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  • 27.02.2022, 2 min

    What do we have to do with Ukraine? Nothing and everything.
    We don’t have a twin city in Ukraine, so these events don’t affect us. But we are affected. All of us.
    This war, which started on 23 February 2022, is taking place in Europe. It’s not that there hasn’t been a war in Europe since the end of World War II in 1945, we tend to forget that, but this war is also coming closer to us through media. We are becoming aware that this is not a confrontation between different ethnic groups on the way to their own sovereignty, but a war in which the great powers no longer use proxies and seek confrontation directly. The fear of a first strike is real again.

    Our friends from Slovenia experienced a war between brothers in the 1990s which, like every war, left no winners and still smoulders today as a social and cultural conflict everywhere in the former Yugoslavia. We have association members who lived through the last world war, were bombed out, had fathers who returned from Russia very late, who have never forgotten the hardship and fears of those years because they burned themselves into their souls. Germany committed horrible crimes in both countries of our partner communities during that time. A repetition of these monstrosities, by whomever, we have all set ourselves as a common goal, must be prevented at all costs. This is what Janine Granger and Rudi Rübsamen charged us with when they signed the partnership agreement 40 years ago, as well as the young generation that will come after us. This year we will celebrate two anniversaries with Saint Florent and Šentjur; the association’s purpose of international understanding has never been as topical and urgent as it is today.

    We will not be able to prevent an expansion of the war, but we can show that we are against it. A logic has been set in motion from which none of the participants can emerge without losing face. At the moment we write of solidarity, let us hope that our solidarity will not be needed on a larger scale. Illuminated city halls are not only a helpless sign of powerlessness, they are a sign of compassion. Our thoughts are also with our fellow citizens who are currently fearing for their loved ones in Ukraine and Russia.

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