GLOBALO asks famous German politician professor Rita Süssmuth in Berlin how we can promote tolerance. She is the Grande Dame of German politics, respected in all parties with her fresh dynamic ideas and idealistic approaches.

Mrs. Süssmuth is a  member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She was the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth under Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1985-1988), and President of

the German Parliament, the Bundestag (1988-1998).

She holds the title of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Münster. Currently she sits on the Advisory Board for the German Foundation for World Population and serves as a Member of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation which monitors tolerance in Europe.

  • In her remarks to Globalo, Dr Süssmuth stressed the importance of living tolerance in our daily lives. “This is a necessity. We talk a lot about it, but there is less practice.“
  • Tolerance is especially, but not exclusively, important for young people.
  • Tolerance is more than acceptance. It’s mainly about the question of what brings us together. “If there is no allowance for diversity we are all enemies“.
  • Tolerance is the basic requirement for ending many of the conflicts we are living through at the moment.
  • The forces of intolerance are not confined to Syria or the Middle East. This is a global struggle. And in Western Europe we can see the egocentrism of intolerance making a comeback. The political exploitation by far right groups of the refugee crisis is just one example of this.
  • She was optimistic over all that we are making progress. The opportunities for young people to overcome the religious intolerance by working together are “amazing“.