*Immanuel Kant: “Two issues fill the thoughts with ever new and rising admiration and awe, the extra typically and steadily we replicate upon them: the starry heavens above me and the ethical legislation inside me.”
Within the neighborhood with Russia
Who is definitely conscious at this time the place the border of the previous German Empire was as soon as situated? Or how far to the northeast the village of Nimmersatt and the close by teaching inn Immersatt really lay? Nimmersatt was situated on the northern tip of East Prussia, surrounded by the Baltic Sea to the west and Russia to the east and north. Russia – then Russian Lithuania – was our direct neighbor till 1918. The Memel territory was historically Prussian borderland, 120 km lengthy and 40 km large, stretching north alongside the Memel River. In 1422, the Treaty of Melnosee established the frontier, which remained nearly unchanged till 1920. After the Pyrenean border, it’s the second oldest in Europe.
Positioned on the imperial border, Nimmersatt was the previous German Empire’s most northeastern spot and was final in German fingers in 1945. Like Nimmersatt, there are lots of seemingly vanished locations and landscapes in historic japanese Germany. However they’ve for essentially the most half disappeared. These locations bear witness to the truth that many Germans, consciously or unconsciously, are nonetheless deeply rooted in these seemingly vanished landscapes.
The German soul is carefully linked with the East and its territories, particularly with Germany’s historic East, together with East and West Prussia and the Memel territory.
Based on estimates, about 14 million refugees needed to go away their properties after the Second World Conflict, shedding every thing, all their belongings. About 2 million died in transit, and Germany misplaced 1 / 4 of its territory.
As Simone Weil (1909–1943) as soon as put it: “Rootedness might be the human soul’s most necessary and most misunderstood want.”
Crises, conflicts and silver lining
For those who have a look at at this time’s world, you see crises all over the place, wars and deep divisions in our societies. Fears are being fueled and pictures of “the enemy” that have been really lengthy forgotten are being revived. The conflict that has been raging in Ukraine since 2014 has now escalated on the European continent right into a proxy conflict between america and Russia. Russia is being declared the enemy. With its arms deliveries and army help, Germany has additionally formally entered into the conflict with Russia.
What immeasurable struggling wars go to on mankind – a painful fact additionally understood by members of Germany’s “conflict technology” and their descendants, particularly these with roots in Germany’s historic East. Germans and Russians look again on a typical and consequential previous; we share considered one of historical past’s darkest and most horrible chapters, starting with Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 and the next conquest of East Prussia by the Pink Military.
No matter occurred, a shared historical past connects peoples, and Germans and Russians will due to this fact at all times be linked
Civilians are and at all times have been those that suffer most in conflict. In the course of the Second World Conflict, from 1939 to 1945, the Soviet Union had essentially the most casualties: 24 million folks, 14.3 million of them civilians. Germany had a complete of seven.7 million casualties, of which 2.2 million belonged to the civilian inhabitants.
In her previous age, Mama, my mom, may nonetheless recall the terrifying whistling sound of the rocket launchers often known as “Stalin organs.” Throughout thunderstorms and when fireworks have been being shot off, she would start to shiver and sought shelter. But regardless of all of the conflict trauma, the attachment to Germany’s historic East is a part of the German soul and an integral a part of the German cultural nation. Not for nothing was I christened Katja. Mama and my grandmother typically affectionately referred to as me “Katjuscha” of their East Prussian dialect – a reference to the previous Russian people music.
The horrible sound of the Stalin organs was ultimately forgotten. Bridges of reconciliation between Russians and Germans have been inbuilt giant numbers after World Conflict II, one thing that fortuitously continues to occur.
Having left the Chilly Conflict behind us, which divided the world into good and evil or West and East, the world is evolving right into a extra advanced, multipolar place – a multipolar world that might once more give humanity an opportunity to create a brand new international world order of peaceable coexistence.
This is perhaps potential have been it not for the US, which appears to be resisting a multipolar world with all its would possibly: The US needs to proceed to claim its supremacy and affect worldwide. It has mainly by no means withdrawn from Germany, and doesn’t settle for another powers on the world stage. This US affect is expressed above all within the methods of NATO and the EU, since they once more depend on photos of Russia and China as “the enemy” and on exclusion and division.
