News in English: Germans welcome their new president
Today Germany's new president Joachim Gauck (pronounced “Yo-ah-im Gaok”) inaugurates. He was a Lutheran pastor and a civil rights leader in East Germany.
After the unification of Germany, he was elected by the Bundestag (the German parliament) to be the 1st Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives (1999-2000) that preserves and protects the former E. German secret police archives and investigate past crimes of the secret police Stasi.
He has been politically independent (is not a member of any political party), and stays active in 2 organizations:
1. Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie ("Against Forgetting – For Democracy")
The Germans have a tradition of electing social leaders into the presidency, and Gauck has been well respected across Germany:
Der Spiegel, a magazine for the intellectuals, called him “the better President” when he lost the election in 2010. At the same time, das Bild, a popular gossip newspaper, calls him “the president of hearts.” Chancellor Angela Merkel praises him “a true teacher of democracy… tireless advocate of freedom, democracy and justice.”
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