Written 26/04/2022, last updated 23/07/2022
This post is personal, as for the last couple of years I have been a germanophile of sorts. I have been learning German language, what enables me to follow German media at the source.
I had plans to move to Germany, work and live there.
I consume lots of German-spoken content daily (mostly non-political) and I thought that I have a fairly good idea about what Germany is and who the Germans are.
I thought I know what they stand for. Boy, was I wrong…
Just like the West believed in the might of Russian army, I believed that Germany personifies what is best in the Western world.
I believed that Germany is the country where – like they say in the chapter 1 of their Constitution – “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority”.
I believed in the very powerful message of transparent dome over German Bundestag (parliament).
I have to admit, I wanted to believe the Germans will walk the walk when it comes to the values the civilised world cherishes. They took in a lot of completely incompatible immigrants, they were ready to make their own lives much harder just to reduce their “carbon footprint”.
I viewed them as idealist society who are seriously ready to act and make sacrifices when it comes to democracy, solidarity, human rights, Western values.
No wonder that as a bit of an idealist myself, I was attracted to Germany. I learned the language and made serious plans to move there.
Unfortunately, just as the mask fell off Russia’s face, another mask fell of Germany’s.
In a first month of Russian invasion in Ukraine, my whole German-centric world view changed completely.
It was a very painful process, as in the first days of invasion I was convinced that Germany will lead the civilised world’s response to the war. As you will read later on, their actual response on the day of invasion was a blunt refusal to help.
So in reality, Germany turned out to be the weakest link of this response, as bitterly pointed out by New York Times.
One of the many things I learned about Germans is that they are very direct people. Direct to the point that it may seem harsh to most Europeans or Americans.
They do not beat around the bush and they take a great pride from this fact.
As a person who has been immersed in German culture for a good bit of time, I decided not to beat about the bush myself.
Thus, this post will follow direct German way of speaking, however harsh it may sound.
What I think happened
I simply believe, that Ukraine was the price Germany agreed to pay for gaining extreme economic and political power over EU: control over fuel sources.
This could explain Germany’s completely incomprehensible behaviour in relation to Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I know the above may sound far fetched at first. But what would you think if say Bill Clinton went working for Gazprom, just like Gerhard Schröder did?
Would this not be a clear conflict of interest?
Would you not think that there are some ties, some interests, some deals? Especially if facts laying in the open strongly support such theories?
How else would you explain months of smoke and mirrors pulled out by Germany (over 6 months now, still no significant help in sight), months of stalling weapon delivery and EU sanctions?
It is hard to deny that these things did take place – and still do, to a lesser degree (at least on the 19th of June 2022).
Please read on. I am sure I am off on some things, but in general I think that I got it quite right…
How Germany sold Ukraine
For the last 30 years or so, times were good for Germany. They enjoyed free security offered by the USA, while they did lucrative business with Americans’ largest rivals, China – often undermining America’s best interest.
Their economy boomed on cheap fuel from the only thinkable enemy of the NATO – Russia. Germans did not care about the conflict of interests this created.
From their point of view there was no conflict, as interests of Germany and Russia are closely aligned. Too bad for those who have to pay the price – like Ukraine at the moment, and anyone thinking of Germany as ally and friend in the future.
And so they free-rode, doing business with enemies of alliance they are in and rivals of those who provided them with military security.
For some unknown reasons, they managed to get away with it for so many years.
But as it happens, they finally tripped over and their calculations failed.
Ukraine did not fall in days like Putin had promised.
Germany, desperately trying to buy Putin time, placed itself in an increasingly uncomfortable situation. After over half a year of smoke and mirrors Germany’s position as Russia’s enabler and accomplice is perfectly clear.
The only question – a question I will try to answer later on – is why.
On the first day of invasion they told Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, that they will not help because his government will fall within hours and Germany will talk with new Russian-appointed marionette government instead.
The original source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, article: “They do not want to hear their own words” (text in German language).
A good title, because recently German politicians pretend that such conversation never took place. The source newspaper I quote is considered to be a mainstream medium in Germany.
So, assuming that the above is true (and even if it is not), it seems that Germans knew the invasion will happen and were prepared for it politically.
I am not suggesting the Russians shared the invasion details with them, but they knew what is going on from the USA and their own intelligence.
They were prepared and had a plan.
When ambassador Melnyk came in begging for help, they had no intention to get involved – and made their position perfectly clear.