Shaktarp – when life involves relaxation
The “Fifth Season” – Shaktarp in Lithuanian or, in Russian, Rasputitsa – is a particular time, between the winter and spring season. It’s the time of floods, of inundated meadows. This time was additionally referred to as the time of “roadlessness” – the Memel territory and neighboring lowlands have been neither satisfactory, nor navigable throughout this era. Life and other people got here to relaxation and there was thus time for reflection. Maybe that is what our world sorely wants now.
It appears to me simply the best time to pause, to rediscover and really feel the magic of life. A magic that comes from a chunk of amber via which the solar is shining. Usually discovered close to the Baltic Sea, amber continues to fascinate folks to at the present time. Typically often known as the tears or gold of the gods, amber was as soon as an necessary commodity, extra helpful than gold, and it made its method throughout Europe on historic commerce routes from the Baltic Sea to Southern Europe and North Africa – one of many beginnings of globalization, or, moderately, of the bonds that deliver folks collectively.
Along with the Silk Street, the Amber Street has linked folks, drawing them below the spell of this magical substance, which shines brighter than the solar.
“States don’t have buddies, states solely have pursuits”
The remark made in 2013 by Egon Bahr, the German politician recognized for a dedication to peace and détente, stays true at this time: “Worldwide politics is rarely about democracy or human rights. It’s in regards to the pursuits of states. Do not forget that, it doesn’t matter what they let you know in historical past class.” Otto von Bismarck and Charles de Gaulle, amongst others, have additionally identified that emotions and values don’t have any place in politics. Solely “pursuits and reciprocity must be used as a suggestion.”
Due to this fact, it’s extra necessary than ever to just accept realities and outline nationwide pursuits. Values are risky and infrequently topic to the present zeitgeist. For instance, nobody referred to as for a “feminist values-based international coverage” till a German international minister from the Inexperienced Get together did so. The a lot “cited group of values is just not a type of governance, because it has not been legitimized by any democratic course of.” 
We’ve been dwelling in a multipolar world for a very long time, with totally different types of governments, democracies, dictators and authoritarian regimes. However our worldwide establishments and organizations, which have been created after the Second World Conflict, haven’t been up to date.
Based on a examine by The Economist in 2021, solely 45% of the world’s inhabitants lives in nations with democratic buildings. The ostensibly promising narrative of “change via commerce” has not come to fruition. The enlargement of financial relations with China that started in 1978 has been pushed solely by financial acquire. Even at this time, China gives an enormous marketplace for international merchandise. The enlargement of financial relations and the opening of the nation in flip has helped transfer a big a part of the Chinese language inhabitants out of poverty, and China’s technological backwardness has been rapidly overcome. Each side, the West and China, have been and nonetheless are solely involved with financial pursuits and geopolitical affect in Eurasia.
What’s new, amongst different elements, is that the army not has a monopoly on wars and conflicts. We’re more and more experiencing ideologically fueled media and propaganda wars that deeply divide the inhabitants, make factual debates nearly unimaginable, and drive humanity into division and thus into wars.
Ideology prevails over frequent sense and the center
Worry and hatred are mighty propaganda instruments – e.g., concern of the virus, concern of CO2 and mistrust of Russia and China. The laborious and decades-long means of reconciliation between Germans and Russians, amongst others, has come to a standstill. Not solely have financial relations been damaged off, however cultural alternate has additionally come to a halt. Russian artists are being disinvited from performing in the event that they haven’t publicly taken a transparent stand towards Putin. Political attitudes have turn into extra necessary than artwork, and ideological attitudes are figuring out financial orientations and political selections.
China – the surveillance state
The narrative of “change via commerce” is now a factor of the previous. China continues to pursue its “Grand Technique.” What have been as soon as the dynasties of the Chinese language Empire have turn into – because the founding of the Individuals’s Republic in 1949 – the Communist Get together, with present President Xi Jinping as its head, as emperor. In accordance with the “Chinese language Dream,” the nation is striving to turn into Number one on the planet in all areas, together with army energy.
