Ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of my election I received many letters from people representing all segments of the population and all professions, especially from the younger generation, linking my inauguration with great - far too great - expectations.
War is not the quintessential emergency in which man has to prove himself, as my generation learned at its school desks in the days of the Kaiser; rather, peace is the emergency in which we all have to prove ourselves.
We have to recognize that the freedom of the individual has to be protected not only from the power of the state, but even more so from economic and societal power.
I appeal to the responsibility of the blocs and the major powers, not to seek security in the arms race, but rather in a meeting for joint disarmament and arms limitations.
Ladies and gentlemen, I take office at a time in which the world is living in extreme contradictions.
The time has come - and must come - for multilateral conversations about a secure peace in all of Europe.
Therefore it does not help to sneer at the imperfection of today's reality or to preach absolutes as a daily agenda.
Liberal democracy must finally become the vital element of our society.
Insecurity and resignation mingle with the hope for a better order.
Beyond peace, there is no longer any existence possible.
The first thing I see is the obligation to serve peace.
The secret of big and revolutionary actions also consists in discovering the tiny step that is simultaneously a strategic step, insofar as it entails additional steps in the direction of a better reality.
Some fatherlands are difficult. Germany is one of them. But it is our fatherland. Here is where we live and work.
Disarmament requires trust.
One of our most noble political tasks is to open up trust.