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Stauffenberg, Bonhoeffer & Co: A Call from the Descendants

Sophie Scholl

Sophie Scholl, © picture alliance / Photo12/Archives Snark | -

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With an urgent appeal, the descendants of German resistance fighters during the Nazi era are calling for the protection of democracy against right-wing extremism.

Among the more than 280 signatories of the appeal are descendants of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, and Freya and Helmuth James von Moltke. Under the title “Learn from History, Strengthen Democracy!” the signatories warn that in many countries, populists and enemies of democracy are gaining support. The appeal in full:

“Learn from history, strengthen democracy!

Dissatisfaction, pessimism, fear of the future: In many countries, populists and enemies of democracy are gaining support. They fuel fears: of social decline, of foreigners, of anything new. They stir up distrust and hatred: against the media, the government, ”elites,“ minorities, and anyone who is ”different.“ In times of crisis, people are particularly susceptible to this. We in Germany have already experienced where this can lead. It was our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who stood up against the injustices of the Nazis as resistance fighters. That is why we, as relatives and descendants, are speaking out today and calling on all fellow citizens to confront the New Right in our country and across Europe. We should all feel responsible for preserving and defending the liberal and constitutional democracy. Most people in our country have learned from the catastrophe of the Nazi dictatorship. But many have forgotten how quickly disappointment and lack of perspective can make people susceptible. When even members of the Bundestag talk about ”remigration“ on a massive scale, when right-wing extremist parties are leading polls in several states, and democratic parties are helplessly oscillating between pandering, dismissive arrogance, and fantasies of bans, then the alarm bells should be ringing for all supporters of an open society. Democratic structures and institutions can collapse if citizens do not stand behind and help preserve them. We need a stronger commitment from democrats.

It is therefore an encouraging sign when, following the publications by the media house ”Correctiv“ on the plans of right-wing extremists, more and more people take to the streets and get involved ”against the right.“ But demonstrations alone are not enough. Even more important is to go out and vote.

At the European elections on June 9, due to low participation, there is a fear that right-wing parties could be among the winners in Europe. We are concerned that democratic parties have so far campaigned too little.

The state elections in Brandenburg, Thuringia, and Saxony must not end in favor of the AfD. Here, our voice as democrats is needed, as well as political debate with friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and in the media.

We are convinced that there can be a good future – if we manage to work on it together. Let's learn from history and strengthen democracy!

As descendants of women and men of the German resistance against National Socialism, we sign:

