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The CSU Demonstrates for Peace (October 20, 1983)

The CSU organizes its own peace demonstration in response to protests in many large West German cities. Speaking at the demonstration, CSU chairman Franz Josef Strauß defends the federal government’s NATO policies and appeals to the country’s silent majority to support them as well.

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Peace and Freedom Are Our Mission

It is high time that the silent majority among us awakens from its sleep and shows its true colors and takes a stand. This is about no more and no less than maintaining our freedom, preserving peace in the world, and guaranteeing security for the long-suffering people of this century. We know what that means! We know it as the generation born during the First World War, [the generation] that experienced the period between the two world wars and that carried the burden and sacrifice and suffering of the Second World War, having only one wish at that time: that future generations of our people could enjoy the happiness of peace, the blessing of freedom, and a normal human life.

I would like to make very clear: We did not come together here to demonstrate for more arms or more missiles, but to raise our voices publicly for a realistic peace policy. We want peace for Germany; we want peace for Europe, for the entire world. We have learned the lessons of history, and this distinguishes us from others who mean well but are heading down the wrong path. After the Second World War, we translated these lessons into political action.

I allow myself this judgment because today I am still one of the very few frontline politicians who initiated the foundations of this policy of peace, this policy of freedom, in the late 1940s, who built it up in the 1950s, secured it in the 1960s, and who, in the 1970s, had to experience, with great consternation, the fateful contributions that Willy Brandt, that main culprit, made to destroying all sense of values through his wrong-headed détente policy. We have understood the lesson that history has taught us. So what is that lesson and what did it teach us? I can express it here clearly and openly, without beating around the bush, and without flowery phrases.

Never again shall military might be used as a means of asserting political goals in Europe. For us, war is no longer the continuation of politics by other means, because the introduction of weapons of mass destruction must have eliminated, once and for all, the instrument of war as a political means. Thus, for us, war is not the continuation of politics by other means; rather; war would be the end of all things. There is no place for war in Europe today and there shall never be one again.

But we are [also] opposed to policies that in the end lead to viewing politics as a continuation of war by other means. What does that mean? It means that the policies of the Soviet Union since 1945 have been a permanent war against the freedom of Europe, against the freedom of eastern Europeans, against the freedom of the people in the other part of Germany, and a constant threat to the people in the free part of Europe. The Kremlin has taken the saying by [Carl von] Clausewitz, that war is the continuation of politics by other means, and, according to its law of Marxism-Leninism, has turned it into the formula that politics is the continuation of war by other means.

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