The young volunteers who enthusiastically marched to the front in 1914 allegedly had Hölderlin in their knapsacks. And it was also said about the German soldiers of the Second World War that they felt they had to defend the world of the great romantic poet against the Bolshevik barbarians. What those who are currently calling for arms are carrying in their intellectual luggage still awaits historical analysis. In any case, they are not Brecht, Böll or Willy Brandt. It is staggering to see how quickly a country that seemed to have renounced war and violence after the horrors inflicted on the world by Nazi Germany is militarizing itself.
Of course, the circumstances and background are different from 1914 and 1939. And those who are now calling for “heavy weapons” for Ukraine do so with the legitimate conviction that this time they are on the right side of history. According to the Junge Union München-Land, which this week called on all members of the Bundestag in an open letter, referring to the daily pictures and reports of atrocities committed by the Russian army, to support the Ukrainians in the “fight for freedom, democracy and self-determination” by all means to assist
And yet it is frightening how much the “heroic resistance” of the Ukrainians is glorified in this country and the threshold to entering the war being persistently lowered bit by bit. When the Taufkirchner lads’ association collected boots, backpacks and underwear for Ukrainian soldiers shortly after the start of the war, it could still be dismissed as halfway sympathetic folklore. But since not only politicians like Florian Hahn from the CSU from Putzbrunn, who has always had a special connection to the arms lobby and armaments industry, are calling for tanks and guns from the Bundeswehr for the war in the East, but also Greens like Toni Hofreiter from Unterhaching, one wonders , where the level-headed, warning voices have stayed. In any case, they cannot be heard from the party of the former peace movement. Instead, a kind of European-Western “hooray patriotism” is getting louder and louder. And so one gets the uneasy feeling that the discussion about sanctions, embargoes and arms deliveries is slipping more and more on a sloping level with each additional day of the war, from which it is inexorably falling into the abyss.
Of course, the murders in Ukraine must not be watched idly. But instead of supplying weapons that will prolong the war and lead to further and increasingly ferocious counterattacks, how about cutting off the aggressor’s money supply? So Russia stopped paying for oil and gas. That would be possible, but everyone would have to put up with inconveniences: for example leaving the car at home, forgoing the flight or just taking a cold shower. But in fact, politicians in this country cannot even bring themselves to impose a temporary speed limit in order to reduce energy consumption. Calling for guns is easier than changing your own behavior. Above all, it is also more dangerous.