German workers speak out on the war in Ukraine: “The only war we need is the war against the coronavirus!”

Workers, students and schoolchildren across Europe are shocked and concerned by the outbreak of war in Ukraine. While they despise the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, many reject the hysterical war propaganda pouring in through all channels of governments, all official political parties and mainstream media.

Deafening calls for sanctions, military retaliation and nuclear deterrence do not represent public opinion. As stated in the statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) entitled “Oppose the Putin government’s invasion of Ukraine and US-NATO warmongering: For the unity of Russian and Ukrainian workers!” explains: “Masses of people have lived through the experience of the last three decades of endless war. Overwhelming working class sentiment around the world is opposed to war.

Ukrainian servicemen sit on top of armored personnel carriers driving on a road in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, February 24, 2022 [Credit: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda]

Letters to World Socialist Website and the statements made by the workers in Germany to our journalists express this opposition.

A VW employee from Braunschweig wrote: “I view the developments in Ukraine with deep concern. I feared but hoped that Putin would not send troops to Ukraine. I followed Putin’s nationalist speech with horror. The threats against NATO, the EU and all other states are a disaster.

“I think the whole situation is extremely dangerous. It can really get out of hand. The biggest powers are now involved, the biggest nuclear powers.

“What Putin is doing is absolutely unacceptable. But at the same time, the promises that NATO, the US and the EU have broken cannot be dismissed out of hand. They went to the borders of Russia, and Putin cannot accept that.

“The United States is out of wars, Afghanistan is over, they had to withdraw desperately from there. But the American economy prospers thanks to the war. And with their fracking gas, they are the ones benefiting now because they can sell it to the EU.

“The closure of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was also announced by (German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz at the request of the United States. It is true that he left himself a back door, after all Germany has also its own interests.But the federal government clearly has no plan B, even though the civil war has been raging in Ukraine for eight years.

“Because one thing is certain: ordinary people will pay. If not directly in war, then indirectly. After all, the EU depends on Russian oil and gas. And there is a whole series of things that depend on it. If we have to pay more for energy, the money will go elsewhere in the economy because we have to keep the money somewhere. Our cars that we build would then also become more expensive. If we sold less, what about our jobs?

“The WSWS Online Event This Saturday” Fight COVID and Save Lives! Stop the drive to World War III!’ is important in this situation to make it clear that no one wants a war here.

Zafer, a Ford worker in Cologne, said: “I am absolutely against the war, it is a total disaster. In this century, there should be no more wars. It’s really sad to come to this.

“But the United States has always been prepared to start wars and sit idly by and then intervene. In Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Syria, but also in the war between Turkey and the PKK, they were and still are involved. I also witnessed the putsch against Erdogan in 2016, while I was in Istanbul. It was also supported by the United States. They intervene everywhere.

“They make money with conflicts and wars, also because they sell arms. Now they have been saying all along that Russia is going to invade Ukraine. I felt like the United States was practically talking about the war, they wanted it. The United States wants to use its weapons, they make money from them.

“If Russia now closes the gas tap, what will happen then? I hope it won’t come to that, but it seems extremely dangerous.

“Again: I am against war. The initiative of the WSWS to build an international anti-war movement must therefore be supported.

Karin, a former social worker on early retirement, said, “The WSWS provides detailed and illuminating political analysis of the current war in Ukraine. There is no contradiction in unequivocally condemning Russia’s military aggression while pointing out that it is the result of a US geopolitical strategy to secure its military hegemony and that the NATO-led powers States are the main aggressors.

“With the gradual enlargement of NATO to the countries of the former Eastern bloc up to the borders of Russia, Putin was practically surrounded. This policy of encirclement, exacerbated by an anti-Russian regime in Ukraine installed by Western powers in 2014, and against the backdrop of acts of war waged by the United States (by proxy) in Serbia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria since the late 1990s was to sooner or later push Putin to a preemptive strike.

“In other words, his current actions can be explained politically as a reaction to a real threat to the imperialist goals of NATO, without justifying or ignoring the fact that the Putin regime also represents capitalist interests and seeks to make them respect through nationalism and militarism.

“It should always be remembered that warmongering and war serve to create an artificial internal unity against a common external enemy and thus divert attention from internal crises and conflicts and turn them outwards. main objective is to try to divert attention from the devastating effects of the politics of profits before life (in the COVID-19 pandemic).

“Like the mobilization for war, a supposedly endemic pandemic in decline is proclaimed as a ‘new normal’ to be accepted. According to this, ‘we’ must learn to live with war and pandemics, just as we live with the austerity for a long time.

“I am delighted that the WSWS is organizing the international webinar today to present a political program aimed at mobilizing the working class against war and the pandemic. I await this event with great interest and wish it wide international attention.

Harald, a teacher from Duisburg, wrote: “The war between Russia and Ukraine can only be properly assessed if the interests and goals of the NATO powers, which have been developing for a long time, are also taken into account. : the strategic interests of large German companies and those of the United States, for example, are based on the greatest possible control and economic exploitation of resources (mineral resources, labor and sales markets) throughout the Eastern Europe, Russia and even China. It’s in the DNA of capitalism…

“The Putin regime’s interest lies in defending its dreamed ‘independent’ political existence as a quasi-neo-tsarist superpower, after the main Russian state successor to the USSR rapidly opened up to the capitalist world market since the 1990s.

“A solution to this rapidly developing world war scenario can only come from the unification of the international working class in a socialist anti-war movement. The WSWS plays a decisive role in informing and educating workers around the world. Attend the WSWS online conference tonight at 10 p.m. (Berlin time)!”

Tatjana, a nurse from northern Hesse and mother of three, said: “I really hoped that the war would be avoided, if only because of the children. As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about with the coronavirus, as well as with inflation and the weather. This war crowns it all and aggravates it, and the threat of a Third World War is now becoming very real.

“Nobody should die because the American world power is involved all over the world and wants to control everything geopolitically. For years they have armed, and NATO has armed the countries around Russia: Poland, the Baltic States, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania. And Putin has no progressive answer to that. The man who worked for years in the Russian secret service is now reacting with Great Russian nationalism and war.

“Russians and Ukrainians have a common history. The vast majority of people certainly do not want a war, which will at most benefit the gas and oil tycoons of the West and East, the billionaires, the arms dealers and the oligarchs who have hijacked state property of the former Soviet Union.

“At first I thought it was a good thing that Germany didn’t want to supply weapons, but now the voices calling for exactly that are getting louder.

“At the same time, they are letting the coronavirus pandemic take its course. The only war we need is the war against the corona virus! But no government does that. This will only happen when we, the workers of the world, unite and take matters into our own hands. »

Michael, a carpenter from Stuttgart, told us: “It doesn’t bode well if the war starts now – what the Western imperialists had prepared and pushed for weeks in the media, through the rhetoric of war, but also practically through arms deliveries to Ukraine.

“I didn’t really expect Putin’s regime to go ahead. Apparently the decision to attack was taken at the top before the Munich Security Conference, as Russia did not send any representatives. It was obvious to the Kremlin that neither the European powers nor the United States were willing to give a guarantee against NATO expansion on Ukrainian soil. But what value would such a “guarantee of security” have had?

“The global working class must mobilize now, be armed with an anti-war program that operates completely independently of political parties, unions and pseudo-left groups, and that strikes at the root of the evil. of war, social inequality and exploitation – the capitalist system”.

James R. Rhodes