On National Day of Mourning, Germany commemorates the victims of war and tyranny. Since 1952, this day has been observed two weeks before the first Advent. This year, in addition to Levits, young people from Latvia and Germany were also invited to the Bundestag.
The Latvian President said a special tribunal is legally possible, it just needs the political will. He suggested working out legal ways "to use the Russian funds frozen in the West to rebuild Ukraine." Europe must invest properly in its defense and show solidarity with those "who are fighting for democracy and for our values," he said.
Steinmeier then spoke the traditional commemoration of the dead. The President of the German War Graves Commission, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, had previously sharply criticized Russia in his speech. The images "remind us once again what a crime is aggressive war against another people," he said.
In the editorial network Germany (RND), Schneiderhan predicted that the war would have consequences for Russian society for a long time to come. "They say it's Putin's war," Schneiderhan told RND. That's true, but there are also Russian men who committed crimes in this war. "This addresses the problem of the future Russian society, which has to deal with this responsibility."
Schneiderhan, Levits and Steinmeier as well as Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (both SPD) laid wreaths in the Neue Wache on Sunday afternoon, together with Bundesrat President Peter Tschentscher, Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (both SPD) and Vice President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Doris König .
The victims of war and tyranny were also commemorated in the federal states. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, State President Birgit Hesse (SPD) warned: "It is immensely important to appreciate peace and to do everything possible to preserve it."
The Deputy Prime Minister of Brandenburg Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) explained: "The people, mostly women and children, who are fleeing to us from the war in Ukraine, who often had to leave fathers, brothers, husbands or sons behind, who are suffering from the separation of families and Friends suffering deserve our empathy."