Chancellor Scholz calls unconditional pacifism “obsolete” – Germany

The open letter to the Chancellor, in which artists and intellectuals oppose arms deliveries to Ukraine, has more than 115,000 signatures. But there are also criticisms, especially from Scholz.

By Sunday afternoon, more than 115,000 people had signed an open letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), in which 28 artists and intellectuals had voted against arms deliveries to Ukraine since Friday. At the same time, prominent politicians criticized the initiative.

On Twitter, Scholz indirectly accused the authors of being “outdated” with their requests. “I respect every pacifism and every attitude. But it must seem cynical to Ukrainian citizens when they are told that they must defend themselves against Putin’s aggression without weapons,” said Scholz. During the central meeting of the DGB on May 1 in Düsseldorf, he reiterated: “We will continue to support Ukraine, with money, with humanitarian aid, but we must also say: we will support them so that they can defend themselves, with arms deliveries, as they do. many other countries in Europe. “

The letter, initiated by journalist Alice Schwarzer, states that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be given any reason to escalate the war. It is hoped that Scholz will remember his original position and will not directly or indirectly contribute to the delivery of heavy weapons to Kiev. Rather, what is needed is a ceasefire and a “compromise that both sides can accept.” There is a “line” of human suffering and destruction that makes resistance to an attacker unbearable. The first signatories are the actors Lars Eidinger and Edgar Selge, the writer Martin Walser, the philosopher Svenja Flasspöhler, the musician Reinhard Mey, the writer Juli Zeh and the cabaret artists Gerhard Polt and Dieter Nuhr.

Questioned by the BZ, the leader of the Green parliamentary group Britta Haßelmann criticized: “Where should there be ‘compromises’ when Putin attacks a free European country in violation of international law, razes cities to the ground, civilians are murdered and rape is systematically used as a weapon against women? ” Nobody makes the decision on arms deliveries easy for themselves. In the necessary debate on the situation, “no one should assume that they can make decisions without taking into account the heads of the Ukrainians,” said Hasselmann.

Green state council delegates made it clear on Saturday that they would support the federal government line in support of Ukraine and Bundeswehr equipment. The co-leader of the Greens, Omid Nouripour, said: “We will always remain a party for peace” and at the same time “as a ruling party, let’s face reality”. Green Youth asked that the special fund provided for the Bundeswehr be rejected.

FDP presidium member Michael Theurer called the letter to Scholz “naive and intellectually sad”. “Without Ukrainian defense capabilities there will be no peace,” Theurer said. The head of the Liberal Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, said: “The only compromise is the full restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine”. The spokesman for the foreign policy of the SPD parliamentary group, Nils Schmid, said it would be “problematic to deny military aid to Ukraine”. Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk tweeted that “Accepting gang rapes of Ukrainian women by Russian soldiers is pure cynicism.”

Understanding came only from the ranks of the Left Party. Former party leader Bernd Riexinger told the BZ: “I am happy that there are audible voices that come out of the military logic.”

In a small party conference, CSU leader Markus Söder accused the chancellor of hesitating on the issue of arms deliveries: “Hiding or dodging it is not worthy of a German chancellor.”

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