Germans not keen to ruffle Russian feathers


Germans not keen to ruffle Russian feathers

European leaders have debated how to punish Russian for its actions in Crimea. But for many Germans, the key is not to ruffle Russian feathers.

On the wall of the office of the left-wing MP, Jan van Aken, is a very big, framed black-and-white picture.

It is the classic image of a Red Army soldier balancing precariously on the turret of the old Reichstag building and raising the hammer and sickle banner, the smouldering ruins of Berlin in the background.

I asked him why he had it on his wall in the German parliament and he replied with a laugh that it was taken on his birthday, 1 May, and then he added more seriously that it tells a story.

The Russians were liberators, he said. They rescued Berlin and Germany from the Nazis.

He doesn’t diminish the contribution of others like the British, but he makes much of the Red Army’s role.


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