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This article appears in the February 17, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

A Revolt of Conscience!
No to German Tanks Against Russia

[Print version of this article]

Feb. 9—Following Germany’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, two retired German generals made their opposition to this move known in open letters on January 30. Those letters were published in full in a Jan. 31 article in RT-DE (RT Deutschland)

These retired officers are calling on their former colleagues and on German citizens in general to do likewise. They both served with the National Patriotic Army of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and are speaking out in support of the wise words of former Bundeswehr General Harald Kujat and U.S. General Mark Milley with respect to the former U.S.S.R.’s fair attitude towards Germany at the end of World War II and following the Fall of the Wall, and at the same time, they have turned to France looking for similar voices. Solidarité & Progrès, the French political party affiliated with the LaRouche movement, has been told that the letters are circulating among military figures in France. The letters have also begun to appear on Internet sites there and in the United States. We reprint here an English translation of the letter from Lt. Gen. Manfred Grätz (ret.).

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CC BY-2.0/Bundeswehr/Detmar Modes
German tanks are once again heading towards Russia. Here, three German Army Leopard 2A5 main battle tanks, similar to the 2A6 tanks approved for shipment to Ukraine.

The time has come again. Dreaded by countless people, desired and talked about by a minority that is either oblivious to history or arrogantly disdains it, a minority which feels called to govern our country and which follows the transatlantic ally like a vassal, and is zealously supported by an aligned media landscape once again, and now officially announced by the Federal Chancellor [of Germany]. The decision to send tanks to the East was taken.

Many people’s hair has stood on end, bad memories were awakened, including my own. At the time, these were still childhood memories.

Born in 1935, I was or am, in fact, still a child of the Second World War. Too young to be already used for the arms race of German fascism, but old enough to understand that war means only immeasurable suffering, misery and inhuman extermination. I lost my father. A cold and heartless letter from his company commander announced that he had apparently “fallen for the Führer, the people and the fatherland in heroic defensive battles against the Bolshevik enemy….”

Occasionally, memories flash up, like when we were teenage boys sitting by the railroad tracks and looking at the many military transports, with giant white inscriptions: “The wheels must roll for victory.” Today it reads: “German tanks heading for Russia.” The parallels, the similarities are undoubtedly easy to recognize. The nights of bombing, the air raids, the burning city of Chemnitz not far from my village, all contributed to my learning from childhood to hate war and to desire peace. I finally experienced the end of the war as the liberation of Germany from fascism by the Soviet army.

Almost eight decades have passed since those events. The young boy of that time has become an 88-year-old man, who has lived a full life in an era rich in historical events.

Thirty-eight years of peacekeeping service in our national people’s army, including six years of study in the Soviet Union, is one of them. I readily admit that I love this country, although I know that today’s Russia is not comparable to the Soviet Union. But the people whose fathers and grandfathers fought for their homeland against German fascism and also liberated us, have remained. Warm and friendly people, friends!

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Chemnitz Universitätsarchiv
“The burning city of Chemnitz, not far from my village, contributed to my learn-ing from childhood to hate war and to desire peace.” —Lt. Gen. Manfred Grätz (ret.). After only 31 minutes of Allied bombing, 80% of the German city of Chemnitz was destroyed and over 2,100 people were dead. March 5, 1945.

At 88-Years-Old

All this and much more comes to mind in the context of everything that is happening now. The spirit is still alive, even after 88 years.

It is a whole mixture of feelings and sensations that move me, dominated by anger and disappointment. Anger rises in me when I am confronted with the one-sided attribution of responsibility to Russia, usually to Putin, to Putin the aggressor, to Putin the war criminal, without any basis. Putin is responsible for everything that is currently happening in the world. Forgotten or deliberately overlooked is the entire history of the war in Ukraine; forgotten is the West’s failure to keep its word regarding the expansion of NATO to the East; forgotten is Putin’s speech to the Bundestag in 2001, in which he extended his hand, proposed peaceful cooperation and was then greeted with a standing ovation; forgotten is his speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, in which he referred to the expansion of NATO to the East as a threat to Russia’s security interests.

The anger rises when Mrs. Baerbock, after all foreign minister of our country and diplomat at the highest level, unsuspectingly and without any diplomatic skill or even decency, says “we will ruin Russia.”

At the same level is the frequent chatter about whether we are already belligerent or not, often giving the impression of searching and probing whether we can’t go one step further or not. To me, this chatter is a useless artifice. The fronts have been clear for a long time. We are in the middle of it. What more should we do when we have already delivered tanks and other heavy weapons in the “noble” goal of defeating Russia?

It is also dangerous to see politicians and so-called experts talking about escalation, perhaps with nuclear weapons, with “small tactics” first, on talk shows or on other occasions, unsuspectingly and recklessly. Forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities that were the victims of the first atomic bomb drop on an inhabited territory, without any military necessity.

At that time, the Second World War had long been decided, both in Europe and in the Far East. And as everyone knows, it was not the Russians! Forget about all the suffering and misery, all the deaths numbering in the tens of thousands, and the long-term effects that these two bombs, which were small by today’s criteria, caused for decades. It is unimaginable and irresponsible to play with fire in the present!

Never Again

As a former military man, I say to all those who only think about such an adventure: War crime!

Speaking of war crimes! Is anyone still talking about Hiroshima and Nagasaki? We have forgotten! Classified the greatest war crime in the history of mankind, committed by the United States.

I find it not only regrettable, but also disturbing that our politicians, who have governmental responsibilities, are also resistant to consultation. I am thinking here of the fact that the opinion of experienced military personnel, specialists in their profession, is increasingly relegated to the background, or rather trampled on, and is no longer perceptible to the public. Should we not be concerned when General Kujat, an excellent expert in the field, including and especially in NATO, has to present his remarkably real assessments of the situation in a Swiss newspaper? Or when Gen. Erich Vad (ret.), former military advisor to Mrs. Merkel, speaks in Alice Schwarzer’s EMMA magazine (don’t get me wrong, respect for Mrs. Schwarzer!).

Or when even the Chairman of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, was reprimanded by the Biden administration for his real assessment of the situation in Ukraine and his conclusions were ignored?

I don’t even want to talk here about other military personnel, even former NVA [Nationale Volksarmee, National People’s Army of East Germany], who might know the Russians well!

All this according to the motto, “what cannot be should not be.” The fact remains that with German vassalage we are faithfully following the war policy of the United States, our main transatlantic ally, which aims at world domination. Quo vadis, Germany? I ask myself. Or to paraphrase Heinrich Heine: “If I think of Germany at night, I shall lose sleep!”

One more word to all members and supporters of our association, to my comrades and friends. Raise your voice, do not hide. Write, in whatever form and by whatever means, and do not forget your name and rank. Seek out and find our allies, participate in their demonstrations as well. Together we are stronger.

All this is my conscience telling me. Please examine yours as well. Take to the streets if you are still fit and mobile. Talk to the people, despite the divergent interests represented there. Nobody wants war among the demonstrators.

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