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Translated from German by Global Research
We appreciate that until now you have considered the risks so carefully: the risk of the war spreading within Ukraine; the risk of expansion across Europe; yes, the risk of a Third World War.
We therefore hope that you will remember your original position and will not deliver any more heavy weapons to Ukraine, either directly or indirectly.
On the contrary, we urge you to do everything you can to ensure that a ceasefire can be reached as soon as possible; a compromise that both sides can accept.
We share the verdict on Russian aggression as a breach of the basic norm of international law. We also share the conviction that there is a fundamental political and moral duty not to back down from aggressive violence without resistance. But everything that can be derived from this has its limits in other imperatives of political ethics.
We are convinced that two such dividing lines have now been reached:
First, the categorical prohibition on accepting a manifest risk of this war escalating into a nuclear conflict.
The delivery of large quantities of heavy weapons, however, could make Germany itself a party to the war. And a Russian counter-attack could then trigger the case for assistance under the NATO treaty and with it the immediate danger of a world war.
The second line of demarcation is the level of destruction and human suffering among Ukrainian civilians. Even legitimate resistance to an aggressor is at some point intolerable.
We warn against a double error:
Firstly, that the responsibility for the risk of an escalation to a nuclear conflict lies solely with the original aggressor and not also with those who openly provide him with a motive for possibly criminal action.
And on the other hand, that the decision on the moral responsibility of the further “costs” in human lives among the Ukrainian civilian population falls exclusively within the competence of their government. Morally binding norms are universal in nature.
The escalating armament taking place under pressure could be the beginning of a global arms race with catastrophic consequences, not least for global health and climate change. Despite all the differences, it is important to strive for worldwide peace. The European approach of shared diversity is a model for this.
Dear Chancellor, we are convinced that the head of government of Germany can make a decisive contribution to a solution that will stand up to the judgment of history.
Not only in view of our current (economic) power, but also in view of our historical responsibility – and in the hope of a peaceful future
We hope and count on you!
Andreas Dresen, filmmaker
Lars Eidinger, actor
dr Svenja Flaßpöhler, philosopher
Prof. Dr. Elisa Hoven, criminal lawyer
Alexander Kluge, intellectual
Heinz Mack, sculptor
Gisela Marx, film producer
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Merkel, criminal lawyer and legal philosopher
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel, political scientist
Reinhard Mey, musician
Dieter Nuhr, cabaret artist
Gerhard Polt, cabaret artist
Helke Sander, filmmaker
HA Schult, artist
Alice Schwarzer, journalist
Robert Seethaler, writer
Edgar Selge, actor
Antje Vollmer, theologian and green politician
Franziska Walser, actress
Martin Walser, writer
Prof. Dr. Peter Weibel, art and media theorist
Christoph, Karl and Michael Well, musicians
Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer, social psychologist
Ranga Yogeshwar, science journalist
Juli Zeh, writer
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski, media theorist
John Phoenix Journalist at shoah.org.uk