Ukraine’s war with Markus Lanz: excitement for Putin’s connoisseurs

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By: Moritz Post


Markus Lanz speaks again about the guests in ZDF about the war in Ukraine. The position of former Hamburg mayor Klaus von Dohnanyi is debatable.

Mainz – The war of Russian aggression in Ukraine has been going on for four weeks now and is dominating German television shows. This is also the case with the last episode of “Markus Lanz” in ZDF. Topics revolve around the Ukraine conflict and its effects. Yesterday the failure of diplomatic relations. Today the effects of the Ukrainian war on the German economy. Tomorrow the prospects for the future development of the Western defense alliance NATO. And also on Thursday evening (March 24, 2022) Markus Lanz opens the show late in the evening with the words: “Excellent round, special show!”

Invited guests from political thought groups, NGOs, politicians from the Bundestag to the prime ministers will come and go on the ZDF talk show. The party also includes Claudia Major, a security expert from the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), economist Karen Pittel, a professor of economics at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and Julius van de Laar, a strategy consultant.

Ukraine’s war with Markus Lanz in ZDF with Russia Dohnanyi meaning

But Markus Lanz invited Klaus von Dohnanyi, the former SPD federal minister for education and science and Hamburg’s first mayor, to a highly argumentative guest that evening – as the first part of the program in particular shows. The politician, born in 1928, brings to the table personal experiences that the ZDF public has not seen or heard in this form in recent weeks. But while the 93-year-old has an emotionally invigorating effect in the round of talks at the beginning of the show, the SPD politician increasingly turns out to be an explanatory and understanding of Russia as the round of talks progresses.

Markus Lanz has invited an extremely argumentative guest this evening to Klaus von Dohnanyi, the former SPD Federal Minister for Education and Science and Hamburg’s first mayor. © Cornelia Lehmann / ZDF

SWP Claudia Major opens the evening with an expected statement for the current triple summit of the EU, NATO and the G7: “The message is clear: We are closed! NATO is the lifeblood of the 30 allies.” The security expert sees a clear will to escalate on the part of Russia and states: “Russia is waging a war of aggression in Ukraine and is not deviating from its goals, but is becoming increasingly ruthless. Therefore, NATO must ask ourselves: how can we protect our allies?

Guests with Markus Lanz (ZDF, 25/03/2022) role
Klaudia Major Security expert from Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)
Karen Pittel Professor of Economics at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich
Julius van de Laar strategic consultant
Klaus von Dohnanyi Former Federal Minister for Education and Science SPD and First Mayor of Hamburg

Markus Lanz (ZDF): The war in Ukraine as a “war for narrative”

Strategy consultant Julius van de Laar, who worked on Barack Obama’s election campaign in 2012, states: “It’s a battle for narrative. But the question is how others see the existing narratives. ” It was a big mistake when the US articulated a red line for the civil war in Syria, but they were not prepared to defend it in case of difficulties. Van de Laar is convinced: “I think our democratic world order must now be defended on NATO’s eastern border.”

The former former mayor of Hamburg, Klaus von Dohnanyi, brings to light well-proven images in which Ukrainians can be seen in the besieged city of Mariupol on a children’s playground, and in which the next image shows how the inhabitants of bombed The city tries to make their relatives a makeshift burial, his experiences from Hamburg in World War II. Dohnanyi commented almost bluntly: “Of course! At that time we entered the basement and heard the whistling of bombs. “You have to keep all of this in mind when you think about ending this current conflict.” This eyewitness report brings back images of Hamburg in 1943: “If you bring it with you as your experience, you can think more carefully about the present. than those who are seeing this war for the first time. “

Ukraine’s war with Markus Lanz: Comparisons of Hitler and a slender Martin Schulz

ZDF: Not just Markus Lanz in conflict with Klaus von Dohnanyi

But as the round progressed, Klaus von Dohnanyi continued to clash with moderator Markus Lanz, who repeatedly questioned the SPD politician’s historically grounded position. Von Dohnanyi is sure: “In the past, NATO had very few diplomatic components to understand why crises arose. If we look ahead: Russia will not disappear even through sanctions. “We need an effort for a future solution that does not put us at risk of a major war.”

Markus Lanz invited Klaus von Dohnanyi, the former SPD Federal Minister for Education and Science and the First Mayor of Hamburg, to an extremely argumentative guest that evening - as the first part of the show shows in particular.
Markus Lanz has invited an extremely argumentative guest this evening to Klaus von Dohnanyi, the former SPD Federal Minister for Education and Science and Hamburg’s first mayor. (Screenshot) © ZDF

Claudia Major responds: “If there is one thing that Western Europe has done in the past, it has been to seek a compromise with Russia.” “The accusation that the West is not doing enough for Russia is simply wrong,” he said.

Markus Lanz (ZDF): The classic way of understanding Russia in the war in Ukraine

At this point, a central disagreement between the security expert and the former mayor of Hamburg is clearly evident. Klaus von Dohnanyi states in a classic way understood by Russia that “NATO had no bad intentions towards Russia”. However, the historically grounded problem was “that the acceptance of NATO’s eastern partners was a thorn in Russia’s self-image. And that was NATO’s big mistake. You should have seen Russia’s sensitivity to Boris Yeltsin.”

Von Dohnanyi constantly sees himself exposed to the critical questions of moderator Markus Lanz. However, he responds to this mantra with the evasive view that “we should try to look ahead.” In the same vein, however, the SPD politician articulates criticism of the US – and shows understanding for Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, where the US would have violated international law. In doing so, he is trying to understand the Russian president’s support for Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad. Markus Lanz is shocked at the moment and tells of Assad’s human rights violations against his population and responds: “You just described the experiences in Hamburg in 1943 so emotionally. Then you can not argue the events in Aleppo 2015 by just one from a purely legal point of view! ”

Klaus von Dohnanyi defends himself: “I am not a friend of Putin and I am not a friend of Assad.” “the other side also needs it,” says von Dohnanyi. At this point, the moderator has the guest, although he continues to emphasize: “I am not defending Putin at all.” Historically proven facts, looks at the infinity of the studio in amazement. (Moritz Post)

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