The drastic finish of its zero-Covid coverage reveals how succesful China is. The Chinese language authorities has reacted, in a method that saves face, to the “spontaneous protests” and thus proven strategic flexibility. Thus, Xi Jinping has not solely completed the Chinese language financial system a fantastic favor by lifting all Covid measures, he has additionally cemented his energy and the facility of the Communist Get together. The transformation into a unique system, propagated for therefore lengthy by the West as justification for sustaining financial relations with an authoritarian regime, now appears extra unlikely than ever. Quite the opposite, the Chinese language authorities continues to pursue its technique and to construct a superbly managed, extremely technological surveillance state.
China thus stays a really versatile financial associate and geopolitical participant. This requires an equally versatile China technique on the a part of different nations. Provide chain disruptions should at all times be considered, investments in China must be thought of fastidiously and guarded. Potential dependencies within the space of crucial infrastructure and merchandise, reminiscent of upstream inputs for prescription drugs, ought to at all times be averted. But this additionally applies to financial relations with non-authoritarian regimes.
Furthermore, dealings with China, financial and political, must be freed from emotion, decided solely by the related financial pursuits and reciprocity, for the advantage of all involved events. The actual fact is: China continues to go its personal method and is a rustic through which the person and particular person freedoms play a really restricted position.
Ideology has nice significance in China – an ideology that isn’t solely meant to carry the inhabitants collectively internally, however is the guideline externally for each political step on the world geopolitical stage. In coping with China, one’s personal nationwide pursuits and reciprocity ought to at all times be the guideline. This is applicable not solely to interactions with China, however particularly to these with Russia as properly.
We’re all linked to one another.
Russia and the German soul
Let’s be sensible: Russia is a nuclear energy; financial sanctions is not going to hurt it in the long term as a rustic that’s nearly immeasurably wealthy in uncooked supplies. Quite the opposite, sanctions permit Russia to diversify its gasoline market and thus not depend upon only one buyer.
A chief instance: the reactivation of the financial hall operating from China to Mongolia to Russia. Additional, the Russian gasoline pipeline to China will change Nordstream 2. In the midst of securing its vitality provide, China needs to maintain its vitality combine balanced and is thus rising the share of pure gasoline. India can also be a grateful purchaser of Russian gasoline.
One thing that reveals a decoupling from Russia is just not so easy is the truth that from January to October 2022, Europe’s LNG imports elevated by 40% over 2021. Russian LNG accounted for 16% of whole European marine imports, with the primary prospects being France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands. As a substitute of low-cost and environmentally pleasant pipeline gasoline, the main target is now on LNG.
The ensuing harm is now being felt by Germany particularly, as an industry-intensive and, in comparison with Russia, resource-poor nation. The rising home-made vitality disaster is driving deindustrialization in Germany; giant corporations are more and more considering of leaving the nation; medium-sized enterprises – as soon as the spine of the German financial system – are more and more being destroyed; the nation’s financial efficiency is declining; unemployment and poverty are the results.
And wasn’t the assault on Nordstream 2 the primary terrorist assault towards Germany since World Conflict II?
The selections and actions of the present Federal Authorities, with Olaf Scholz as Chancellor, are usually not in accordance with the oath taken “to forestall hurt to the German folks.”
“I swear that I’ll dedicate my energy to the welfare of the German folks, enhance its profit, avert hurt, uphold and defend the Fundamental Regulation and the legal guidelines of the Federation, fulfill my duties carefully, and guarantee justice for all. (So assist me God.)”
With or with out God’s assist, arms deliveries and army help to Ukraine, the home made vitality disaster, the insupportable excesses of gender-neutral language, so-called wokeness, cancel tradition and uncontrolled immigration are additionally destroying not solely the German soul, language and tradition and placing stress on the nationwide funds, they’re additionally persevering with to widen already deep social divisions. None of this works to the advantage of Germany and the German folks.
The facility of tradition, historical past and geography
“… the continuity of the state with out which Germany could be a lot poorer – Germany didn’t come out of nowhere. Prussia was one of the vital formative nice powers in Europe and one of the vital trendy states on the planet, with its efficient administration, literacy all the way down to the final road within the final village, and the rule of legislation in any respect ranges.”
Whereas there have been severe political instabilities within the Weimar Republic, as the biggest member of the German Empire, Prussia was politically very steady. Otto von Braun, Prussian prime minister from 1920 to 1932 and a diehard Prussian and Social Democrat, reformed the state and faculty techniques. Prussia was thus a “dependable pillar of the Weimar Republic.” However, following the so-called “Prussian blow,” von Braun was faraway from workplace.