Monica Gräfin Adelmann, Pater Marcel Albert, Felicitas von Arentin, Bernd Graf von Arnim, Christine von Arnim, Barbara Babic-Heuss, Martina Bäurle, Sophie von Bechtolsheim, Cornelia Eleonore Beck, Juri von der Becke, Lili von der Becke geb. Habermann, Maitane von der Becke, Johann-H. Graf von Bernstorff, Johann-Hartwig Graf von Bernstorff, Maria von Bismarck geb. von Schlabrendorff, Corinna Bleienheuft, Josef D. Blotz, Götz Blumenberg, Christine Blumenberg-Lampe, Gabriele Bode, Karin Bode, Philipp Bode, Golda Bonhoeffer, Hannah Bonhoeffer, Jona Bonhoeffer, Mathias Bonhoeffer, Sabine Bonhoeffer, Franz – Alexander Freiherr von dem Bottlenberg – Landsberg, Maria Theodora Freifrau von dem Bottlenberg-Landsberg geb. Freiin zu Guttenberg, Hanna Brinkmann, Charlotte Gräfin von Kielmansegg, Elisabeth Conradi, Friedrich Conradi, Hans Coppi, Barbara Decker, Andrea Delbrück, Esther Delp, Fritz Delp, Melitta Delp, Tobias Delp, Leonhard von Dobschütz, Johannes von Dohnanyi, Adelheid Barbara Döll, Carl Graf von Drechsel, Ferdinand Graf von Drechsel, Maximilian Graf Drechsel, Franziska Eick, Hester M. Eick, Amélie Fellgiebel, Barbara Fellgiebel , Christian Flügel-Bleienheuft, Astrid Galen, Maximilian Galen, Carl Goerdeler, Rainer Goerdeler, Cornelius Grossmann, Hinnerk Habermann, Moritz Habermann, Dorothea von Haeften, Adrian von Hammerstein, Benjamin von Hammerstein, Hannah Sharona von Hammerstein, Kaspar von Hammerstein, Marie Louise von Hammerstein, Minna Louise von Hammerstein, Simone von Hammerstein, Stephan von Hammerstein, Gisela Hampel, Frauke Hansen, Silke Hansen, Reinhard Freiherr von Hanxleden, Hermann Harder, Kerstin Harder, Nele Harder, Rieke C. Harmsen, Rieke Harmsen, Johann-Philipp von Hase, Christiane Haushofer, Agnes Hautz, Hanjo Hautz, Henri Hautz, Johan Hautz, Moritz Hayessen, Konstanze Hayessen , Volker Hayessen, Sascha Heider, David Heinemann, Beatrix Heintze, Marielle Hemingway geb. von Breitenbuch, Stephanie Gräfin Hendrikoff, Henriette Sieber, Anna Hermes-Schmitz, Ludwig Theodor Heuss, Sophia von Hodenberg, Adda Benita von Hofacker, Christiane von Hofacker, Jan von Hofacker, Nikolaus v. Hofacker, Katharina Hoffmann, Lena Hoffmann, Matthias Horst, Sylvia Horst, Konstantin von Jagow, Wilhelmine Jaskiewicz , geb. Körner, Caroline von Jeinsen-Hofmann , Catharina Jessen, Julia Freiin von Hanxleden, Ursula Kadereit, Sonja von Kaehne, Nina Katzemich , Katharina Kennemann, Verena Khadjavi-Gontard, Stephanie König , Jan Kordt, Charlotte Korenke, Christoph Korenke, Clara Korenke, Elisabeth Korenke, Jacob Korenke, Jonas Korenke, Ruben Korenke, Theresa Korenke, Tobias Korenke, Ronald Korn, Hubertus von Krauß, Nikolaus Kretz, Marietheres Kreuz-Katzer, Fabian von Kuenheim, Konstanze von Kuenheim, Katharina Kumbrink, Claudia Landsberg, Luca Leitz, Walter Leitz , Clarissa Lejeune-Jung, Marion Leverkus, Christian Lindemann, Anne-Katrin von Linstow , Hans-Harald von Linstow, Ingrid von Linstow, Roderich Freiherr von Loe, Luise Gräfin zu Lynar, Bettina Gräfin zu Lynar , Friederike Gräfin zu Lynar-Lassen, Beatrice Magnus-Wiebel, Barnim v. Maltzahn, Christine von Maltzahn , Maximilian von Medem, Maximilian Meichßner, Victoria Meinertz geb. Smend, Victoria Meinertz, geb. Smend , Hubertus Meyer-Burckhard, Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, Kristina Meyer-Krahmer, Ulrike Meyer-Krahmer, Katharina Meyer-Krahmer , Sabine Moffett, Anja von Moltke, Daniel von Moltke, Johannes von Moltke, Johnatan von Moltke, Ulrike von Moltke, Heiko Morgenweck, Ida Morgenweck, Janne Morgenweck, Kay Morgenweck, Paul Morgenweck, Ulrike Morgenweck, Cornelie Müller-Hofstede, Daniel Müller-Hofstede, Luise Müller-Hofstede, Caroline Müller-Hofstede , Clarita Müller-Plantenberg, Caroline Neubaur, Patrick Olbricht, Patrick Olbricht, Valeska Onken, Verena Onken von Trott, Almut Friederike Patt, Vera Pechel, Georg Perels, Tatjana Perels, Hans von Pfuhlstein , Corrado Pirzio-Biroli, Philip von Platen, Dorothea von Plettenberg, Gemma Pörzgen, Mascha Pörzgen, Joachim Püllen, Simone Püllen, Hermann Pünder, Fabian von Rabenau, Wittigo von Rabenau, Christian Holthaus, Christina Rahtgens, Hans-Manfred Rahtgens, Magdalena Rahtgens, Theresa Rahtgens, Sabine Reichwein, Valerie Riedesel Freifrau zu Eisenbach, Ilse-Marie Riepe, Dorothee Roehrig, Sophie Roehrig, Friederike Roll, Boris Ruge, Elisabeth Ruge, Christian Sadrozinski, Rainer Sadrozinski, Carolin Sadrozinski , Rica zu Salm-Rechberg, Sabine Sänger-Leitz, Agnes von Schack, Christian Schede , Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow, Clemens von Schlabrendorff, Andreas Schleicher, Johannes Schleicher, Katharina Schleicher, Ruggero Schleicher-Tappeser, Johanna Schmidt, Joachim Schmitz-Justen, Martin Schmitz-Justen, Ursula Schmitz-Justen, Benjamin Schneider, Peter Schneider, Carmen von Schöning , Karl-Viktor von Schöning, Inga Schröder, Helmut Schweckendieck, Anna Schwerin, Franz Graf von Schwerin , Maximilian Schwerin, Ulrich von Schwerin, Ulrich von Schwerin, Moritz Senarclens de Grancy, John Sieber, Juliane Sieber, Sylvia Sieber, Andrea Siemsen, Louisanne Simon-Hallensleben , Nikolai Simon-Hallensleben , Tete Simonsen, Torsten Simonsen, Axel Smend, Percy Smend, Simon Smend, Eugen Solf, Christa Speidel, Hans Speidel, Kathrin Speidel, Ulrike Speidel, Karl Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Caroline von Steinau-Steinrück, Christiane von Steinau-Steinrück, Giso von Steinau-Steinrück, Robert von Steinau-Steinrück, Sandra von Steinau-Steinrück, Arnold Steinhardt, Herzeleide Stökl, Juliane Gräfin zu Stolberg-Stolberg, geb. Jessen, Albrecht von Stülpnagel, Donata von Stülpnagel, Karl Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Sylvia von Stülpnagel, Johanna Sydow, Ursula Sydow, David Tappeser, Valentin Tappeser, Annemarie Traenckner, Isabel Traenckner-Probst, Clemens von Trott zu Solz, Ulrike Morgenweck, Kolja Unger, Klaus Völker, Maria Weiß, Philipp Wendland-Henssel, Christoph Truchsess von Wetzhausen, Henriette Whitmore-von Breitenbuch, Alexandra Valerie Wirth, Erik von Witzleben, Gisela von Witzleben, Judith von Witzleben-Sadowsky, Günter Wohlfahrt, Lieselotte Wohlfahrt.

Initiators: Tobias Korenke, Berlin; Gemma Pörzgen, Berlin, Ruggero Schleicher-Tappeser, Berlin”

Original open letter (in German)


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