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Protocol Office Article Day of Re­mem­brance for Refugees and Ex­pellees

Around the world, more than 50 million people have fled their homes. Two-thirds of them are internally displaced persons; about 30% of them are considered refugees, most of whom are from developing countries and have fled to a neighbouring country.

Flight and expulsion cause immeasurable suffering for those affected, as we know from the fates of the refugees seeking protection in Europe today and the chance to live in peace here.

Flight and expulsion are also part of our own history: In the 20th century, millions of Germans fled or were expelled from regions where their families had lived for generations. As a result, hundreds of thousands of them died, endured physical or mental suffering or lost everything they had; culture and history were destroyed. The Federal Government provides long-term support for historical research into these events and to remember the victims.

With this in mind, on 27 August 2014 the Federal Cabinet designated 20 June as Germany's annual Day of Remembrance for Refugees and Expellees to commemorate the victims of flight and expulsion everywhere and German expellees in particular. Starting in 2015, this day will demonstrate that societal cohesion along with the will and the strength to achieve reconciliation and make a new beginning provide the foundation on which Germany today has become home to people from 190 nations. As a reliable partner in the effort to preserve peace and freedom, we will continue on the path of reconciliation with our European neighbours and towards greater European integration.

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