The Eastern Europe historian Karl Schlögel massively criticized the Left Chairwoman Janine Wissler in the ZDF program “Markus Lanz” on Thursday evening. “There was a tradition of the left in the struggle against imperialism, fascism, National Socialism. These are people who went into civil war,” said Schlögel to the re-elected co-boss. “What you represent (…) is anti-fascism that has become corrupt and is no longer credible. Anyone who does not stand by those who are threatened has betrayed anti-fascism.”
When politicians from the Left Party talk about the Ukraine, Schlögel continued to address Wissler, it’s usually about the nationalists in the Ukraine, who don’t even exist. “They don’t talk about the fascist environment that exists around Putin,” he lamented. “You’re not talking about the people who make Russian television. It’s unbelievable what’s on Russian television every night with people like Vladimir Solovyov. You don’t hear anything from them about it.”
TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov is considered Putin’s top propagandist and regularly attacks Ukraine and its Western allies on his talk show on Russian television.
Before this general reckoning, moderator Lanz asked Wissler what she had to say about Sahra Wagenknecht’s motion at the party conference, with which NATO was to be blamed for the war in Ukraine.
In response, Wissler subsequently emphasized that there was “no excuse or justification whatsoever for this war” and that Putin was the aggressor. But that doesn’t mean that “we don’t have to continue criticizing NATO.”
According to Wissler, every conflict “of course also has a history”. The “wars in violation of international law” that NATO waged in the past remained in violation of international law. As an example, she cited the NATO mission during the Kosovo war.
Wissler described the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO as a “huge problem” – because of the associated concessions made by the alliance partners to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Arms deliveries to Turkey would now be made easier, and politically persecuted people would be extradited to Turkey. “I think that’s an absolute scandal,” said Wissler.
Former Interior Minister Gerhart Baum (FDP), who was sitting next to her, interrupted her coolly at this point: “Otherwise the Russians would have delivered.” Baum also asked Wissler why the left at their party conference had equated Ukraine’s war crimes with those of the Russians . However, Wissler disputed whether this was the case. She then stated again that the left was against all arms deliveries, especially German ones to other countries.
When Lanz asked again more precisely about the “prehistory” of the Ukraine war, Wissler said that after the end of the Cold War “a great opportunity was missed”: “When the Warsaw Pact dissolved at the time, you would have NATO too have to overcome.” Instead, NATO has expanded to the east.
Schlögel’s words received applause on Twitter from the publicist and expert on transatlantic relations, Constanze Stelzenmüller.