“The Reich’s management over Prussia, particularly over the Prussian police, made it a lot simpler for Adolf Hitler to ascertain a dictatorial regime in the middle of the Nationwide Socialist takeover in 1933.”
The facility of tradition and shared historical past along with geography are enduring cornerstones that present a powerful basis. “Between Russia and America lie oceans. Between Russia and Germany lies a fantastic historical past,” wrote historian Michael Stürmer. Vladimir Putin additionally quoted Stürmer in his speech to the German Bundestag on September 25, 2001.
My unshakable optimism tells me that it isn’t too late to return to our basic energy, our tradition and historical past, to be able to create a brand new world order primarily based on peaceable coexistence. What’s extra, due to its geographic location, Germany ought to function a bridge between East and West.
Authoritarian regimes can solely be modified from inside, by their very own folks. Thus, Germany, too, can solely free itself from its shackles from inside, forsaking the seemingly limitless moralizing blame recreation and victimization loop and returning to what we Germans really are: peace-loving, inventive, revolutionary, technically knowledgeable and culturally delicate.
How else ought to one interpret the well-known “golden 20s” of the early 20th century? Listed here are some examples: Inside a short while and regardless of the immense reparation claims made by the victorious powers primarily based on the Versailles Treaty of June 28, 1919, defeated Germany turned the second strongest industrial nation after the US – because of US credit, as a result of banks within the US had religion in Germany’s financial energy. Additional, because the treaty additionally prohibited motorized flight, some Germans made a advantage out of necessity, tinkered a bit and invented the glider.
The financial foundation for Germany’s return to its basic energy, to its roots, is at the beginning the necessity for a drastic discount within the state administration and the variety of its authorities workers. The state ought to return to its unique duties: guaranteeing there may be environment friendly infrastructure; a high-quality and reasonably priced health-care system; high-quality, reasonably priced and humane look after these in want; a wonderful and free system of schooling; in addition to guaranteeing inner and exterior safety – consistent with the oath taken to behave for the great of the German folks.
Altering our view of the world
The press, schooling and the health-care system, amongst others, should not be topic to competitors and revenue maximization, and could possibly be remodeled as an alternative into foundations, for instance.
Solely a free press can guarantee freedom of opinion and entry to the complete vary of knowledge. The monopoly of state media – reminiscent of broadcasters ARD and ZDF – and the possession of media by billionaires – the Springer, Bertelsmann (Mohn) and Holtzbrinck households, amongst others – should finish to create house for various media and sources of knowledge. We’d like be properly knowledgeable to be able to turn into critical-thinking folks within the sense of Immanuel Kant’s saupe aude.
The schooling system and particularly the health-care system and pharmaceutical corporations and their analysis should not be pushed by revenue maximization. Hospitals should not be run like companies – well being must be their unique concern. Outdated folks’s and nursing services must be outfitted with the absolute best tools. The employees must be optimally paid. Revenue mustn’t play a job; all efforts must be guided by the need to assist folks expertise a swish and respectful finish to earthly life.
The divine inside us and consciousness
In his writings, Jacques Ancel, French geographer and geopolitician, proposed an identification of the center, and a nation of the center – the concept that folks can join and create a group primarily based on a typical historical past, language and tradition.
This path again to the center reconnects us as human beings to the divine. We’re all “soul folks.” We’re religious beings that come from the identical supply. This religious or divine expresses itself in a different way in numerous cultures and traditions, be it faith, Buddhism, shamanism or a closeness to nature.
We must always shift again from the chilly rational thoughts to the emotions of the center. By doing so, we are able to create a brand new world view and a brand new world order. Such a reconnection to the center and the divine in us would allow us to have a look at life and nature with reverence and love as soon as once more.
Might all of us turn into conscious as soon as once more of our humanity and the various issues that join us.
Identification of the Coronary heart – Again to the Roots – We Are All Love
References and additional studying
Ancel, Jacques (1938): Géographie des frontières, Gallimard.
Banik, Katja (2022): Im Rausch des Bernsteins – der historische Osten Deutschlands, www.katjabanik.com
Banik, Katja (2021): A transparent view eastwards: Russia and Germany, www.katjabanik.com
Banik, Katja (2021): With out roots, no future. Decoupling ideologies, www.katjabanik.com
Bode, Sabine (2009): Kriegsenkel. Die Erben der vergessenen Technology, Klett-Cotta.
