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Joint assessment of the “Rise Up for Peace” rally

A translated statement from three Die Linke politicians on the “Rise Up for Peace” demonstration in Berlin and the need for Die Linke to become active as an anti-war party.


The Rally “Rise Up for Peace” was a great success. The organizers claim 50,000 participants. This is a much more realistic figure than the 13,000 the police stated. This is a notable achievement, not only given the damp cold weather, but especially given the defamation the rally was subjected to from various sources in the run-up. Minister for economic affairs Habeck warned the night before on a popular TV programme “Brennpunkt” against participating, and his warnings were repeated in newspapers, on the web and on radio. The rally is a reflection of the growing discontent in the population at large with the government course in the war in Ukraine and their fear of escalation. If we add the many other, much smaller protests, which took place all over the country, then this could be the beginning of a new anti-war movement.

The composition of the rally was, similar to the large peace demonstrations in the past, mixed. Many middle-aged people and older, but also many families, largely from the eastern parts of Germany around Berlin, but also from other parts of Germany. According to our estimates several hundred members of Die Linke (“The Left Party”) from all party groupings and shades and various parts of Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony and Hesse) participated as well as activists of the Linke-SDS and the youth organisation Linksjugend Solid in Berlin.

Several organisations of the extreme right tried to mobilize for the rally and some individuals and small groups were present, however they were not able to dominate the picture in any way. Right-wing journalist Jürgen Elsässer had in the run-up tried to turn the rally into a right-wing event. He made his appearance together with a small group of his hangers-on. Since the stewards alone were not able to stop him, other participants including members of Die Linke surrounded him with big banners saying “No peace with the AfD” and “Solidarity not racism – Refugees welcome – take in Russian deserters” and confronted him with chants “Nazis piss off”. Right up to the start of the official programme we used our megaphones to explain to the people within reach who Elsässer is and that the chant “Nazis piss off” was not aimed at them but at him. After a while he indeed left the demonstration under police protection.

The initiators of the peace rally had in advance stated that the AfD and right-wingers were not welcome. The stewards communicated this at the various points of entrance to the rally were, however, slightly overwhelmed and didn’t act in unison. Parts of the peace movement underestimate the danger posed by the extreme right, we therefore need to argue firmly and clearly that the AfD, Compact & Co. (Elsässer’s magazine) do not stand for peace, but for further armaments, militarism and war and that they need to be consistently excluded from the peace movement.

Die Linke made itself visible with a sprinkle of flags, two large banners on sticks (one against arms supplies and war, the other against the right) as well as 120 placards made by two Left boroughs on their own initiative and other leaflets produced by various borough organisations. A central leaflet such as the one produced by the borough of Wedding against war, arms supplies and the AfD would have been useful. Even more so an invitation to a Left rally 14 days later.

This rally was not a “cross front” event. Individual fascists did feel encouraged to participate and there are people within the peace movement who are open to cooperating with fascists and say so openly. So the movement is full of contradictions and this is indeed a problem. But the leadership is not a cross front, but a momentary coalition. It is therefore paramount that Die Linke take an active role, in practice and politically. Whether a peace movement is successful or degenerates into a cross front depends on who intervenes and with what arguments in order to give the movement direction.

In our eyes it was a big mistake on the part of Die Linke, based on a complete miscalculation of developments, not to intervene centrally in fighting for a left orientation to the demonstration instead of limiting themselves to comments from the side lines. We demand that the party begin a discussion on how to become an effective participant in the building of a movement against the war and what role it can play within it.

The participation of Nazis is indeed nauseating. However, if we desist from participating in protests as soon as rightist try to capture them, we open ourselves to blackmail. Participation in this rally gave us an opportunity to actively fight the right. We must not leave the peace movement up to itself, especially in view of the massive pressure we are subject to in the media. The Easter marches and the Liberation Day in May will confront us with similar challenges whether we like it or not.

The Left is needed. Many participants at the rally, who felt intimidated by the scorn poured over it by the media and the talk of how divided the party is, were relieved to see our visible presence on the day. Our participation also showed that it is possible to unite the party in action. We need to turn the party into an active anti-war party!

By Christine Buchholz, member of the steering committee of the Die Linke, Ulrike Eifler, member of the national trade union council of the Die Linke and Jan Richter, member of the steering committee and of the national trade union council of Die Linke.

Translation: David Paenson.