From what happened next, we can roughly piece together what the plan was.
Two months in six months in, Germany did little to alter it’s original stance and a lot to warm up its image.
In fact, if modern weaponry is considered, they supplied Ukraine with 8 pieces of artillery. I guess this was supposed to be a fig leaf of sorts.
There were numerous unfulfilled declarations and suspicious, completely un-German chaos that stalled Germany’s alleged attempts to help.
It is now over half a year of constant excuses while the civilised world watched this farce in disbelief.
On the facts side, it was pure Gerhard Schroeder’s politics executed by his party colleague and fellow „Putin-Versteher” chancellor Scholz.
Because the facts are, that Germany simply sold Ukraine to Putin and – just like in the 2014 trial version of invasion – was tasked with softening West’s response to the aggression as much as possible.
And the lives of Ukrainians were – and still are – a sacrifice that Germany is perfectly happy to make.
So the plan was that Putin takes over the Ukraine, Germany helps to soften any sanctions and ensures everything quickly goes back to normal after the war. Just a larger version of what had happened in 2014-2015 and most likely was a test before larger scale operation.
Putin must have reassured his German friends that the war will be short, not very bloody and there will be a lot of goodies (one in particular, more later on) for his German friends afterwards.
Of course, some will have to die, like poor Zelensky for example – but how could a life of one man (or even a couple of thousands of people) stand in the way of such a mutually beneficial relationship?
The plan did not work, because the Ukrainians – whom Germans did not seriously take into account being busy doing deals with Russia – did not cooperate.
Against German recommendations they did not surrender. They did not get tricked twice.
Instead they fought and the whole Russian-German plan went arsewise.
You may ask, why on Earth Germans cling to the original plan for so long, seeing atrocities, war crimes and clear evidence that the plan does not work.
Why won’t they change sides?
Why do they continue to take irreparable losses to their image and position in the free world?
Well Germans love plans and they stick to them. Their decision making is slow and elaborate.
Langsam aber sicher” – slowly but surely.
They had to help Putin not because it liked the whole war thing, but because they had to in order to save their own plans.
Sticking to the plan usually works well in normal, slow-paced times. In a dynamic environment of war and sudden crisis this strategy usually fails.
So it failed and it will cost Germany dearly. Their biggest and most painful loss is not in the plain sight, so let us focus on the more immediate losses for now, we’ll come to the big one later:
For starters they lost their ability to free-ride European Union and NATO.
They will have to not only start pulling their own weight now. There will be a painstaking process of regaining the trust of Europeans and Americans who saw Germans for what they really are.
It will take decades to regain the trust. Decades of doing what is right, of not screwing your partners over like they have been doing routinely until now.
Some – like Eastern Europeans – are very unlikely to trust Germany ever again. The cost of such trust could be potentially disastrous for them.
Want to know what a Polishman thinks? I think Germans are dangerous traitors and backstabbers. I will never trust a word they are saying, I will never get tricked into thinking they have good intentions.
I think those who trust Germany end up in a shallow grave like the folks in Bucha and everywhere across Ukraine.
I think that behind our western border Poland has an enemy disguised as a friend.
Just like everyone and his dog across Eastern Europe, EU and NATO partners also know that Germany cannot be trusted, the game is up.
Because the language of diplomacy is mild, they do not say it aloud. But they know.
And they will act accordingly while smiling and shaking hands, just like Angela Merkel did with Zelenski who was effectively a dead man walking when she was talking him into „giving Putin respect”.
It is possible that the Germans already know it too and thus try to salvage at least their relationship with Russia – because there is not much else they can do.
Together with Putin the Germans gambled and lost.
They burned the bridges and there is no coming back to business as usual.
Germany’s help in Ukraine takeover by Putin (precisely: making the invasion politically and economically cheap for Russia in exchange for some very substantial gains) backfired.
It turned out to be a multidimensional disaster.
They got exposed as Russia’s trojan horse that is way worse than Hungary. They lost the trust of allies who know how it will look like if they ever need help (months of talks with no real action – if helping contradicts any of German economic interests, they simply won’t help).
They lost the leadership within the EU too.
Now they will have to work hard to get back what they lost and the Russian payoff for Ukraine seems to be very uncertain.
What this payoff could be you may ask. In short: real power over European Union.
Let me explain this in the next section.
How Germany betrayed Europe (and the NATO too, of course)
Here we finally come to the matter of the „thirty pieces of silver” or payment Germany was to receive for being Putin’s helper.
