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60 Years of Resistance to the German Army

by Wolfgang Gehrcke Wednesday, Mar. 09, 2016 at 12:20 PM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Today more and more people say Without Us! The German army is filled with so much contradiction that we can be very hopeful we will become a country without an army. We should debate this today. Always saying yes accomplishes nothing.

“60 YEARS OF THE GERMAN ARMY IS 60 YEARS OF RESISTANCE TO THE GERMAN ARMY”



by Wolfgang Gehrcke



[Wolfgang Gehrcke’s speech on 11/12/2015 in the Bundestag debate “60 Years of the German Army” is translated abridged from the German on the Internet, http://www.wolfgang-gehrcke.de.]



Mr. President! Ladies and Gentlemen! The DIE LINKE (Left Party) fraction remembers Helmut Schmidt… When we think of Helmut Schmidt, his way of critically grappling with problems should be emphasized. Schmidt always held out. My speech on 60 years of the German army is a counter-program.



While the German army has existed for 60 years, I have fought it for 55 years – first in the “Without Me” – movement with a whole flock of social democrats, in the “War on Nuclear Death” movement, on the Easter marches, at blockades of military posts, in anti-military work among conscripts and soldiers as well as conscientious objectors and resistance against the wars in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I find it almost symptomatic that the promise of the German army leaving Afghanistan was left out of today’s debate. The German army was always a pack of lies.



My No to militarism and war is loud and clear today. We do not need any German army for the security of the country. The moment will come, I am convinced, when this country will not have an army. No German army will be needed any more. This moment will come and will change the country positively.



(applause from DIE LINKE)…



Certain questions about the German army must be discussed. For me, the first question is should we continue with NATO? German membership in NATO is as superfluous as the German army, I am convinced.



(applause from DIE LINKE)



My second idea is: every weapon finds its war. We made that experience. Armies desire ever more perfect weapons. US nuclear bombs are stored in Buchel. Minister von der Leyen wants drone weapons. However a glance at the conflicts of this world shows that weapons do not bring security. We must exit from the spiral of violence and the spiral of weapons. That is really our great cultural challenge.



(applause from DIE LINKE)



Thirdly, I am convinced whoever serves in an army becomes part of the military-industrial complex. Modern arms manufacturers are no longer individual factories. Rather they form the military-industrial complex that increasingly exerts its influence in politics and is not only subordinated to research. We must end this.



Fourthly, I am convinced armament costs vast sums of money. Enormous sums are also earned in armaments. This must also be stopped. Wouldn’t it be a sign of this Bundestag if we radically cut the defense budget in the budget consultations and used the money saved for refugees? Yes to help refugees but No to armaments – that would be a signal this country could send.



[applause from DIE LINKE]



Sixty years ago the cry from my side was Without Me!. Today more and more people in our country say: Without Us! The German army is filled with so much contradiction that we can be very hopeful we will become a country without an army. We should debate this today. Let us enter this conflict of opinions. Always only saying yes accomplishes nothing. Heartful thanks.



(applause from DIE LINKE)

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