At we aim to publish voices from across the left and give international leftist the chance to access political debates happening within Germany in English. If you wish to reply or challenge anything published please contact us.

Negotiations and Escalations

Whose peace is the Manifesto for Peace about?


One fact is simple and relatively uncontested: on February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded the neighbouring state of Ukraine. A year later, a German petition, which attracted thousands of protesters to Brandenburger Tor on Saturday, finds this situation rightly unacceptable. It calls for “solidarity” with the “Ukrainian people, brutally invaded by Russia.” It also calls for an immediate stop of weapon deliveries to the Ukrainian army. What do the initiators of this petition offer to the Ukrainian people instead of weapons? Negotiations.  Thankfully, these do not propose any “surrender.” But they do mean “making compromises, on both sides.”

After a speedy victory of either Russia or Ukraine is not in the offing, the big question is how and when the war will end. The so-called “Manifesto for Peace,” of Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer, offers no vision of that beyond “compromises.” But the obvious question is not answered: what concrete compromises should Ukraine make? Cede territory? Pay war reparations to Russia? Replace its government and cut ties with the EU and NATO? All of the above?

Another obvious question ignored by calls for “immediate peace” is that of responsibility. There are those who would blame the invasion of Ukraine entirely on NATO’s Eastward expansion. A modicum of common sense helps us quickly realize that Putin and the Russian government are not simple geopolitical automata, and they have enough free will to deserve at least some responsibility for the invasion. Luckily, such common sense is still possessed by German pacifists.

There is, however, a catch. There is a phrasing that we tend to dismiss when it comes to prejudice: folk wisdom tells us that “I’m not racist, but…” will invariably be followed by a racist statement. That “but” does not save what follows. On the contrary, it draws attention not only to the racism, but also to the shoddy attempt at masking it. Ultimately, it points out that even the speaker knew what was said would at least be perceived as racist.

What do we make, then, of a statement such as that of Christina Buchholz? “Putin is fully responsible for the attack on Ukraine. But the war has a double character. It is a legitimate fight for the right to self-determination for Ukrainians against an imperial occupying force. But it is also a proxy war by NATO, the USA and the EU against their imperial competition Russia. Finally, it has led to a dangerous escalation.” Unless they bite the bullet and just call Zelenskyy a fascist, the so-called “anti-war left” hardly needs the qualifier about responsibility and self-defense. Does it save what comes after the “but”? It’s hard to believe. How can Putin be “fully responsible” for a war that has a double character? How can Ukrainians engage in “legitimate self-defense in a proxy war“?

Calls for peace have taken this form – of accepting the simple fact of the invasion, and then immediately following it with a “but.” The magic word that allows them to do that is “escalation.” Russia did invade Ukraine, but Ukrainians/NATO/Zelenskyy/Olaf Scholz then escalated the war. DIE LINKE warns about an escalation of the war driven by weapon deliveries to Ukraine. Marx21 claims that Putin is “fully responsible” for the attack, but is not “guilty alone” of the escalation. Both imperialist blocs, the US and Russia, have contributed to it.

There are two issues here: the first concerns definitions, and the second a simple counterfactual. For the first, we must ask where the line between self-defense and escalation is being drawn? How much resistance can the Ukrainian state and people pose to the Russian invaders before German leftists accuse them of making the war worse? What type of war can be defensive enough for it not to be “an escalation?”

Perhaps the answer will come in the form of foreign intervention. When arms are delivered by NATO, with its undeniable imperialist interests, then this is an escalation. But this is where the counterfactual comes in.

Let’s imagine that Ukraine had not received aid in the form of weapons. What would have happened then? Perhaps Russian dreams of a blitzkrieg would have come closer to being realized. Or, more optimistically, perhaps “resistance from below” in both Ukraine and Russia would have been enough to stop the war.

Except they haven’t, as actually resistance from below already exists. There have been anti-war movements in Russia, and there is no reason to believe that they would have resisted state crackdowns more effectively – if Ukraine had not received external support. And there is also no reason to believe that the bottom-up organizing of Ukrainian resistance would itself have been more successful without NATO and European weapons. How could it? Supporting Ukrainians’ “right to armed self-defense” while also demanding an end to supplying them with actual arms amounts to just closing your eyes and hoping for the best.

