77 years came the Second world war. And most recently, June 22, we talked about the beginning of the great Patriotic war. Two terrible dates, which, as it seemed, forever opposed Germany rest of the world.
Now, however, the situation has changed. Russia and Germany have long not enemies, though rosy relations between the two countries also can not be called.
After that trouble that brought the Russian people war, it was possible to improve relations with Germany? But diplomacy is out there and to be able to do it. Our interlocutor was prepared to fight at the front with the Germans, and the result was “abandoned to the rear” became a Soviet diplomat in the FRG and the GDR.
About the most tragic pages in Russian-German relations, told us the adviser of the 1st class of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, an expert on Germany, who has many years of diplomatic service in both German States, Vladimir Rodin.
— Vladimir Mitrofanovich, you remember, had begun this terrible war?
— Yes, I remember well. When I was 12 years old. Sunday, June 22, 1941, we rested on the state-owned dacha in Saratov (his father worked in the regional Committee of the party, the mother was a teacher). The radio message about the attack of the Nazis became for us a bolt from the blue. As we lived at that time? The life was adjusted, there was good food in the shops, we read Pushkin…
And then the war! Father organized the supply front bread, I took military training. But the front did not. I could not understand why the nation of Goethe and Schiller, Hegel and Kant, of Beethoven and Bach together, enthusiastically followed Hitler. To find the answer, I did immediately after the war in MGIMO.
— And found?
– A teacher of German in our group was Liepa-Rosenberg. Gray-haired as LUN, with surprisingly young eyes. He raised us on the best works of German writers and encouraged us to love the German language and embark on the path of reconciliation with the Germans.
But his words met with in our group is a mixed reaction. “What it’s like to love? — said our girls and guys. After what our nation experienced? After the atrocities of the Nazis on our soil? In the Soviet Union there was not one family…”.
Then Fedor Yakovlevich turned pale. He silently stood up and walked out of the classroom. Then we learned that the only son of Fyodor Yakovlevich died in the battle of Moscow.
After graduating from University I was sent to East Germany. From there to Germany. I lived for many years in Germany, talked with the Germans, trying to understand their soul, to find mutual understanding with them, to gain their trust. Then I realized that there are Germans just a good as no, and Germans is just bad. It all depends on who is at the head of this strong, United and dynamic nation.
And it confirms the story: Germany under Hitler was one, the first German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer — the first President of the GDR Wilhelm Peak is the third.
— Living among the Germans, you understand why they followed Hitler?
— Yes, I found the answer. Hitler and his associates — “the gangsters are the intellectuals” — well known credo of the Germans: “First grub, then morality.” The Nazis were able to revive the economy through employment programs and the production of weapons and to quickly reduce unemployment. They were helped by American moguls (1924 was adopted by the American Dawes plan to restore German economy).
— The Germans never admitted, the Soviet diplomat that he considered Hitler the Messiah?
– Of course. In 1935, Hitler was able to return the Saar, in 1936, the German army entered the demilitarized according to the Versailles Rhineland, in 1938 Germany absorbed Austria (with the blessing of France and England). The Western powers allowed Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland. After these “bloodless victories” Hitler was the German Messiah. They were ready to follow him into the fire and into the water.
In the struggle for power, Hitler used a powerful desire of the German nation to the first place in Europe; nationalism, driven to fanaticism (remember the words of the hymn: “Germany above all…”). From the racial theories of the Nazis, the Germans sweetly dizzy, as from a young wine. And Hitler’s anti-Semitism fell in Germany on the prepared soil. Today it is recognized by my German friends-politicians of high rank.
— Well, as Communists, social Democrats, trade unions? After all, the leader of the German Communist Ernst Thalmann repeatedly said: “Hitler is war!” Why not raise your voice against the crazy ideas of Hitler, the world-famous German writers?
— A good question. Since coming to power, the Nazis banned all political parties and trade unions. They were expelled from higher educational institutions, prominent personalities, representatives of science and culture, including Nobel prize winners, have publicly spoken out against the Nazis. Among them was Gustav Hertz, James Franck, Bernhard Kellermann, Thomas Mann, Stefan Zweig, Kurt Tucholsky, Leon Feuchtwanger. Many emigrated to Mexico and the United States.
— After the “intoxication” of the Germans was a fact, and remorse. They spoke of it often?
They thanked us for the way we treated prisoners of war. Let me remind you that on July 17, 1944, 57 thousand German prisoners of war were held under guard in Moscow. None of them fell of hair. It shocked the German people.
But if they learned a lesson from a lost war?
— You can answer honestly? After our Victory over Nazi Germany Marshal Georgy Zhukov said, “the next time they try to take us inside.” Sorry, we don’t think about these words not only a great commander but as a politician, able to foresee the development of events on the world stage. German elite lesson not learned.
If in the GDR, the East Germans said to us: “Eurer Sieg — unsere Befreiung!” (“Your victory is our liberation”), and began to build relationships with the Soviet Union on the basis of friendship and cooperation, the first German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer learned of the defeat of an entirely different sort of lesson that Germany should unite with the West, especially with the most powerful Western nation — States to weaken the USSR in the arms race and technology, and to expel the Russian bear from Europe.
But there were other chancellors, with other views… Take, for example, Brandt.
– All the leaders of Germany, defended first and foremost the national interests of Germany, not universal values. Becoming in 1969, Chancellor of Germany, he decided to sacrifice the Queen to recognize the new Eastern boundary to win the game is to overcome the division of Europe and Germany.
In 1970 was signed the Moscow Treaty with the recognition of postwar borders in Europe, including the border between the FRG and the GDR! (“What is lost on the battlefields, it is impossible to return to the negotiating table”, said Brandt.)
In Moscow came the euphoria of the Moscow Treaty — the final consolidation of postwar Europe! But we’re sorely mistaken.
Deputy Chairman of the SPD Hort Ehmke said in response to the attacks of conservatives in Germany: “We acknowledged the status quo is to change it”. Shall bitterly to say that Brandt’s Eastern policy, which undoubtedly contributed to the warming climate in Europe, the Americans ultimately cleverly used to expand NATO to the East.
— And you where looked? In the midst of the Eastern policy of the Brandt, you’ve worked as a counselor at the Embassy in Bonn? What did our Embassy?
— Fair rebuke. At your own risk, I sent in a 1986 memo to the international Department of the CPSU Central Committee, where he drew attention to the danger of “fraternization” with the social democratic party of Germany, especially for the GDR. But who listened to the opinion of the counselor of the Embassy? To question the line of the Central Committee of the Communist party? God forbid!
Besides, who could have predicted that Gorbachev will take a course in reforms inside the system, and the scrapping of most of the socialist system, that is, discard the water and the baby?
For reform, told me my German friend-a politician Hans, it was necessary first to establish the material basis. But, contrary to the experience in China, Gorbachev’s reforms began not with the economy, and policy: first, publicity, and sausage! With the publicity he succeeded brilliantly, and sausage — no.
Bitingly criticized the reforms of Gorbachev, Vitaly Tretyakov. He put such a caricature: a well-fed Gorbachev, a suit with igolochki, door handles and speaks to the people: “I brought you to handle, and then go ourselves!”
Entangled in domestic politics, Gorbachev entered into negotiations with the West from the position of the petitioner. The Soviet Union became bankrupt. Money in the Treasury was not. Brewing Russian rebellion. Urgently needed large loans. And give them could Germany! Rather than pay for them? Concessions to the German issue!
Meekly agreeing to the accession of the GDR to NATO, within the framework of German reunification, to dissolve the Warsaw Pact, we actually turned on the green light for the movement of NATO Europe to the East.
— But Secretary of state Baker really promised Gorbachev not to expand NATO to the East.
