Posted 28 февраля 2022,, 07:02

Published 28 февраля 2022,, 07:02

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Demonstration for peace in Berlin: this has never happened in the German capital

28 февраля 2022, 07:02
This has not happened in the capital of Germany for a long time. On the straight, like an arrow, the street of June 17, which from the Brandenburg Gate leads strictly to the West, people walked in wide rivers.

Everyone wanted to express their solidarity with the Ukrainians, condemn the war and tell everyone that here in Berlin they are for peace. Half a million people gathered.

Yelena Ivanova, Berlin

Today in Berlin was wonderful weather - in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. A bright yellow sun shone in a blue sky. Unlike the Anti-Covid processions, the police were negligible, but the mood of the people was not aggressive either. The fact that many people would come to the demonstration, I realized even on the approaches, when the Brandenburg Gate from Potsdamer Platz was not yet visible. On both sides of the street there was a constant stream of people. Not freaks, not city madmen, not oppositionists who did not agree with the Russian regime and emigrated to the German capital, but the most burghers. Whole families went, with children, friends, grandparents. But most were young. This is understandable - in fact, it was a demonstration in defense of their future. Demonstrations are taken very seriously in Berlin. You have to fight for your rights. People know this and take to the streets whenever they feel threatened, that they want to infringe on them in some way.

Mom leads a 6-7-year-old boy by the hand. He is interested, but he does not understand why so many people have gathered here, especially after the pandemic, when meetings were essentially banned for two years, so for a seven-year-old, this is actually a premiere. "Mom, why did we come here?" he asks. Mom carefully explains to her son: "We all came so that the governments know what we think. Now there is a war in Eastern Europe, and all these people want to say loudly that they are against the war". The boy nods in understanding.

People walked in a close stream very calmly. Yellow-black flags flew over their heads, and many carried homemade posters. The posters were all homemade - on a piece of cardboard, on a piece of drawing paper or simply on a sheet of A4 paper, they wrote what they would like to say - give Europe a chance for peace, stop shooting, stop!

The speeches of the speakers were heard from speakers standing on the sidelines. They themselves were far away in the square, near the local column with Nika, which is called the "pillar of the world" here. We already understood that we would hardly reach the square - there was a sea of people in front of us.

A Ukrainian girl who lives in Berlin has just started performing, and her mother lives in Kiev. She told half a million people how her elderly mother first went from the apartment to the bomb shelter, and for the last two days has remained in it all the time. Explosions are heard in Ukraine, rockets hit homes and kindergartens, hundreds of thousands of women and children have moved to the West to save children. Whether they will see their husbands, none of them knows - the men will fight. This is Ukraine today.

People clap their hands when they hear calls to stop the madness. Along the roadsides, activists have created mobile stands, where they collect money to help both refugees and defenders of Ukrainian cities.

Another speaker - judging by the accent, a native Berliner - addresses both Kiev and Moscow and St. Petersburg. People, take to the streets, say that you do not want war, that Ukrainians are a brotherly people. We know how difficult it is for the Russians, but this must be done, otherwise this madness cannot be stopped.

People talk about what they see on TV and write on social networks. They do not understand either Russian or Ukrainian, but the language of photos and videos is understandable to everyone. They admire the courage of the defenders of Serpent's Island...

If someone does not know, Germany has a long tradition of speaking out for peace. In the 1970s, young Germans protested against the deployment of American nuclear weapons in their country. Easter marches gathered tens and hundreds of thousands of people. Today, the grandchildren of those who marched every spring were already walking along June 17 Street. But the call - make love not war - has remained to this day.

Walking among these people, I suddenly realized that Ukrainians have already become more Europeans than Russians. And for this they do not need to join NATO or the EU - Europe accepted them anyway. Therefore, the same Poland, which defended itself from refugees from the Middle East, which Lukashenka brought in in order to put pressure on the EU, has already received more than 150,000 Ukrainian refugees today.

We are ready to receive them in Berlin too - in different parts of the city they have already begun to put up beds and gather people who will help those who have arrived at first. Because we are one continent and one civilization. I felt this especially strongly.

So without reaching the square, I turned into the park. Passing by two men, I heard a snippet of conversation: "You know, this is much better than a love parade!"

This is better, and most importantly, more important, otherwise 500,000 people would not have come on Sunday of their own free will to say how important peace is and how to love each other, no matter what.