In reality empty hope instead of solidarity is all that calls for peace have to offer. Hope that Russia will stop its attack if NATO stops weapons deliveries. Hope that China, Mexico, Brazil or anybody else will manage to diplomatically pacify Putin’s government. Or hope that a compromise of some sort will be an acceptable price for Ukrainians to buy peace.

Negotiations will indeed have to take place at some point for the war to end. The belief that NATO weapons are what stops them from happening, however, puts the burden of the negotiations on the victim, and not on the aggressor. Even while accepting that many Ukrainian wartime actions, as well as the Western response, can be criticized, we cannot deny that the majority of the lives lost and the cities destroyed are Ukrainian. As Buchholz herself notes, this is not a matter of the suffering of “the German people,” with which the “Manifesto for Peace” is concerned, but the suffering of Ukrainians. There are no Ukrainian voices, however, among these calls for peace. Hence the slogan of the Ukrainian counter-manifesto: “Talk with us, not about us.”

The simple fact of the invasion also means that there is only one simple ending to the war – the Russian attack on Ukraine must stop.

Let’s engage, then, in another counterfactual about what could happen to Ukrainians, according to the Saturday protesters’ demands. Let’s say that weapon deliveries are stopped tomorrow. Wagenknecht and Schwarzer’s Manifesto claims that this is the road to peace. But what will that road look like?

One option, the one they hope for, is that Putin’s war is only against NATO’s support for Ukraine, and not against Ukraine itself, and thus that Putin will stop his invasion if the support also stops. Perhaps he might be more open to negotiations… Or, why not – perhaps – he might even give up on his territorial ambitions; stop the violent oppression of Russian queer people; and distance himself from virulent Russian nationalism, while he’s at it.

The second option is that Putin will see this as a sign that his war is unopposed. His campaign of attrition will continue and Ukrainians will eventually run out of weapons and ammunition. At this point the losses will be much higher, the suffering much greater, and Ukraine would be defeated. This might mean peace for some Germans – but the counter-protesters who came out to oppose the Manifesto for Peace on Saturday know that there is no peace under Russian occupation.

Hopefully, most leftists who support the Manifesto are aware of this and have simply placed their bets on the first of these two options. It’s a risky bet, however; a wilfully ignorant one based on a narrow understanding of the war and the extent to which it targets Ukraine and Ukrainians themselves. Much worse, it is a bet with other people’s lives.

Radio Berlin International #21 – Nakba Demo Ban / Anti-War Protests / Earthquake in Turkey

Meet the people of Berlin fighting for a better world


In this episode, we hear from:

  • Isoof from the Jewish Bund Berlin, an activist who was hauled into
    court in Berlin this week on charges of taking part in a banned
    pro-Palestinian protest. He mentions, and
  • Christine Buchholz, a leading member of Die Linke, on the upcoming
    protests against the war in Ukraine.
  • Selo Uğuzeş, an artist, activist, and former political prisoner from
    Turkey on the earthquake and why government corruption and racism is behind the suffering. He recommends donating to: and

This week’s playlist is:

Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko, Oy Division – Oy, Ir Narishe Tsienistn
Edwin Starr – War
Ara Dinkjian – Dialogue
Ramzan Güngör – Çiftetelli

This episode is presented by Tom Wills and produced by Phil Butland and
Srijon Sinha.

Please tell us what you think of the show by emailing

You can hear previous episodes of Radio Berlin International here.

Neither Putin nor NATO – take the protest against war onto the streets

A discussion with Christine Buchholz about the strengths and weaknesses of the Manifesto for Peace and the role of the Left


The following interview with Christine Buchholz was conducted by Yaak Pabst, and originally appeared in German on the marx21 website.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed Sahra Wagenknecht’s and Alice Schwarzer’s “Manifesto for Peace”. The initiators are calling for protest on the streets. How should the Left treat the call for action?

The Manifesto for Peace has received half a million signatures inside just a few days. How do you assess this?

It is absolutely positive that voices in society which oppose the delivery of weapons are getting louder. One year after the Russian invasion, a war is raging in Ukraine which has brought immeasurable misery and death. We need a strong anti-war movement which expresses what many people are thinking; “Stop the war! Stop the escalation! No to the delivery of weapons!”, and thus puts pressure on the German government.

Why now?

The Munich Security Conference begins on Friday [translator’s note: this interview took place before last week’s annual NATO conference in Southern Germany]. As at the meeting of the Ukraine contact group, where the Ukrainian government talks to the defence ministers of the NATO countries and other allied states, at the Security Conference, there will be a call for more heavy weapons, more ammunition, fighter jets and long-range missiles.

