Erik Nitsche: Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations
Artist: Erik Nitsche
On March 29, 1955, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Danish Prime Minister Hans Christian Hansen signed the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations concerning the rights of minorities in their two countries. At the core of the Declaration is the simple statement: "He who wants to be German is German; he who wants to be Dane is a Dane." Other parts of the Declaration state that a person's nationality and culture are free and must not be officially examined, minorities and their organizations must not be kept from using their desired language in speech and writing, and minorities must receive support from public funds in the same manner as other citizens. In the years since it was adopted, the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations have contributed greatly to good neighborly relations between Germans and Danes. Today, the two nations are considered a model for dealing with minorities and expressing tolerance. The Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations are an indication of Europeans' willingness to understand one another and work for a peaceful coexistence.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 80pf Bonn-Copenhagen Agreement stamp issued February 2, 1985.
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