To make my views clear: Ukraine was just an obstacle, an extra payment Putin demanded knowing how much Germans have to gain.
German betrayal of Europe (or, more precisely, European Union) has three main aspects: economy, security and common Western values.
There is a nice word describing aiding and comforting the enemy: treason.
German cooperation with Russia and playing (not particularly willingly) a crucial role in Russian plan to invade Ukraine (softening sanctions both now and in 2014) would be probably enough to call Germans traitors.
But I do not have to use such argument, because I have a better one. I won’t even have to prove it, as it lies in a broad daylight.
How do I call you, if you provide vital monetary aid and do multi-billion deals with the only possible enemy of an alliance you are a part of yourself? Would I not have a right to call you a traitor?
Is there not something very, very wrong with that?
Is there any other country than Russia who is a realistic threat to NATO? Is this not the same Russia who is the best friend and business partner of Germany, to the point it employs former German chancellor, Schroeder?
What about all the cozy deals behind the back and over the heads of your allies and fellow European Union countries?
I know – you separate the business from politics. This allows the Germans to swallow things like Bucha without a flinch. This allows the Germans to do business with China while enjoying American-provided security free of charge.
Free ride here, free ride there – no wonder you do well. At everyone else’s expense...
Why they really did what they did
While pretending to be a part of European Union, Germany had its own superpower ambitions.
Their position is a bit awkward, because they have no actual power over other EU countries. This gap has so far been filled by diplomacy, economic pressure, lobbying and careful PR.
Despite of the clear shortcomings of their position, Germany’s leaders were perceived as leaders of the EU (it is of course no longer the case).
It worked, but it was not ideal. It was soft power instead of real power.
In order to solve this problem, Germany almost succeeded in positioning itself as energy distribution hub for the entire Europe.
Pulling Europe into deep dependency on Russian fuels and making sure there is no alternatives was no mistake and no coincidence.
The craze of „Energiewende” was in fact a long term plan.
Yes it made Europe dependent on Russia, but also made it dependent from Germany who hoped to control European fuel supplies and deals.
By making Europe dependent on Russian fuel and then being the ones who control the supply, they were to gain a significant leverage over the rest of Europe.
A real power instead of all the gimmicks they had to pull out so far in order to control and rule the EU.
They could, just like Putin has been threatening for years, simply close the valve on those who stand in the way of Germany’s goals.
They can give out better deals to countries who do cooperate, and worse to those who don’t. And they could always say it is just business.
Poland – a country that is currently almost completely independent of Russian gas – understood this German strategy very well and has been investing for years to be free from both Russia and Germany’s pressure in the crucial area of energy.
Given today’s situation, it worked way better than anyone was hoping.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were deals done literally over the heads of other Europeans. It is not a coincidence the pipelines go directly from Russia to Germany, outside of control of any third parties.
A lot of effort went into silencing and marginalising those opposing the projects within the EU.
It was so important to Germany, that they did not listen to the USA either and that put their relationship in jeopardy.
They just pushed and pushed forward like it was the Holy Grail, because it was.
It meant real power, real control over EU – and this is why Germany was willing to do anything for it to happen. They were even ready to turn the blind eye war crimes and other atrocities, just like they did.
They still hope that by making Ukraine fall and give Putin whatever he wants, they can avoid changes of European policies that would make Europe independent from Russian fuels – and independent from Germany.
They know that changes like import embargoes and infrastructure projects will be very hard to stop or revert once started.
Their dream of ruling Europe using Russian fuels will not come to pass.
This is really why they act like they do in regard to Ukraine. This explains everything.
Now we are entering a phase where Germans realise that their plan won’t work. Just like Putin, they switched to plan B and try to salvage as much as possible.
Now they will oppose sanctions and try to slow down diversification of european fuel sources. They already do. They will make the transition slow and painful. They will fiercely fight alternatives.
More fuel independence in Europe means less power for Germany and their russian friends.
A lot of stupid choices can be defended by fighting climate change. They will make a full use of this tool as it allows to do some virtue signalling as well.
Today Nord Stream 2 will be a hard sell, but it will be opened. It probably won’t give the Germans as much leverage as they were hoping.
But the plan is just too good just to let it go, it took so many years of lobbying and manipulating Germany’s european partners, walking the tight rope with USA.