The head of the Security Conference Christoph Heusgen has already demanded fighter jets for Ukraine and wants more German “leadership”. We can expect that one year after the start of the war, war propaganda will be ramped up. With this background, it is important that there is a series of calls for local actions on 24th and 25th February. For this reason, I also welcome the “Manifesto for Peace” and the call from Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer to mobilise for a rally on 25th February in Berlin.

But Russia invaded Ukraine? Is it right to speak of an escalation from the West?

Putin is fully responsible for the attack on Ukraine. But the war has a double character. It is a legitimate fight for the right to self-determination for Ukrainians against an imperial occupying force. But it is also a proxy war by NATO, the USA and the EU against their imperial competition Russia. Finally, it has led to a dangerous escalation.

In what way?

The reaction of the Western bloc just throws oil into the fire. That goes from the delivery of weapons and the extensive sanctions régime to that movement of NATO troops to the Eastern border with Russia, up to the massive armament plans of individual countries. These politics are a cul-de-sac, as they further fuel the spiral of escalation and bring no peace and justice to people – neither in Ukraine nor world-wide.

It is fatal to send even more weapons into this war. This is the point where I agree with the call from Wagenknecht and others.

Where do you disagree?

The call has weaknesses, specifically the phrase “damage to the German people”. The German people as such are not suffering. The German armaments industry and other factions of Capital are making tidy profits from this war. We should point out that it is above all workers and poor people in Ukraine, Russia and in other countries who are dying and suffering in this war.

What else bothers you about this call to action?

There is not a single word about the militarisation and massive rearmament of the German army. Given the lack of money for schools, hospitals and the public sector, this is an important concern for the Left.


Defence minister Boris Pistorius wants to further increase the military budget and is demanding €10 billion more per year for the army. Der Spiegel is using Pistorius’s plans to raise fear that public sector wage increases could reduce the operational readiness of the army.

Some Leftists do not want to go to the rally for these reasons. Is this the right reaction?

Although the call does not refer to the question of militarisation, we must clearly make this point. On the mobilisation for 25th February, the Left has the chance to make public our own position against the war, the delivery of weapons and against the massive militarisation. I find that not going is not an option.

It is really important not to hand over the protest against war and the delivery of weapons over to the AfD. At the moment, the right wing is using this subject to build. Of course they are fully untrustworthy, but unfortunately, they are also enjoying some success.

Chrupalla, the leader of the AfD has signed the call…

It was a problem that Tino Chrupalla signed the call, as you can’t make peace with fascists.

But that is why it is important that Sahra Wagenknecht has clearly said that she does not want any support from the AfD. National flags, AfD flags and right wing symbols have been banned from the demonstrations, and there are stewards to carry this out.

Chrupalla has since tweeted that he has no desire to take part in a left-wing demo, and that the AfD will organise their own peace rallies. Is everything ok now?

Of course part of the right wing scene will try to instrumentalise the demo. But it is decisive that many Leftists mobilise with banners and flags which marginalise the right wing.

At the beginning of the Hartz IV protests, Nazis tried to hijack the demos. It was important that the Left did not stay away, but fought for hegemony of the protests.

Oskar Lafontaine [translator’s note: former leader of die LINKE] has been accused that he softened the distancing from the right wing in a video interview where he said “everyone who has a heart for peace is elected”. Here he is appealing directly to AfD voters. What do you think?

Oskar Lafontaine wants to win back former LINKE or SPD voters who voted AfD as a protest. And sure: Die LINKE has never made a “test of beliefs” to determine who is allowed to attend a demonstration, How would that work? Nonetheless Lafontaine is wrong here.


He should have clearly said that Nazis who pretend that they are for peace are not welcome. He did say in his interview that Reichsbürger flags are not welcome, and that the protest should not be instrumentalised. But that is too little. AfD politicians and flags will also not be tolerated. His whole approach shows that he underestimates the danger which comes from the Fascist troops organising in the core of the AfD. And he concentrates too much on AfD protest voters.

It would be better to look at the many who do not vote, or who vote LINKE, SPD or Green. Very many of them are against the delivery of weapons. I take Sahra Wagenknecht at her word. The AfD and fascists are not wanted, and a stewards’ committee will make sure that national flags, AfD flags and right wing symbols will not be allowed.

