Today is the first National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorist Violence.
March 11 is a day of remembrance, of compassion, but also a reminder to act with determination against terrorist threats.
Today the whole EU commemorates victims of terrorism.
On March 11, 2004, nearly 200 people were killed and hundreds injured in an Islamist bomb attack on four trains in Madrid.
Our country has also been shaken by murderous attacks in recent years.
And today we also think of the German victims of acts of terrorism abroad.
It is long overdue that we, in all parts of government, reach out with more empathy and support to those whose lives have been dramatically altered by attacks.
For too long, almost all attention was focused on the perpetrators.
It must be the victims' voices that count.
"Our world has been upside down since then," said Ajla Kurtovic a few weeks ago on the second anniversary of the racist attack in Hanau, in which her brother Hamza was murdered.
He was only 22 years old.
"There is still a very big rift in my life," says Astrid Passin, who lost her father in the Islamist attack on Berlin's Breitscheidplatz in 2016.
Your pain will never go away.
A human fate does not fit into a folder.
Whoever is the victim of an attack should not experience a tangle of official processes, but needs fast and comprehensive help.
Terror victims must receive the best possible health and psychological care.
Impart intercultural skills
There is also a need for financial support to alleviate the hardship and unbureaucratic practical help.
Recently there has been a right to treatment in trauma clinics for quick psychological help.
But in many places procedures are still too complicated, distances are long and forms are difficult to understand.
All state institutions can and must improve here.
The Federal Criminal Police Office is currently setting up a network to help victims of terrorist attacks.
In the same way, we are strengthening police training together with the federal states: we want to teach intercultural skills even more effectively and provide training for a more sensitive initial contact and more transparency towards relatives.
Germany knows what terrorism means.
The spectrum ranges from radicalized lone perpetrators to network-like structures to hierarchically structured terrorist organizations.
The left-wing extremist terror of the Red Army Faction, the June 2nd Movement and the Revolutionary Cells in the 1970s and 1980s must not be forgotten.
33 people died in attacks by the RAF.
These attacks led to significant changes in the security architecture of the Federal Republic.
The threat of Islamist terrorism remains unchanged.
The assassination attempt on Berlin's Breitscheidplatz, knife attacks, the arson attack in Waldkraiburg and the attack on American soldiers at Frankfurt Airport are sad testimonies to this.
Since 2000, 23 Islamist attacks have failed or been prevented by our security authorities in Germany.
And the trail of right-wing terror runs through our recent history: the attack on the Munich Oktoberfest in 1980, in which 13 people were killed and more than 200 injured, remains a deep turning point.
We think of Hoyerswerda, Mölln and Solingen in the 1990s, of the terror of the "NSU", the attack on the Munich Olympia shopping center, the terror of Halle and Hanau.
Urgent questions arise after an attack: whether the act could have been prevented, what omissions were made, what consequences we must draw.
The state owes the survivors and bereaved a transparent and complete processing.
This is the only way that deeply injured trust in the state can grow again.
This is the only way for the relatives to be able to live with the horrible events.
Every human counts
This is an obligation of the state that we must meet: that it took decades for the Oktoberfest attack to be classified as a right-wing extremist, that the investigation into the "NSU" terror has not yet been completed, that the racist murders in Hanau are only now being clarified in the investigative committee of the Hessian state parliament - all of this has led to nagging questions remaining unanswered for too long.
As the new Federal Minister of the Interior, it is very important to me that there is more transparency on the part of the federal government and that clear consequences are drawn from omissions.
Because that is the basis for defending our well-fortified democracy, strengthening the security authorities and preventing brutal violence.
In their fanaticism, terrorists think their victims don't count.
You are wrong.
Every human counts.
That is why we must keep alive the memory of every individual who has been a victim of terrorist violence.
On the 11th of March.
And every day.Keywords: