The Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation, Mikhail Schwydkoi, spoke about why the reconciliation between Germans and Russians has come fairly soon for historical reasons.
“This reconciliation took on the character of friendly relations in the post-war period. Willy Brandt’s policy on the East, consciously and carefully pursued, also met with strong public recognition in the Soviet Union. This did not happen because they would have been forced to make friends with Germany from above. ”
When asked why Russia placed such high value on relations with Germany, Schwydkoi recalled that 30 million Soviet citizens visited the GDR alone during its existence. “The constant interaction of people with each other and the insight that this brings a very important intellectual benefit is one of the decisive factors that allowed Russia and Germany to reconcile in the 20th century.”
Schwydkoi can testify that members of the army from distant Tajikistan remembered Leipzig with unsuspected warmth. “That is the basis of human relationships. Our relationship has a political, an economic and a cultural dimension, but nothing can replace the civil society institutions that maintain the simplest of all things, namely human friendship. ”
Germany year in Russia
In view of the large volume of relations that exist between Germany and Russia, the politicians say, the current year will be exceptionally active. “The year of university cooperation between Germany and Russia, the year of academic exchange, is currently underway. In autumn the exhibition of the Kunstsammlungen Dresden ‘Romanticism – Dreams of Freedom’ will start the German year in Russia. ”
The board member of Society “Russia – Germany”, the respected economist Ruslan Grinberg, emphasized the importance of relations between Russia and Germany in the current “global turmoil” and described the estrangement of the past few years as silly.
“In the times of Brezhnev and Brandt, everything possible for our rapprochement was done, despite the ideological differences. Now we do not have different ideologies, but absolutely the same Christian foundations of morality. But this alienation that we are currently experiencing is a serious case. Therefore, one should not have any illusions that, for example, social organizations can solve this problem. However, it is precisely in this context that society ‘Russia – Germany’ is extremely important. “
The senior official of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oleg Krasnizki, based on this idea, advocated overcoming the “temporary alienation between Russians and Germans” and against the destruction of friendship and partnership that has been laid by previous generations. “The Russian-German relationship is actually not the best at the moment. The prognoses for its further development are also different. It is important to prevent further cooling. This will require efforts, both on the Russian and on the German side. ”
The geopolitical situation is related to the change in international relations, said the diplomat. “A new international order is emerging. Not everyone likes that. Some want to regain their previous dominant position. And since we are confronted with anti-Russian propaganda in Germany, popular diplomacy, represented by the ‘Russia – Germany’ society, can promote the expansion of German-Russian political dialogue. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is at the top of this year’s Munich Security Conference for the Russian delegation. As always, we will be safe and expect to be heard. ”
Russian teachers travel to Germany
According to Krasnizki, the Foreign Ministry wants to support the learning of the Russian language in Germany and the German language in Russia. For its part, the Russian Ministry of Education is about to send a large group of Russian teachers to Germany. “Great hopes are also placed on the former Soviet citizens, of whom a good five million live in Germany. They are carriers not only of the Russian, but also, after many years in Germany, the German culture and can become a link between us. ”
Alexander Urban, long-time TASS correspondent in Germany, also suggested restoring the old Soviet name “Society for Friendship with Germany”. “It is very important today,” he said.
Sputnik / Nikolaj Jolkin
Annual conference of Russian Germanists