One argument against the call says that the feminist Alice Schwarzer and [co-initiator] Brigadier General Erich Vad are right wingers with whom you should not demonstrate.

There are other people with whom I’d prefer to demonstrate. But we must also see that because of the militaristic role of the SPD and Greens that there are many people in their circle who are not against the delivery of weapons.

People reject the delivery of weapons and the escalation process for many different reasons. I think we must take the divisions in society forward productively, even if we have little in common with some of our partners.

I’m one of the hardest critics of Alice Schwarzer’s position on Islam and the head scarf. She fuels prejudice against Muslims, for example when she demands that only women and children should be allowed as refugees from Afghanistan, but no men.

But just because I demonstrate with her against the delivery of weapons and the danger of escalation, that does not mean that I agree with any of her other positions.

What about Erich Vad?

Erich Vad is not an anti-militarist. Quite the opposite. He stands for a European imperialism under German leadership which is independent from the USA. This brings him partly into conflict with the politics of the German government, which tries to implement the interests of German and European Capital in a different way,

Erich Vad bemoans the insufficient operational readiness of the German army. This leads him to fight “structural pacifism” of Germans since the experiences of the Second World War and the deployment of the German army in Afghanistan.

I reject all this. But it hurts German imperialism when one of their own criticizes the current politics. We can use this if we don’t sweep his position under the carpet. His assessment of the war, which is informed by his militaristic view, is interesting and helps us understand the conflict situation.

By the way, the peace movement always had soldiers in their ranks who were not anti-militarists, but who expressed the contradictions of ruling politics.

In 2003, Vad had an article published in the neo-Right publication “Sezession”

That is right, even if he declared in 2010 that he wouldn’t do it again. But it is clear that Vad belongs to the right wing conservative wing of the German military. Like many in the CDU, he has held culturally racist and anti-migration positions.

But one thing is important: unlike other right-wing soldiers, he has not gone over to the AfD in recent years. This is why I find it defensible to take part in a rally at which Erich Vad is speaking.

If we make the rally large, will Sahra Wagenknecht just use this?

The success of the call is partly because die LINKE and the different parts of the peace movement responded inadequately to the demands brought by war. A vacuum emerged, which Wagenknecht and Schwarzer have filled.

I see it differently to your question. If the Left – inside and outside the party – is not present, and not intervening with our own materials, we don’t just take ourselves out of the debate, we also fail to build an alternative to the established.

Sahra Wagenknecht expresses justified criticisms of the escalation spiral from the delivery of weapons and sanctions. We are in agreement on this point. At the same time, I do not want to adopt her parochial nationalistic positions on the German economy or her concessions to the right wing, for example on the question of migration.

Is it possible, that a new Querfront [translator: German term meaning an alliance of the left and far right] will emerge?

There are right wing forces, like Compact magazine from [Jürgen] Elsässer and others, who want to build the extreme right through such Querfronten. We have the experience of the large demonstration in Prague, at which both Leftists and the extreme right wing took part. And also part of die LINKE is open for alliances with the right.

This excludes other forces from alliances, and leads away from the class politics that we as die LINKE want to develop. Our slogan must be: “Neither Putin nor NATO. Solidarity with the international resistance against the war”.

Left wingers should prevent such alliances because they do not lead to success. But because the militarism of the ruling class is so rampant, and concern in the population is growing, I find it imperative that under the current conditions we do not stand aside but strongly mobilise around the demands against the export of weapons and militarisation. It is enormously important that we combine the fight against war with that against high prices.

In the LINKE party executive, you proposed that the party mobilises for the rally and intervenes with its own profile. Won’t that split Die LINKE?

It is clear that we have very different points of view within the party. But it is no alternative to do nothing in the face of the development of war. I am trying to speak both with comrades who are explicitly for taking part on 25th February, and those who are strongly against.

It is important to make clear that we all want to marginalise the AfD and the right, and to position Die LINKE as an anti-war party. We clearly see different paths to this goal. But we combat divisions through debate.

The biggest current danger is that the AfD emerges as the only partner for peace. Die LINKE must take to the streets with its own placards and banners with our ‘No to war’ and ‘No to the delivery of weapons’ slogans.


Christine Buchholz is a former MP and a member of the LINKE National Executive.

