German Protesters Denounce Aid to Ukraine

Demonstrators call for peace talks, with a few waving Russian flags
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2023 2:15 PM CST
German Protesters Denounce Aid to Ukraine
A man holds a poster reading "Ami Go Home and Out of the NATO!" during a demonstration Saturday in Berlin concerning the war in Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Thousands of people protested in Berlin on Saturday to condemn Germany's supply of arms to Ukraine and call for peace talks to end the war. The organizers were criticized before the protest for dismissing Ukraine's right to defend its territory from Russian aggression and failing to distance themselves from political extremists on the far right and far left, where pro-Russia views are common, the AP reports. One of the organizers, opposition lawmaker Sahra Wagenknecht of the ex-communist Left party, said during the rally that there was no place for neo-Nazis, but that anyone who wanted peace "with an honest heart" was welcome.

While most placards reflected basic left-wing positions, some participants bore banners with the slogan "Americans go home" and the logo of a far-right magazine. Some waved Russian flags. Wagenknecht accused the German government of seeking to "ruin Russia" and said that Moscow should be made a proposal in order to resume peace talks. Another organizer, prominent feminist author Alice Schwarzer, said it was time to look beyond left and right. Police said that about 13,000 people took part in the rally at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate, while organizers claimed that 50,000 people participated.

Among them was Konstantin Schneider, a Berlin academic, who said he understood that countries in Eastern Europe were afraid of Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Of course Putin is an idiot to attack Ukraine," he said. "But we still need to find new solutions instead of sweepingly saying there's nothing to negotiate." Several small counterdemonstrations were held, per the AP. On Friday, about 10,000 people staged a protest at the same site in support of Ukraine; similar demonstrations were held in other countries.

(More Germany stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.