Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth, Speaker of the German Bundestag (1988-1998), former Federal Minister
Message to the International Conference at Ashraf 3 marking the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Iranian Resistance, June 20, 2020
My dear friends in Ashraf 3,
I am happy to speak to you. Actually it feels like we have been apart for a long time.
I’d thought that this time would pass sooner, but I am sure that every thing will be re-opened and I can travel to come and visit you. This is one of our goals.
Both times I visited there, I was amazed by your liveliness and by the amount of construction and reconstruction you had done.
And when someone asks me what makes Ashraf 3 so special? I say, you are the ones who make new things out of what’s become obsolete or has been destroyed, and of things that do not exist.
You show that your culture could not be destroyed.
I remember the bloody attacks on Ashraf, but your resilience, your longing for freedom, your non-violence, peace and justice were the stronger force.
The people who have lived for so many decades in a system that knows no freedom or little freedom, show others that they are thirsting for freedom.
Dear men and women of Ashraf,
When I think of your life, it becomes clear that we are looking for examples which show a different kind of approach in relations between women and men.
Living in partnership and equality, such that it becomes possible for women to enjoy a different status in society, a different level of recognition that has been missing for a long time and is still not available in a number of countries.
Before you recognize someone as a man or a woman, you see them as a human being. The stereotypes of strong male and weak female would no longer be credible as both of them are human beings.
Your brilliant example is Mrs. Rajavi, because her main goal is equality, equal evaluation and equal recognition of women and men. And that is not only in subordinate positions, but in leadership positions.
By taking responsibility and running the affairs, (we women) are showing people that we are not helpless.
Equality between men and women is your most important asset for sustainable freedom and democracy in Iran and around the world.
Therefore, I would like to reiterate here that the people who have been oppressed by a dictatorship for four decades, will be the agents who ensure that peace would be realized in Iran without violence. You have suffered enough from violence. The question is not polarization of conditions; what’s at issue is resistance and change. Changes that you are experiencing, changes that make people happy and they can see its examples everywhere.
Forty years of tirelessness Resistance, as the French say. This is something that all of us, people around the world, witnessed to different extent and in various ways.
But this Resistance has always had its models and this is how you have done throughout your life. Otherwise, you could not have succeeded in Albania.
Many thanks to Albania, and many thanks to you.
I wish you further bravery, courage and creativity and I hope to see you very soon.