Questions: Yaak Pabst. Translation: Phil Butland. Reproduced with permission.

News from Berlin and Germany, 23rd February 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany


Berlin strikes in March

The nationwide collective bargaining round in the public sector will likely escalate at the beginning of March. And the United Services Union (ver.di) is planning to strike the participating employers during this time – work stoppages are being prepared that could last several days. In Berlin, these warning strikes would affect the city cleaning service (BSR), the Vivantes clinics, the Charité, the Jewish Hospital, the water companies, the College of Applied Sciences and the Student Union. The decisive factor will be whether employers move significantly towards the union’s positions in the next round of negotiations on 22 and 23 February. Source: tagesspiege

Action against deportation from BER

According to information from the Brandenburg Refugee Council, 34 people were deported to Pakistan against their will last Wednesday. Beforehand, activists had tried to prevent the deportation. Since the afternoon, around 200 demonstrators blocked all three access roads to Terminal 5 of BER for hours. They wanted to prevent people from being brought onto the airport grounds. Divided into groups, the activists blocked the main entrance on Willy-Brandt-Strasse, a second entrance via a car park and the rear entrance on Kirchstrasse. However, in the evening, the deportation plane to Islamabad was able to take off – with all likelihood from another terminal. Source: taz

Syrian woman dies after fire in Berlin-Pankow

Last Monday, Syrian family A. mourned the loss of a family member. Ten days ago, the 43-year-old woman, wife and mother of six, Yazi A., died having been severely injured in a fire on January 25. A serious fire broke out in the stairwell of an apartment building in the Pankow district of Französisch Buchholz. The case received attention after being tweeted about by Tarek Baé. The activist criticized the media and politicians in numerous tweets for not reporting on the new developments in the case until ten days after Yazi’s death. Source: tagesspiegel

Tesla postpones battery construction plans in Germany

Tesla is delaying its plans to manufacture entire batteries in Germany. The focus on complete cell production is currently in the USA due to tax incentives according to a Tesla spokeswoman. “We have started local assembly of battery systems at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg and are in the production ramp-up phase” the American company said. Company boss Elon Musk had announced the Berlin Gigafactory to be the largest battery factory in the world. When it opened in March 2022, he said the battery plant would reach mass production by the end of 2023. Source: dw


No more excuses on equal pay

An important loophole for employers trying to wriggle out of the European law requirement of “equal pay for equal work” has finally been closed with the ruling of the Federal Labour Court. It is more worthwhile than ever to inquire about wage differences in ones company, to question them and, if in doubt, to file a complaint against them. Above all, the ruling means: Discrimination is forbidden on the basis of gender: Everyone doing the same work is entitled to the same rate of pay. The decision of the court will mean the presumption is that if there is a pay differential for equal work, there is discrimination, which the employer must rebut with objective reasons. Source: taz

Inflation rate rises to 8.7 per cent in January

Inflation in Germany accelerated significantly at the beginning of the year. Consumer prices rose by an average of 8.7 per cent in January compared to the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office reported. Compared to the previous month, prices rose by 1.0 per cent. Experts had expected for a stronger inflation – however this is also due to the statistics office changing the weighting within the basket of goods used for its estimation. The question now, among economists, is how quickly the inflation rate might fall. This will depend on how energy prices move, but we could see inflation rates falling at a fast pace. Source: spiegel

Stübgen calls for “migration control”

When it comes to housing and integrating refugees, Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) sees Brandenburg’s municipalities as at their limits. The interior minister called for stronger limits on immigration and faster deportation of rejected asylum seekers. The federal government must do more to repatriate immigrants who have no prospect of a legal right to remain, he also said. Last year, Brandenburg’s municipalities took in around 39,000 refugees, most of them from Ukraine. On the topic of immigration, Andrea Johlige, an MP from the Left Party, says that municipalities need to be better equipped, with more social infrastructure, staff in schools and housing as well. Source: rbb

Germany expels two Iranian diplomats after death sentence

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) announced that the German government has expelled two Iranian diplomats in response to the death sentence passed by a court in Tehran against German-Iranian Djamshid Sharmahd. The Iranian judiciary holds Sharmahd responsible for planning several terrorist attacks. The court also charged him with cooperating with foreign intelligence services. The accusations cannot be verified. Baerbock explained she summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Iranian in view of the death sentence. He was informed “we do not accept this massive violation of the rights of a German citizen”. Source: dw