More than 400 people are demonstrating for peace

Easter parade in Wermelskirchen
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strong peace sign

More than 400 people demonstrate at the Easter rally and show solidarity. There are also women and children who fled Ukraine before the war. Their common plea: Finally create peace!

Marina and Anna put wreaths in their hair in the colors of their homeland. They hold hands and sing. Many women around them join the ancient Ukrainian melody. Marina later says: “My heart is full of pain, it is a war at home. Finally we need peace.” With her hands and children’s hands tied as she helplessly follows photos from her home in Kyiv on the Internet, she found a place at the front of the demonstration with several other women From Ukraine, which on Monday conducts a search for a road through the city. Anna says: “This day is important to us, and this support is important to us. It shows us that we are not alone in our call for peace.”

In fact, there are more than 400 people who join this call for the Easter March on Monday. Armin Himmelrath and Thomas Wintgen invited the residents of Wermelskirchen to continue the old tradition of Easter parades. Many societies, clubs, unions and city have joined. The train that travels in the afternoon from Schwanen towards Town Hall and then to Eifgen is a colored train opposite. “It is a common sign of civil society that we put here today,” calls Armin Himmelrath in Schwanenplatz, “We will not let ourselves be divided in Wermelskirchen, we stand together for peace and humanity.” He then clearly distanced himself from that discussion on the topic of Easter parades, which have been popping up across the country in the past few days. “We are not a fifth column in Moscow, we are not stabbing Ukraine in the back,” he shouted indignantly. The audience applauds and listens to the trombone chorus: “We have to conquer.”


“Together for Peace” was the slogan for the event, which was attended by more than 400 people.
Photo: Jürgen Möll

As the sun rises from the sky, cafes and city streets bustle with activity, participants wave their flags that have been part of Easter parades since the 1980s. They hold fresh placards calling for Putin to make peace. In the middle of it, Greta and her grandmother also hold a poster. “I made it myself and wrote it myself,” says the eight-year-old. Greta wrote “No to war” in blue and yellow letters. “I just wanted to participate, I don’t want war,” she says. “Putin should finally stop doing that.” Then the eight-year-old raised her head firmly and walked away. A few meters in front of her, Ingeborg This was holding a small peace flag with a white dove. “I’ve always been to the Easter rallies,” she says. “I was part of the peace movement here in the ’80s.” “I’m a pacifist, so how can I not quarrel with this situation,” she says.


    Armin Himmelrath, who organized the Easter Parade with Thomas Wettingen, called on people to stand up for peace and humanity.

Armin Himmelrath, who organized the Easter Parade with Thomas Wettingen, called on people to stand up for peace and humanity.
Photo: Jürgen Möll

Norbert Galonska, as the mayor’s representative at the Town Hall, also remembers the tradition of Easter parades in Wermelskirchen. “Indeed, we should stand here every year,” he says, recalling wars in the world. He calls out to Putin: “You must know that you can destroy a country, but you cannot oppress and rule a united people forever.” Then he made an impressive plea for democracy: “We can stand up to those who think differently. We tolerate different opinions. We tolerate all people who move within the applicable legal system.” In the end, this also distinguishes us from Putin’s dictatorship. People cheer .

Then some of them head home, while others walk to Evgen, carrying flags and posters. There is a concert with musicians from Ukraine and Russia on the program there. Porsche is offered. Reverend Manfred Jeter speaks in the beer garden: “It seems impossible to me today to preach to Ukrainian freedom fighters a radical renunciation of violence,” he said. Peace and freedom are no longer free. “It’s about ending the war as quickly as possible with as little violence as possible and opening a window again to the language of peace,” says the priest. Then he calls for saving energy and working for refugees. And the applause lingers – before the melodies of the modern Ukrainian-Russian “Trio for Peace” took over.

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