The President of Germany Honours Soviet Soldiers

Source: Deutschlandfunk, May 6

Joachim GauckJoachim Gauck, who recently made headlines with his open criticism of contemporary Russia’s imperial policies, cannot be suspected of being unaware of the ambivalent role played by the Soviet Army. Its solders were both liberators and occupiers….

But millions of Russian soldiers, their families and descendants were victims. In their homelands – not just in Russia but also in the many republics of the former Soviet Union – memories of the war continue to shape individual and collective identities. In his warm and deeply empathetic speech, Joachim Gauck did not shy away from this topic. Coming from this president and at this moment in time, the speech is an important and highly political gesture.

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