone of Europe.
Germany is the most populous country in Europe. Germany is the economic motor of Europe. If Germany is sick, we are all sick.
Last year, I urged you: Stop being ashamed of Germany. It is unfair to reduce German patriotism to national-socialism, just as it is unfair to reduce Russia to Stalinism. Be proud of your country. Only if the Germans have pride in Germany, they will be prepared to stand for Germany and to defend Germany. And you must stand for Germany, just as the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands stands for the Netherlands. We must all stand for the survival of our nation-states because our nation-states embody the democratic liberties which we enjoy.
Without the nation-state there can be no real national political freedom. That is why we must be good patriots. Patriotism is often branded as fascism. But patriotism is no fascism. On the contrary. Every democrat and defender of freedom must by definition be a patriot. A soul needs a body. The spirit of political liberty cannot flourish outside the body of the nation-state. The nation-state is the political body in which we live. That is why we must preserve and cherish the nation-state. So that we can pass on the liberty and the democracy which we enjoy to our children.
Without a nation-state, without self-governance, without self-determination there can be no security for a people nor preservation of its identity. This was the insight which led the Zionists to re-establish the state of Israel. Theodore Herzl said that there had to be a Jewish state because – I quote – “what we want is a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.”
Dear friends, we urgently need a new blossoming of the German spirit. For decades, the Germans have been ashamed of themselves. They preferred to be Europeans rather than Germans. And they have paid a heavy price for it. We have all paid a heavy price for it.
Europe is not a nation; it is a cluster of nations. The strength of Europe is its diversity. We are one family but we live in different bodies. Our cultures are branches of a common Judeo-Christian and humanist culture, but we have different national cultural identities. That is how it should be.
Uniformity is a characteristic of Islam, but not of Europe. Islam eradicated the national identities of the peoples it conquered. The Coptic identity of Egypt, the Indian identity of Pakistan, the Assyrian identity of Iraq, the Persian identity of Iran, they were all wiped away, cracked down upon, or discriminated against until this very day. Islam wants all nations replaced by the so-called Ummah, the common identity of the Nation of Islam to which all have to be subservient and into which all national identities have to vanish.
Islam tried to conquer Europe, but never succeeded so far. That is why we Europeans were able to develop our different identities as nation-states. If we want to hold on to these we must stand together against the forces which threaten our identities. Today we are confronted by two dangerous forces: Islamization and Europeanization.
When I was here last year, I spoke at length about the threat of Islam. Today, I want to draw your attention to the threat of Europeanization. By Europeanization I mean the ideology which posits that our sovereign nation-states have to submerge in a pan-European superstate.
The European Union’s Founding Fathers held that in order to avoid a future war in Europe, Europe’s nations, and especially Germany, had to be encapsulated in what the Rome Treaty called “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” Robert Schuman said that the EU’s aim was – I quote – “to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.” – end of quote.
The Eurocrats think that nation states in general – and especially Germany, Europe’s largest nation-state – are the problem. They are wrong. The real cause of the Second World War had not been the German nation state – it had been Nazi totalitarianism.
There is nothing wrong with Germany. The cause of the war was the Nazi ideology. The remedy against totalitarianism is not building a superstate. The remedy is introducing more direct forms of democracy at the lowest possible levels. Instead of depriving Germany and other nation-states of their sovereignty, the post-war leaders should have introduced a Swiss-like system in our countries. Small units should have a large degree of local sovereignty. The individual citizen should be given a direct democratic say over his own fate and that of his community.
Instead, the peoples of Europe were robbed of their sovereignty, which was transferred to far-away Brussels. Decisions are now being taken behind closed doors by unelected bureaucrats. This is not the kind of government we want.
We want less bureaucracy. We want more democracy.
We want less Europe. We want to hold on to our sovereignty. We want home rule. We want to remain independent and free. We want to be the masters in our own house.
In December 1991, the Maastricht Treaty called for a single European currency. The Dutch guilder and the D-mark were sacrificed on the altar of European unification. Helmut Kohl sold this project to the German people as – I quote – “a matter of war or peace.” – end of quote. The euro was presented as “an angel of peace” which the Germans had to sponsor by giving up the mark. During the past six decades German politicians have told the Germans that the nation state, and especially Germany, was so dangerous that it had to be emasculated. The Germans had to become Europeans instead of Germans. To achieve this political project, national and monetary sovereignty was relinquished. Economic and national interests were sacrificed on the political altar of so-called Europeanization.
All the countries which joined the euro lost the power to adjust their currency to their own economic needs. They have all suffered as a consequence. The currency of some countries is undervalued, the currency of others is overvalued; they all have to share in carrying the burden of other countries, even if the latter are suffering from self-inflicted policies, corruption or fraud. The European monetary system has allowed some countries to get a free ride at the expense of others, while those who cheat are in a position to blackmail those who have to foot the bill. This charade has to stop!
The European monetary system is deeply flawed. It is also immoral. As Theodore Herzl said, “The character of a people may be ruined by charity.” This applies for those at the receiving end of charity, but also for those who donate it. The so-called pan-European solidarity is literally ruining us. Germany has paid enough for Europe already.
