Hans-Christian Ströbele is living history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Born in 1939, the biography of this lawyer, politician, former federal deputy and activist has made him a moral figure for the anti-authoritarian left. As co-founder of The Greens, he is one of the voices most critical of the current rearmament strategy of the German government. won four consecutive times the direct mandate to the Bundestag in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. In 2017 he decided not show up again. Now, through his Twitter account – with more than 280,000 followers – he expresses his dissatisfaction with how Berlin and the EU are handling the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ströbele answered. recently to EL PERI & Oacute; DICO in his Berlin office.
Mr. Ströbele, you know the history of the German peace movement very well. what? Has it been the latter?
I hope that pacifism continues to be part of the principles of Los Verdes. But now I see that it is the exact opposite of a pacifist policy is occurring. I also hope that when this war is over, the Greens will discuss and come to the conclusion that this will never happen again. In other words, we should not change our fundamental positions.
If we go further From his party and we look at history, we see that in the 1980s German pacifism was a mass movement. Now the situation is different. what? has it happened?
Yes, it is true that the German peace movement was not only green. There were also many Social Democrats and members of other parties, including the FDP. There were also many people who did not belong to any political party. The German peace movement went much further than that. of the matches. So what? happens today? Well, we see a horrible war at our doors. I would have wanted that same sensitivity for other wars taking place in the world, or with military missions in Africa or Afghanistan. But there it was thought They were distant wars. In those cases we discuss whether we should send weapons or not, but we do not deal with the horribleness of those wars. The one in Yemen or the war in Iraq are clear examples.
“I am in favor of Ukraine defending itself. But not that you have to win under any circumstances or that you have to beat Russia”
Are the Greens a pacifist formation?
In part, they were a pacifist party. However, there were also many people who advocated engaging in a defensive war in case the country came under attack. And there were also pacifists who refused to pick up a gun under any circumstances. They weren't all, but they weren't a minority either. And it must be said that we were a successful project, not only Los Verdes, but the politics of that time. We must not forget that for the first time in many centuries, and since the Second World War, there has not been a war for 70 years in Germany or Central Europe. That is a success of the pacifist program. If we have learned anything from the criminal war launched by Putin, it is that we have to defend ourselves. That is why I am in favor of Ukraine defending itself. But I do not agree that you have to win under any circumstances or that you have to beat Russia.
“The speeches of green politicians are too militaristic. Many they present themselves as weapons experts (…) they read the newspapers and then repeat everything”
The German Foreign Minister, the green Annalena Baerbock, repeats that the objective of sending arms to Ukraine is for the Ukrainian army to win the war…
First of all, I think that's a dream. We have to contribute so that Ukraine is not overwhelmed and annexed by Russia. But to say that he has to win the war by any means, whatever that means, sounds like a dream to me. The speeches of green politicians are sometimes too militaristic for me. Today, for example, there are many in the Greens who present themselves as weapons experts, who claim to know exactly what to do. is a heavy weapon and how a rocket launcher works. I myself was in the German army for a year and I know what it is. That doesn't work like that. Those politicians read the newspapers and then repeat everything. A war is not won by placing too many cannons or too many rocket launchers. If that is done, the other party will also contribute. more weapons and more soldiers.
He openly opposes sending heavy weapons to Ukraine, but at the same time assures that Ukraine has the right to defend itself. How can both arguments work together?
Heavy weapons are another phase of escalation. Heavy weapons from the United States and Europe are now beginning to be used in Ukraine. The Ukrainians are firing missiles at each other. The war is raging. It is expanding and it is to be feared that Russia will launch a general mobilization involving millions of soldiers, and perhaps even make use of tactical nuclear weapons. I want to avoid all that. On this point I agree above all with Chancellor Scholz: we have to be very careful and avoid getting involved in a war from which we can no longer get out.
You criticize that the language in the Media and politics in Germany have an increasingly martial tone. Is the space for anti-war positions getting narrower?
Sadly, yes. I think a policy has been declared whereby any criticism of, for example, sending tanks or heavy weapons to Ukraine is seen as treason. I consider that to be wrong. We should be able to have another opinion and express it. It's my case.