German PEN: If you admire the hostility to the Russians, then madness has won


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PEN-Germany has shown their solidarity with Ukraine. However, they have also expressed  concerns as for «madness triumph» in case of worldwide blanket boycott of the Russians. This is what the statement published at the PEN-Germany web-site is about. 

According to the German PEN Center, «All those who die in this criminal war of aggression are Putin’s victims: both Ukrainian civilians and Ukrainian soldiers who defend their country’s freedom against totalitarianism and arbitrariness. The often deceived and always poorly equipped Russian soldiers who die fighting for Putin’s power fantasies and paranoia are also victims of this violation of international law».


The statement points out that the German PEN Center welcomes measures to weaken Russia’s war economy and isolate the Putin regime internationally.


Still, the German PEN Center is concerned that certain banks’ exemption from the shut-out from the SWIFT (those involved in gas supplies from Russia to Germany processing) may be read as a message that Europe stands in solidarity as long as it does not cost us too dearly.

«In view of such inconsistent measures – or the German government’s agonizingly slow response to Ukraine’s urgent calls for help with more than words – demands to boycott books by Russian authors or no longer to perform their plays seem even more like symbolic substitute acts. A blanket boycott would also hit the courageous colleagues in Russia who oppose Putin’s unscrupulous tyranny and this war», — the statement says. 


At PEN-Germany they believe, that excessive hostility towards the Russians will lead to madness triumph while reason and humanity will lose. They quoted PEN President Deniz Yücel, who declared: «The enemy is Putin, not Pushkin, Tolstoy or Akhmatova. PEN stands with all people in all countries who want to live in peace, freedom and dignity».


You can read the original statement here.


According to the previous announcements, PEN International   demands in a common statement to stop the violence unleashed by the Russian invasion and condemn the war.  


We would like to remind you that German publishers and the Frankfurt Book Fair expressed their solidarity with Ukraine. Besides, the Frankfurt Book Fair organizers were one of the first to stop collaboration with the Russian Federation 


Header image: PEN-Zentrum Deutschland