Putin propaganda attributes Nazi background to politicians

In July 1987, Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker paid a state visit to the Soviet Union. The era of glasnost and perestroika had begun, and the hosts organized, among other things, a televised discussion between the German head of state and the young communists of Moscow, which was also broadcast on German television. Mathias Schreiber, the newspaper’s television critic, noted with cultural and patriotic pride that the sixty-seven-year-old federal president refrained from the “finicky, top-down teaching” of young state party leaders, which was sadly become commonplace in the Federal Republic Debates.

The guest was so polite and intelligent enough to believe that the young executives who questioned him impartially had so much expertise and social intelligence that he only used diplomatic irony for the purpose of didactic demonstration, which that his interlocutors might find flattering and encouraging. Weizsäcker answered the question “What anti-war movements are there in the Federal Republic of Germany?”, which seemed prepared, that the level of organization in the Federal Republic is much lower than in the Soviet Union, for there is no control center in his country, but could he assure the questioner that the desire for peace of German youth is no less than that of Soviet youth.

A question related to the theme was “neo-fascist tendencies in the FRG”. Almost every other German politician, Schreiber noted, would have dismissed this accusation, or at least corrected it, in a tone of indignation. Weizsäcker apparently contented himself with declaring the concern “in good conscience” unfounded, but then, of course, got a dialectical punchline from the unpleasant topic in the form of a homework assignment. According to him, perestroika also includes the “transformation of one’s own thought” and the destruction of clichés. 35 years have passed: those of the next generation of the CPSU who remained loyal to the system are now the leaders of Putin’s state apparatus.

Reform of a state elite

The transformation of the thought of this elite, which approaches its tasks with the illusion of a historical vocation, has stopped, yes, one must even speak of a regression: neo-fascist tendencies are still identified in the Federal Republic of Germany, and this apparent discovery is extremely primitively justified, with clan thought as a form of biological shrinkage of materialism. According to Russian propaganda broadcast on German-language Telegram channels, the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Minister of Finance are descendants of Nazis. However, the photo montages presented as evidence do not show Scholz and Lindner’s grandfathers, but namesakes. Why should a German public care about these clumsy fakes?

Like Weizsäcker’s subtle work of persuasion in Moscow in 1987, today’s Russian informants start from the self-image of the other. There is a popular idea among Germans that their identity, for better or for worse, is determined by the fact that they are made up of families “of Nazi origin”, to use a term whose inventors, publicists Instagram Moshtari Hilal and Sinthujan Varatharajah, just described received the Critics’ Lessing Prize at Wolfenbüttel.

On May 8, on Anne Will’s talk show, social psychologist Harald Welzer lectured the Ukrainian ambassador on the “spokesman’s position” of “members of this society”, for whom the brown background is become the most important element of all family photos. For the quarter-million signatories of the open letter, which wants to deny Ukrainians the delivery of heavy weapons, Welzer said each of them was likely involved because of wartime experience passed down in their own families. In the “legendary speech” of May 8, 1985, “Richard von Weizsäcker spoke of liberation, although his own father had been convicted at Nuremberg as a war criminal”.

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