Berlin decides not to express condolences to residents of St. Petersburg
Illuminating Brandenburg Gate in the colors of national flags of countries affected by major terrorist acts has become a sad Berlin tradition in recent years. Yesterday, when Russia was shocked by a bloody terrorist attack in a tunnel between Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Ploshchad stations of the St. Petersburg metro, many residents of the German capital believed that the city's leadership would hold a similar demonstration of solidarity with Russia.
Despite all the differences between Germany and the Russian Federation, such a decision would be symbolic:Germany has a special historical responsibility before the 'Leningraders,' who survived the blockade and their descendants. It would probably be true to emphasize once again that today the entire civilized world must unite in the fight against terrorism, as once the world united in the fight against fascism.
However, Berlin decided not to illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in the colors of the Russian flag. "Because St Petersburg is not a partner city of Berlin," the official statement of the Berlin’s Senate Chancellory says. Berliner Zeitung writes in this connection that this argument doesn't hold up: London, Nice, Brussels, Istanbul, Paris, Orlando - all these cities were victims of bloody terror in the past years. Some of them are partner cities of Berlin, others are not. However, in all these cases at evening the Brandenburg Gate was illuminated in the colors of the national flags of the countries facing terrorist attacks.
"Of course, one can think about and hold discussions about whether we are turning mourning into a routine. After each act of terrorism, there are the same reactions in Facebook and Twitter. And every time there are light projections on the Brandenburg Gate. This should be seriously considered, discussed and maybe changed. But until then we can fully express our grief and sympathy for St. Petersburg - even if the policy of Vladimir Putin is being criticized. Since he is not the only one who owns the colors of the national flag," Berliner Zeitung writes.
However, light shows and discussions about the reaction to the terrorist acts will not return those killed in the metro and will not cure the wounded, it will not defeat terrorism as well. A more effective example of combating such threats to global security was shown in 1945 by the Red Army men, led by Azerbaijani lieutenant A. Mejidov, who "painted" the Brandenburg Gate in the colors of the Soviet flag.