Today we tearfully complaining about how we have been deceived by the Americans. But in Russia they say: “Promise — not to marry.” If we are such simpletons, what has it got US? Could Gorbachev to agree on the neutral status of the countries of Eastern Europe, where we have withdrawn our troops? But he had not even raised this question.
Isn’t Gorbachev promised us that by agreeing to the entry of a United Germany in NATO, we will be able to get in her face a reliable partner, if not ally in international Affairs?
Today, our “ally” involved in military maneuvers of NATO in Estonia, on the border with Russia. Germany sees Russia not as a partner, competitor, opponent.
— I wonder you their views on the political structure of the world discussed with foreign colleagues?
— Of course. In April of this year I managed to visit Berlin, meet with old German friends and to get answers to my questions.
— How you met in Berlin?
– Checking my passport, the German border guard said to me, “What took you so long going to us!” And smiled at me. I was very touched. How was he to know that in the GDR, I spent the best years of my youth, got himself so many devoted friends.
With my old friend Wolfgang Grabowski and his wife we laid flowers to the monuments to soldiers-liberators in Treptow Park and the town of Grebendorf, near Berlin.
Daughter Irina Grabowski invited us to the restaurant, “Pasternak”, where Russian living in Berlin. They serve vodka and pancakes with caviar. Full of people, heard native speech.
My old friend, a great lover of Russian and Soviet culture Johannes, told me that in 1920 in Berlin, fleeing the horrors of Civil war, emigrated to 400 thousand Russian citizens, mainly intellectuals.
In Berlin he lived Boris Pasternak, was made by Feodor Chaliapin, Alexander Vertinsky, stopped Sergei Yesenin. In those days in Berlin were a lot of restaurants, where he met Russian artists, musicians, actors. In short, flourished Russian cultural life. That’s what we lack today to improve relations with Germany and Europe as a whole.
My German friends-politicians believe that we need to stop being a raw materials appendage of Europe and to pay more attention to the development of small and medium enterprises is a good basis for cooperation with Germany.
— How the Germans evaluate the current situation in Europe?
– How very disturbing. The Germans fear that the sharp aggravation of relations between the West and Russia could lead — against their will — to a major war. But the prospect of war with Russia no joy, they did not cause.
The Germans are afraid, and not without reason, that this war will not happen in USA and not in Russia, and in Germany, and the Americans, according to tradition, after serving overseas.
My German friends in politics told me that in Germany there is increasing competition between the crusaders of the cold war, on the one hand, and politicians and public figures, in favor of cooperation with Russia in the best traditions of German foreign policy Bismarck, Rathenau, Wirth, Wilhelm Pieck, on the other. Gave me an interesting document: treatment 60 prominent German politicians, representatives of the sphere of economy, culture, media, to the government and the German Bundestag.
— And what’s the appeal?
— To avoid war with Russia. “A new war in Europe? Not in our name!” is the title of this appeal. The appeal made in 2014, but today it has become even more relevant. In the same spirit sustained the statement “Companies Willy Brandt made in the past year.
In these appeals contains these thoughts: “Europe cannot be interested in putting Russia on its knees; without Russia, especially against Russia, it is hardly possible to solve at least one problem that affects Europe as a whole; Russia and the peoples of the USSR made a decisive contribution to the liberation of Europe from fascism and the unification of Germany; the Germans have therefore a special responsibility to engage Russia as a partner to participate in European peace order, the appeal reads 60 public figures. — It is contrary to history, unwise and dangerous for the world.”
— Germans consider the events in Ukraine?
They say: “Better to make Crimea the brackets and to start negotiations with Russia.” They believe that Ukraine’s membership in NATO will strengthen security. On the contrary — this act will further inflame Russian concerns regarding NATO and increase the risk of military confrontation; the participation of German troops in the “rapid response units” can only awaken the Russian people memories of the German attack in 1941.
