A month before the federal elections to the Bundestag, in the streets of the German city of Teterov (Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), unknown persons hung out campaign boards with maps on which the Russian Kaliningrad region and part of the territory of present-day Poland were included in the country. This is reported by the local newspaper Nordkurier.
It is noted that these are copies of propaganda posters from 1949, with the help of which the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, created four years earlier, tried to attract voters in the first post-war federal elections held in West Germany at that time. The slogan on the posters is appropriate: “All Germany must become the undivided Fatherland through the CDU.”
Meanwhile, the ruling party itself has already stated that they have nothing to do with provocative leaflets.
“They are misleading and should be removed because they are not approved by the CDU,” the newspaper quoted the district representative of Christian Democrats as saying. Hannes Dettmann…
An investigation into this fact was entrusted to the State Security Commissariat in Rostock. But there have not been any statements on this score from authorized persons so far, and it is not yet clear whether this campaign is nationwide. There is only information from the local police that similar posters appeared throughout the federal state, while among them there was agitation and other parties.
Noteworthy, however, is an interesting coincidence. Historical agitation with Germany in the pre-war borders were pasted a few days after the visit of our Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov to the Kaliningrad region, during which he warned Berlin against the implantation of a “Königsberg identity” in the region.
On August 17, the Russian Foreign Minister visited Kaliningrad. Speaking to students and lecturers of the Baltic Federal University named after Immanuel Kant, he stressed: “We know that some of our foreign partners, ideologists, are trying to impose the so-called“ Koenigsberg identity ”. And he warned that attempts of this kind of interference in the internal affairs of Russia would have consequences.
“We will not tolerate them,” Lavrov said.
The Kaliningrad region, as you know, is located on the territory of the former German province of East Prussia. After World War II, by the decision of the Potsdam Conference of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, most of East Prussia became part of Poland. And a third of the territory with the capital Königsberg passed to the USSR and subsequently to Russia.
The authorities of the westernmost Russian region, by the way, have already reacted to the dubious agitation in Germany, regarding it as a provocation.
“Once again, we see how the territory of the Kaliningrad region is being used for political purposes by our western partners. I would like to note that the Kaliningrad region is an integral part of Russia. Such statements only indicate that they are trying to take advantage of this situation around the Kaliningrad region for some local political goals, “said the head of the press service of the regional government Dmitry Lyskov…
The incident in the Kremlin was not ignored either.
But, as noted by the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, the action “has nothing to do with the position of the German authorities. Official Berlin does not question the territorial integrity of Russia. “
However, this situation, he said, made it possible to understand what territorial aspirations are present among the German political forces.
So after all, this is part of the so-called “dirty technologies” of the ongoing election campaign in Germany? Or is it much more serious?
These questions “SP” addressed Associate Professor of the Faculty of International Relations and Foreign Regional Studies of the Russian State University for the Humanities Vadim Trukhachev:
– Most likely, this is, of course, “black PR” and pre-election technologies. Behind this, for example, may be the “Left Party”, which is just strong enough in Mecklenburg – one of the poorest German lands.
On the other hand, it may well be circles in the CDU itself. If there is any revanchist sentiment in Germany, it is Mecklenburg. Only Saxony is perhaps a more revanchist land.
So all of this is local self-activity, I think. In any case, it is unlikely that this was decided at the federal level.
As an option: the Polish border is close there, and the sent Cossacks from Poland could arrange something like that. Or the Poles working in Mecklenburg.
This is another version. But probably less likely than the previous two.
“SP”: – Isn’t there a desire for some kind of revenge in this?
– The point is, let me remind you that West Germany did not recognize the eastern border until the early 70s. And in the 1949 elections, it really was about the fact that the CDU is a general German party within the borders of 1938, or even 1939.
Then, for almost 25 years, there was the so-called doctrine in West Germany Halstein (by the name of the Minister of Foreign Affairs), which stated that the Federal Republic of Germany severed any relations with those who recognize the GDR. Well, and completely refused to recognize the new eastern border with Poland and Czechoslovakia.
This only happened in the early 70s. Then, during the unification of Germany Helmut Kohl renounced all territorial claims against Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.
This is the background. Now, as to what it smells like …
There are undoubtedly revanchist circles in Germany that would like to revise the borders. First of all, these are circles from the so-called “Union of the Exiled”. These are the Germans and the descendants of those Germans who were deported after the Second World War from the same Kaliningrad region, from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia.
This is a fairly large group. Still, it does not reflect the opinion of any of the parliamentary parties.
The closest to them in this sense is the “Alternative for Germany”. But even in its program nothing is said directly about the revision of the borders.
Is that the “National Democratic Party” of Germany likes to play on this. But none of them will enter the Bundestag – these are, so to speak, marginal forces.
It is another matter that almost all German parliamentary parties have so-called ombudsmen for the expelled. And they, in general, insist that Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and other countries from which the Germans were evicted, revise their laws and allow them to return (or at least compensate) the property that they have lost.
But, again, this is not the official point of view of the German government. That is, there are ombudsmen for the expelled (the CDU has them, the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party, the Alternative for Germany), but still, the opinion of the entire party, whatever it may be, they do not reflect …
But here is another “but” …
“SP”: – Explain.
– Despite the fact that the CDU program does not talk about revising the borders, at least in the coming years, it is still, in general, the party of German imperialism – only on a new modern basis. A party advocating the expansion of German influence, primarily to the east and south-east. And, of course, for expanding influence in the Kaliningrad region.
Germany is not thinking of joining it. This is really the lot of the marginals. In addition, the assertion that this is a primordially German land is rather doubtful. The Prussians are still a Baltic tribe, close to the Lithuanians from the very beginning.
But the question is, in order to somehow secretly promote separatism in the Kaliningrad region, it is worth it. And from time to time such statements from German (more near-political) circles, they really do sound.
Plus, of course, one should not forget that interest in Kaliningrad is shown not only in Germany. In Lithuania, for example, Kaliningrad is called Karalievichus. And in Poland – Krulevets. And both also have their own views on this land.
In general, the views here are as follows: so that a special pro-European consciousness somehow developed in Kaliningrad, which would be different from the rest of Russia.
“SP”: – Some of the citizens, apparently, have already developed, is it not by chance that Lavrov raised this problem?
– Some have developed. But this is an overwhelming minority. Let’s not forget that Kaliningrad is still a fortress-based region. There are a lot of soldiers there. And they come from what is called Greater Russia, or, as they often say in Kaliningrad itself, the mainland. Therefore, I do not see the danger of separatism there yet. But strategically, yes, it can arise.