Feminist Alice Schwarzer has dismissed criticism of the open letter she and other prominent figures have issued warning of a Third World War as a result of arms aid to Ukraine. “For the first time in my life I am seriously convinced of the danger of a new world war,” said the publicist on Sunday evening in the picture talk show The right questions. While helping the Ukrainians to defend themselves is the right thing to do, it is “a matter of drawing the very difficult line between support for defense and the supply of weapons that Mr. Putin can understand as offensive weapons.” Schwarzer and other celebrities such as the writer Martin Walser appealed in the letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) published on Friday not to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, either directly or indirectly, so as not to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a motive for escalating the war to give to the NATO countries. Rather, Scholz should do everything possible “to ensure that a ceasefire can be reached as quickly as possible; a compromise that both sides can accept.” By Monday morning, the letter had been digitally signed by around 140,000 people.
If the Russian leadership describes the danger of a conflict with nuclear weapons as very concrete, “then we simply have to take it seriously and weigh it up very carefully,” Schwarzer said on the talk show. At the same time, one should not overestimate Ukraine’s “admirable” military successes in defending against Putin’s troops: “Such selective victories are one thing. Bringing the world’s second nuclear power to its knees is something else.”
After the letter was published, widespread criticism quickly arose. This is what Green Party leader Britta Haßelmann said in an interview Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgart News (Monday): “Where are there supposed to be “compromises” when Putin attacks a free European country in violation of international law, cities are razed to the ground, civilians are murdered and rape is systematically used as a weapon against women?”