Picasso

Detail of "Guernica" by Picasso, 1937, Museo Reina Sofia 

Opinion

Article by: Colette Hartwich

Editor’s Note

Russian aggression in Ukraine has destroyed Europe as we knew it. No more international security, no more peace – and even food security is at risk. Europeans must understand that it is too late for a compromise and that evil should be defeated as soon as possible.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, I had commented on a romantic photo of two love-torn young people, exchanging on their phones on close-by rooftops, for each other’s safety. The photographer titled this romantic snapshot “a tear on your cheek”, like an Italian song from the 50’s.

A few years and several million dead later we are somewhat life-hardened. Talking to Ukrainian refugees of two very different generations – a grandmother and her four-year-old granddaughter – I get the mental images of their traumas. For the granddaughter, the loss of her ginger cat; For the grandmother, the unexploded shell on her windowsill (as reported by the neighbors). Yes, the cat is probably dead and the shell might blow up grandmother’s flat, and that of her neighbors too. My imagination feeds on the genius protest-painting of Picasso, the “Guernica”. There, the dying horse is shouting in horror. Our world, like the world in “Guernica”, exploding.

Not only Ukraine, but all of Eastern Europe, with its roads to a new exodus is exploding. Poland is facing unimagined and unimaginable problems feeding and housing refugees from the neighboring country fleeing Russian aggression.

A world food crisis has started with Ukraine’s agriculture seriously hit, our food security has disappeared. Are new fights in the supermarket to be foreseen? Will we be fighting for pasta and flour this time, not toilet paper? What is it that we need the most?

Vatican’s smug opinions on good and bad are exploding too, and at the same time, its shared interests with the murderous Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow are exposed. The Schröder-Merkel “Putin-Versteher” network is exploding as well and you can learn more and more about their secret motivations daily. Plus, the upper-middle-class German conscience is exploding.

Ukraine war

What saddens me is communicating with my friends in Ukraine. I long every day for some news to calm myself that they are still alive. Having to be so careful and often so silent, in order not to put them in danger. Social media is not always a blessing. On Easter Monday, our so European Lviv, or the Vienna of the East, has also been hit.

Ukraine is internally and externally displaced. Europe is not emotionally displaced. Just blood, no tears, on their cheeks. “Putin-Versteher”, backward pacifists, die Linke, enablers, and apologists, it is not only the ginger cat we mourn over, it’s heroic Ukraine and the last remnants of our European democracy. Europeans, and especially the Germans, have been too smug for too long (and they’re the last ones keeping it up still today). Pacifism is just an expensive illusion, and innocent blood is the currency. Sound the trumpet now, so the walls of Barbary fall!

Colette Hartwich Colette Hartwich is a creator and founder of Hadassah Luxembourg, WEGA Aide Humanitaire a.s.b.l Luxembourg; Co-Founder of L’Ukraine and ALPHEE Paris. She has 40 years of experience in humanitarian and environmental assistance projects in 7 different countries all around the world: the Philippines, Ukraine, and Armenia among others. For more than 25 years she is educating and coaching in the fields of microfinance, humanitarian, and development assistance project drafting.

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