The same applies for the Netherlands. Our citizens do not have to pay the debts of others.
My friends, your party Die Freiheit embodies the best hope for Germany. Because your party is the only party in Germany which has the courage to state loud and clear that countries which cannot pay their debts should leave the euro. I fully agree.
My friends, time is running out. We have to act for the sake of democracy and the future prosperity of our children. The former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky warns that rather than preventing war, the European project makes conflicts more likely. He draws a parallel between the EU and the former Soviet Union which also suppressed feelings of national unity. When economic reality defeated the Soviets’ political project, the suppressed feelings of national identity bounced back with a vengeance and destroyed the Union. Bukovksy fears that if we do not stop the European moloch from expanding the same thing might happen in Europe.
The European leaders state that the only way to solve the current crisis is more European governance. They advocate more powers for Brussels. They are wrong. More Europe only makes matters worse. We have to oppose their attempt of further centralization.
We do not want more Europe. The EU lacks democracy, accountability and transparency. That is why we reject it. We want less Europe! Let us hope that next Wednesday the German Constitutional Court protects national sovereignty.
As a national legislator in the Netherlands I experience day by day how little we still have to say about our own fate. We are expected to rubberstamp laws which have been made by the EU Council of Ministers. The 27 EU commissioners convene behind closed doors with their colleagues. They negotiate in secret and then emerge to announce their agreement and present it. That is how the system works.
Recently, your Chancellor, Frau Merkel, went to Paris. Together with President Sarkozy she announced plans for an economic government of the eurozone.
We oppose this. We want the national parliaments to decide about our economic policies. We do not want to spend our taxpayers’ money on eurozone countries, such as Greece. Let those who have cheated us, who have mismanaged their economy or who have foolishly lived beyond their means, take care of themselves.
Moreover, the EU treaties forbid bailouts.
The Party for Freedom opposes every bailout. The Dutch minority government will never be able to count on our support in this regard. Today its wrongheaded euro policies are supported by the europhile leftist parties. I repeat: We will never support the Dutch government’s approval of the bailouts, not even if the government would lose the support of the left.
We have voted, and we will vote, against every plan to bail out other countries. Sovereign countries have to take care of their own needs. That is what sovereignty is about: freedom and the ability to take care of oneself.
Our peoples resent the fact that they have to pay for others. Our peoples resent the permanent alienation of power from their nation-states. They care about their nation because they care about democracy and freedom and the wellbeing of their children. They see their democratic rights and their age-old liberties symbolized in their national flag.
But there is more. National identity also ties an individual to an inheritance, a tradition, a loyalty, and a culture. National identity is also an inclusive identity: It considers everyone to be equal, whatever his religion or race, who is willing to assimilate into a nation by sharing the fate and future of a people.
My friends, we need to give political power back to the nation-state, in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom, in the name of human dignity. By defending the nation-states we defend our own identity. By defending our identity we defend our liberties. By defending our liberty we defend our dignity.
I urge you: Stand up for the nation-state. Be proud of your country!
In his Farewell Address as American President, Ronald Reagan said that the thing he was most proud of in his presidency was – I quote – “the resurgence of national pride that I called, ‘The New Patriotism.’” – end of quote.
Europe needs new patriotisms. Europe needs dozens of new patriotisms. We need True Finns, and True Danes, True Frenchmen, and True Irishmen, True Dutchmen, and, my friends, we need True Germans!
Reagan said that we had to teach our children what our country is, what it stands for and what it represents in the long history of the world. He said that Americans need – I quote – “a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions.”
Reagan’s words apply to us, Europeans, too. We need a resurgence of national pride, a love of country and institutions. Our national parliaments are our democratic institutions. We must defend them.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I have said enough. It is time to act. We must make haste. Time is running out for Germany, for the Netherlands, for all the other great nations of Europe. As Ronald Reagan said: “We need to act today, to preserve tomorrow”.
Here is a short summary of five things which we need to do in order to preserve our freedoms.
First, we must defend freedom of speech. It is the most important of our liberties. Second, we must end cultural relativism. Our Western culture is far superior to other cultures. Third, we must stop Islamization. More Islam means less freedom. There is enough Islam in Europe already. Immigrants must assimilate and adapt to our values. Fourth, we must restore the right to decide about our own money. We should not pay the debts of others. The survival of the euro should not be used as an excuse to reward countries which have shown that they were not worthy to belong to the eurozone. Fifth, we must restore the supremacy and sovereignty of the nation-state. Our nations are the legacy which our fathers bestowed on us and which we want to bestow on our children. We are the free men and women of the West. We are the true men and women of the West. We do not stand for a superstate. We stand for our own country.
You stand for Germany. I stand for the Netherlands. Others stand for Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, and all these other beautiful freedom-loving nations of Europe. Together we represent the nations of Europe. Together we stand.
We will stand firm. We will survive. We will defend our freedoms. We will remain free.
Thank you very much.