— Why Chancellor Angela Merkel has actively supported U.S. sanctions against Russia?
– Their well-being and security of post-war Germany to a great extent obliged to the Americans. Therefore, its foreign policy, the German elite, according to the representatives of the Left party, or otherwise obliged to agree with them. Even Willy Brandt “had to obey this policy.
The leaders of modern Germany fear that disobedience to the Americans could have a negative impact on her well-being and leadership in the EU. In addition, the Americans have enough leverage to keep the Germans on a short leash.
It was the us government exposed the machinations of management of enterprises “Volkswagen” from the exhaust gases of the diesel models (on the stand it was perfect while on the road — like at all). Volkswagen has suffered unprecedented in its history the loss. Every American who bought Volkswagen, the German side is ready to pay 5 thousand dollars…
In addition, in Germany the us military bases with nuclear weapons. And Ramstein is the point of control of US drones all over the world. Hence, with the German state, the Americans bring death and destruction in “hotspots” of our planet, which, naturally, causes the protest of the population of Germany.
During a recent visit to Germany, President Obama was twisting the arms of Merkel, seeking the consent of Germany and the EU on the ratification of the Agreement between the US and the EU on a transatlantic free trade area — “Kauf in USA” (“Buy in USA”. — V. R.) and increase up to 2% of GDP — spending European countries on defence. Such solutions would bring new profits to the American military-industrial complex.
But the Germans do not want to buy American “chemical chickens”. On the day of Obama’s arrival in Hanover on 24 April he was met by a 35-strong demonstration of the Germans, protesting against the detention with the United States agreement on free trade zone.
My German friends in politics say that it is wrong to consider Germany a vassal of the Americans. The current government of Angela Merkel comes from the fact that the US position on the world stage is weak. Germany has, they say, in this connection, actively to defend on the world stage, the interests of the West, “not stopping even to use force” (!).
Pay attention, my friends told me, the movement of NATO to the East is accompanied by the movement of the EU. And who is in charge of the EU? Germany! To tear Ukraine away from Russia and turn it into a battering RAM aimed at the heart of Russia, — the cherished dream of the German Reich. Even the Kaiser’s Germany toyed with the idea of creating “independent Ukraine” in defiance of tsarist Russia. The same plans were at the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union and Hitler. It was supported by Bandera.
But today the yard in 2016. The chair under the Chancellor Angela Merkel staggered, as is the opinion of many Germans. Her willingness to accept “all migrants” provoked a storm of criticism in her address. Not all Germans share and its course on the extension of sanctions against Russia. With harsh criticism of the policy of Angela Merkel’s right-wing party “Alternative for Germany”. She seeks contact with right-wing parties of Europe. What they have in common? Friendship with Russia.
At the recent state election “Alternative for Germany” took place in the land diet, and in 2017 will be elections to the Bundestag. An “alternative” to support 2.5 million Russian Germans” (the former Volga Germans who migrated to Germany).
When I got through the airport in Schönefeld, flying to Moscow on the eve of Victory Day, high German, check my Luggage, aloud to the audience, told me in Russian: “Thank you!”
I understand that his words of thanks were primarily addressed to the Soviet soldiers, who remained in the German land in spring 1945 they liberated from fascism. The Germans revere their memory — trotz’s alledem (in translation it means “no matter what”).
Now the Americans decided to play with Russia a new chess game. As pawns they use the countries of Eastern Europe. May 12, in Romania, in the presence of Secretary General of NATO Stoltenberg and the first Deputy Minister of defense Wark was put on duty an American missile defense base, designed to minimize the threshold of Russia’s security.
On TV showed, as in Poland, NATO generals, together with their Polish “brothers in arms” with shovels digging a hole for placing a missile defense base, also aimed against Russia. I would like therefore to remind our Polish neighbors to the wise Russian proverb: “he Who digs another hole, into it himself will fall!”.
Sanctions . Chronicle of events