History, said the Federal President in his speech on the eightieth anniversary of the attack on the Soviet Union, must not be turned into a weapon.
Neither Steinmeier nor any of his predecessors were ever suspected of wanting to forge the past into one.
Steinmeier recalled the immeasurable suffering that Hitler's war of annihilation in the east brought on the peoples of the Soviet Union in even more detail than before.
The Federal President is not only concerned that what has been forgotten and which lessons were connected with it, but also that the memory of the past is being misused to sow new discord.
Clearly by Steinmeier's standards
Steinmeier's warning against forces that spoke of "national arrogance, contempt, enmity, alienation" was undoubtedly already aimed at those who do so in Germany. But historiography is also becoming an “instrument of new conflicts” in other countries, and there even for the sake of the state. It would have been inappropriate to point directly in the direction of some of the capitals in the east when commemorating Karlshorst. That is also not Steinmeier's way. For his circumstances, however, the warning that the memory must “not divide us again” was quite clear.
This also applies to his statement that the “gift of reconciliation” gives Germany great responsibility: to do everything to protect international law and territorial integrity on the European continent.
Here the Federal President even explicitly named the successor states of the Soviet Union.
Better to have little or nothing
In Ukraine, whose ambassadors like six others from the former “brother countries” stayed away from the event, “everything” will be heard gladly;
But one will probably not fully believe this oath.
Because German politics still prefer to draw the conclusion from German history that it is better to do nothing or little than everything.
In relation to Russia this is particularly true because of the war unleashed by Hitler, the boundless cruelty of which Steinmeier described.