"A year ago we were looking forward to the next Easter, to a spring without pandemic. But our hope has not been fulfilled. On the contrary, the third wave is hitting us hard right now.

I know that after 13 months, the rhetoric of holding out doesn't help. All the appeals to patience and reason and discipline become blunt in these gruelling times. A sense of powerlessness and frustration spreads, and so another dimension is added to the worries about health, school, work, the economy: a crisis of confidence. This is the main reason why I am addressing you today.

Trust - in a democracy, this is based on a very fragile agreement between citizens and their state: You, state, do your part; I citizens do mine.

I know: You, the citizens, are doing your part in this historic crisis! You are doing a lot, and you are sacrificing a lot. For some, the lockdown has long since ceased to be about lost income; it is about bare existence. So I understand all the more the impatience and frustration about the setbacks of the past few months. A lot has been done, and a lot has been achieved. Nevertheless, there have been mistakes - in testing, in vaccination, in digital solutions.

The pandemic holds up a mirror to our country: the tendency to want to regulate everything, our fear of risk, the shuffling of responsibility. How we change this and how we make our institutions more crisis-proof will all have to be addressed. But now we are in the middle of the third wave! And now we need all our strength from all sides to break it.

You know as well as I do that the next few weeks will once again demand severe restrictions. On the other hand, I want to assure you that just as the pandemic demands a lot from you, you can also demand a lot from politicians. Your expectation of those in power is clear: Get your act together!

Of course, there is no one ideal way out of the pandemic. And that's why we need political conflict - but conflict must not become an end in itself. Federal or state, party or coalition, up or down in the polls - these must not play the main role now! We need clarity and decisiveness, we need understandable and pragmatic regulations so that people have orientation, so that this country can once again get out of itself what it is capable of.

But let's be honest. Get your act together! - that is justified, but it is not enough. Let's all get together, dear compatriots! Let's get out what's in us! Let's not only be indignant about the others or about those up there. Let's not constantly show what can't be done, but that it can be done if everyone does their part. This is important to me when I talk about trust. Because in the end, trust in democracy is nothing other than this: trusting ourselves!

And we have every reason to do so. Vaccines have been developed in record time - largely here in Germany. Now things are moving forward: vaccine deliveries will pick up strongly in the coming weeks, production in Europe is being expanded, and family doctors are now starting to vaccinate. I received my first vaccination the day before yesterday, and I trust all - I stress: all - vaccines approved in Germany. Vaccination is the most important step on our way out of the pandemic - so take advantage of the opportunities! Join in!

Unfortunately, the road is longer than we had hoped. Not only for us - many of our neighbours are even hit much harder. Some are further along than we are. At any rate, no one has reached their goal yet. And we should draw the conclusions only at the end.

Do you remember? A few months ago, after the first wave, we were already looking forward to being pandemic world champions. And today? Quite the opposite. Today, we're just outdoing each other in pessimism.

I ask myself: Why does it always have to be the superlative in Germany - either soaring to the skies or drowning in sorrow?

The truth is: we are not the pandemic world champions, but we are not total failures either. Instead, we are the Federal Republic of Germany. We doubt a lot, but we can also do a lot! And it is the ability, not the doubt, that counts now.

We live together in this country, and we want a good future together. So let's have confidence in each other and take care of each other!

Dear compatriots, for Christians Easter means the certainty that death and oppression do not have the last word - and it should be a celebration of hope for all people in our country. We have good reason for this hope. I wish you a happy Easter.".