Brzezinski, Zbigniew (1998): The Grand Chess Board, Fundamental Books.
Die Bundesregierung (2022): Krieg in der Ukraine, www.bundesregierung.de
Deutscher Bundestag: Wortprotokoll der Rede Wladimir Putins im Deutschen Bundestag am 25.9.2001.
Deutsch Historisches Museum (2022): Lebendiges Museum On-line, Berlin.
Euractiv (2022): Russia says pipeline to China will change Nordstream 2.
Dohnanyi, Klaus (2022): Nationale Interessen, Siedler Verlag, München.
Graichen, Hesse (2012): Die Bernsteinstraße. Verborgene Handelswege zwischen Ostsee und Nil, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Hamburg.
Jähner, Harald (2022): Höhenrausch. Das kurze Leben zwischen den Kriegen. Rowohlt-Berlin.
Kossert, Andreas (2009): Kalte Heimat: Die Geschichte der deutschen Vertriebenen nach 1945, Pantheon Verlag.
Lasch, Otto (1959): So fiel Königsberg, Gräfe und Unzer Verlag.
Namzhilova, Victoria (2022): Financial Hall China – Mongolia- Russia: Infrastructure in Focus, RIAC.
ostexperte.de, Nachrichten aus Russland und China, Berlin.
Putin, Wladimir (2021): Offen sein, trotz Vergangenheit, Gastbeitrag vom 22.6.2021 in der WochenzeitungDie Zeit.
Pölking, Hermann (2022): Das Memelland. Wo Deutschland einst zu Ende conflict, bre.bra. verlag, Berlin
RedaktionsNetzwerkDeutschland (2022): www.rnd.de. Hannover.
Statista (2022): https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1055110/umfrage/zahl-der-toten-nach-staaten-im-zweiten-weltkrieg/
Segelflugzeug.org (2022): www.segelflugzeug.org
Teltschik, Horst (2019): Russisches Roulette: Vom kalten Krieg zum kalten Frieden, C. H. Beck.
The Economist (2022): https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2022/02/09/a-new-low-for-global-democracy?fsrc=core-app-economist?utm_medium=social-
Wagener, Martin (2021): Der Kulturkampf um das deutsche Volk. Der Verfassungsschutz und die nationale Identität der Deutschen, Lau Verlag.
 Pölking (2022): Das Memelland. Wo Deutschland einst zu Ende conflict.
 Bundesregierung.de (2022) Conflict in Ukraine.
 Statista (2022): https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1055110/umfrage/zahl-der-toten-nach-staaten-im-zweiten-weltkrieg/
 Pölking (2022): Das Memelland. Wo Deutschland einst zu Ende conflict.
 Graichen, Hesse (2013): Die Bernsteinstraße.
 Bahr (2013) Dialog with college students, „Willy Brandt Studying Week,” Friedrich Ebert Home Heidelberg.
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 Dohnanyi (2021): Nationale Interessen.
 The Economist (2022): https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2022/02/09/a-new-low-for-global-democracy?fsrc=core-app-economist?utm_medium=social-
 RIAC (2022): https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-and-comments/analytics/economic-corridor-china-mongolia-russia-infrastructure-in-focus/
 Euractiv (2022): https://www.euractiv.com/part/vitality/information/russia-says-pipeline-to-china-will-replace-nord-stream-2-2/
 Rnd (2022): https://www.rnd.de/wirtschaft/fluessiggas-aus-russland-europa-importiert-rekordmenge-Y4DHLEMMPFEB5A5VSWZSLTVCD4.html
 PAZ, No. 47, 25.11.2022.
 German Historic Museum (DHM), https://www.dhm.de/lemo/biografie/otto-braun
 DHM, https://www.dhm.de/lemo/kapitel/weimarer-republik/innenpolitik/preussenschlag
 DHM, https://www.dhm.de/lemo/kapitel/weimarer-republik/innenpolitik/preussenschlag
 ostexperte.de, https://ostexperte.de/deutschland-und-russland-teil-1/
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 Glider.org, http://www.segelflugzeug.org/segelflug_geschichte.php