a “Free Translation” by Kevin Stoda

The material translated below into English from German is from “Der Krieg ist Weit Weg”


by Sebastian Gehrmann, Frankfurter Rundschau.

Berlin. Imagen if there would be a war and no one would stand up and protest against it!

“One has to wonder,” said one onlooker on Saturday to another, “Do you see over there a pair of pacifists  on the square?”  Actually, on the square are 1500 people.  The man continued, “Seven from ten Germans oppose the war in Afghanistan, but when it comes to protesting it [these days], one sees only the same old banners.” There are only the same old folks showing their true colors.

Standing next to the protestor’s stage [on Saturday Feb. 20] was Peter Strutynski.   He had just been up on that stage speaking, raging, and shouting. “What actually will continue to grow in Afghanistan in the near future are opium poppies, corruption, and prostitution, “ as the Speaker of the Bundestag Parliamentary Committee on Peace and Public Opinion had been reported to claim that day.

However, no one has patience any more in order to take time and listen to politicians. War and nothing but war will be waged by the German military in the  Hindu Kush.   This must be stopped.

There was scattered applause for Peter Strutynski. “It is claimed that the Peace Movement is exhausted,” he continued “One hears here and there that the Peace movement doesn’t have the energy to mobilize.”  Some don’t have the strength to continue, etc.

“’The war is very very far away’ says one man. Another one then claims, ‘We currently are overwhelmed by the Economic Crisis here.  One has to be directly affected to take to the streets these days.”

Meanwhile one man walks by carrying an impressively huge poster and by his demeanor one is reminded of the great anti-weapons and anti-war demonstrations of years gone-by, such as during the anti-Vietnam War or anti-Iraq war protests.  There must be a reason as to why the great demonstrations have now disappeared once again from the streets of Germany.? Strutynski responds, “I know but I fight windmills even if it is foggy.”

What Strutynski does recognize is that the masses are missing now in terms of visible support.  Of the five major parties in the Bundestag or German Parliament, only one—THE LEFT Party—had advocated protest against the continuing war build up from Germany’s military in Afghanistan.  Shaking his head, he observed, “Even the Green Party have pulled out of the Anti-War [Peace] movement.”

To this [crises in the Peace Movement put in play by the Greens’ public silence], he adds, “The opposition SPD deserve a special medal for weakly capitulating [to the governing coalition on this issue.”  For  Strutynski, the Social Democratic party [SPD] Germany is  disaster-of-the-week.  First, Sigmar Gabriel had  said that there would be NO MORE TROOPS for Afghanistan.  Next, Frank Walter Steinmeier [last year’s SPD candidate for Chancellor] announced that the party would support that very same plan [opposed by others in his party]. “I just don’t get it, “ he said and indicated that the government would be getting opposition votes for the 2010 troop buildup.

Many of those who had already advocated strong protest day turnouts in Munich and Dresden [earlier in February] are also deeply frustrated. Nevertheless, these protestors will always recall the famous words of Eugen Drewermanns of church-critic-fame who had once shouted during his days as protest leader, “Thank you all for coming here and simply saying ‘NO’.”


About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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  1. eslkevin says:


    I need to connect the article above to this one. See how they tell views of the same days–mostly Feb. 20-22 and then Feb. 26, 2010 in Berlin.

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