Misstraue jedem Politiker, jedem Regierungs- oder Staatschef, der seine Religion zum Instrument macht. Halte Abstand von solchen Politikern, die ihre auf das Jenseits orientierte Religion und ihre diesseitige Politik miteinander vermischen.
Im Verlaufe nicht nur der ökonomischen, sondern auch der politischen Globalisierung kann das kardinale völkerrechtliche Prinzip der Nichteinmischung in Gefahr geraten. Besonders gilt dies für dasVerhältnis des Westens zur islamischen Kultur. Vornehmlich von meinem toten muslimischen Freunde Anwar as-Sadat habe ich den Respekt gegenüber anderen Religionen gelernt. Ich habe von ihm gelernt die gleichen Wurzeln von Judentum und Christentum und Islam. Und inzwischen habe ich ausserdem gelernt, dass Konfuzius, Sokrates oder Lao Tse und ebenso Zarathustra und Gautama Buddha ein halbes Jahrtausend, Moses oder Echnaton ein ganzes Jahrtausend vor Jesus von Nazareth gelebt haben - und dass sie wahrscheinlich deswegen doch nicht unglücklicher gewesen sind als wir Heutigen. Unter den globalisierten Umständen der heutigen Menschheit geziemt jedermann Respekt und Toleranz gegenüber den Kulturen der anderen.
The critical thing about Western democracy is the fact that you usually have a transition of power without bloodshed. That is an enormous advantage. But still, democracy as we know it was only invented recently in the West, historical speaking. It did not really work in ancient Rome. It functioned for less than 200 years in ancient Athens.
I had a Jewish grandfather. We managed to hide this fact from the authorities by falsifying documents, my father and I. His father was Jewish, but because my father was an illegitimate child, it was rather easy to pretend that his father was unknown.
I remember the youth movement in 1968. It started on American university campuses as a protest against the Vietnam war, then came to Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin. Within a year, you had an uprising of youth against their elders.
I will not be remembered in history. I have not been shot. I have not launched any great tragedy or victory. I have not borne any great defeat. It was a very normal - it still is a very normal - human life of a political leader.
My education has been pro-England. I have been an England-minded citizen of Hamburg, and I am still in a way English-minded, but I have been disappointed by the Brits over the years.
When I became a soldier, I was drafted in 1937, and instead of being released two years later, I had to stay on because the war had started in the meantime. I was a soldier for more than eight years, as long a time as I was Chancellor.
The British are very stubborn. The Queen, the Commonwealth, and the special relationship with the U.S. is much more important than Europe.
Particularly since the computerization of the world, the impact of media has grown enormously. The printed books and the printed media have become less important. Why should somebody read Laozi or Confucius if he can Google?
The concept of multiculturalism is difficult to make fit with a democratic society.
Democracy is not the end point of mankind. There may be developments in many different directions in the coming centuries. Democracy has only existed for about 200 years. It started out with the American Declaration of Independence. The Americans got their ideas from the Europeans, in the main from the French, the Dutch and the British.
If I ever had to emigrate, I would probably go to America.
In a mass television democracy - which all of us nowadays have - it is impossible to take basic political decisions with long-term consequences without the public knowing it, without the public understanding at least some of it, without the public forming its judgment, heterogeneous as it may be.
Farmers are always conservative. They stick to what they have learned from their fathers and from their grandfathers. This is the same all over the globe.
Britain is less European-minded than Greece.
The German public knows me quite well. I have been in their kitchens and living rooms for years.
Germany is one of the medium powers of the world. It is a non-nuclear power. It is in a lower class than the United States, the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom and others.
I was in government for 13 years and in that time only once met the head of the German security services, and that was because he was an old friend. Otherwise, I carefully avoided having anything to do with these people. They are unavoidable but not really necessary.