They invested not only money. They also invested their entire cretibility they had and now loose day after day as their true face and goals emerge.
Europeans – just like Ukraininans – made the mistake of trusting Germany’s good intentions.
Now we have to pay the price…
German betrayal of Western values
„Never again” used to be German motto. It referred to the atrocities of WWII. Seems like it went out of the window now.
It got replaced with „Economy over the dead bodies”.
What happens in Ukraine is a direct byproduct of German politics. Without Germany there would be no Bucha and other atrocities happening daily for over half a year now.
Estimated 20-30 thousand of dead civilians in Mariupol alone.
There are things and sights that probably even the worst of cannibal tribes would react to. Things that would melt even their hearts.
But not business-oriented German politicians though, free of empathy and other unpractical feelings.
Six months in now – the gas and oil revenues- vital to Russia’s ability to murder women and children – keeps flowing. And it will continue to flow, thanks to German determination to keep things this way.
While Germany does everything to make it appear as if their policy changed, the facts contradict such change.
Countries like Poland got cut off Russian gas months ago, but German friends enjoy special treatment.
Six months in and apart from some 8 pieces of artillery clearly meant as a PR stunt there is no real German military help. This is a fact.
A multitude of analysis say, that cutting Russian oil and gas off would not have catastrophic consequences for German economy.
But it would hurt, and Germany does not want to sacrifice their own interests. They were to gain at the expense of Ukraine, not to loose.
It would also put a complete end to Germany’s dreams to control Europe economically by controlling access to cheap Russian fuels.
Let us be clear: if it is not Germany who has to make a sacrifice – then it is a completely different story.
When it is others that have to give or accept the short end of the deal – Germany will talk about European solidarity right away. But when they do a deal with Russia over other Europeans’ heads – well then solidarity goes down the toilet.
For Germans Western values are just means to an end. A tool to get what they want, at the expense of others. The values trick worked very well especially with Eastern Europeans who always felt a bit inferior.
Well try lecturing us about solidarity now…
Germany was perfectly happy to sacrifice Greece and Spain during economic crisis – in order to save their banks and save themselves from trouble.
They did not worry a bit about the misery they brought upon the people of those countries.
The Greeks got what they deserved.
Now they sacrificed Ukraine. Ruthlessly sacrificing others is a very German thing it turns out.
While they could blame Greece for lack of economic prudency (instead of blaming their own banks for exactly the same thing), how will they justify what they do to Ukraine? How will they defend their support for Putin’s atrocities?
How did Ukraine deserve it, apart from having the misfortune of standing in the way of German superpower ambitions?
German navy chef, mr. Kay-Achim Schönbach gave us a bit of an insight into German way of thinking about why Ukrainian women and children deserved what they got.
This indiscrection cost the man his job (this certainly was not something meant for the public), but we have a rare occasion to sneak peek into the mind of a major German official.
Ukraine did not give Putin respect. And this is why it is being dully punished – and this is why it is none of Europe’s or USA’s business.
And this is why Germany will not get involved and watch while „justice” is being done through the hands of Russian war criminals.
This is why – in the eyes of guys like mr. Schönbach – war in Ukraine is OK and Ukrainians are just getting what they deserved – until they show respect.
That can easily be what all the Putin-loving German politicians really think.
They all deserved it. Just like the Greeks, just like the Spanish. Just like the… you now whom I am talking about. The surface has changed, the inside remained the same.
Let us finally talk about values.
You see the values are the only thing that stands between us and some blood thirsty cannibal tribes mentioned before.
Values are what distinguishes Russians from civilised people.
Take away our values and we’ll become them. Take away our democracy – and we’ll be like Russians – a bunch of brainwashed and hateful ignorants, ready to cheer their leaders while they commit any imaginable crime.
Our values have a clear hierarchy, there are things that are more and less important.
Human life is clearly more important than economic comfort.
Germany’s betrayal of our values is visible in how instrumentally they treat them. They use values to get what they want from others, they treat the values as a way to inflict pressure, to get something for free.
When they have to put their own interest in danger for the sake of values – then suddenly the values are off the table.
Ukraine showed that Germany has no values, no concience. They only have interests, and those interests always prevail when they make their choices.
So they will always choose their own interest in favour of our Western values or even plain human decency.
For the sake of those values, we cannot let Putin get what he wants. And on the home front, we cannot let Germans get what they want either.
For the Western values to prevail, both Russian and German plans must fail.